French state has no plan to sell Orange stake: holding agency

An Orange logo is seen in a phone shop of a shopping centre in Nice, southern France, March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - The French state is not considering a sale of its 23 percent stake in telecoms group Orange, the head of France’s APE state holding agency said on Wednesday.

“The state currently doesn’t have any plan to exit Orange,” APE head Martin Vial said at a hearing of the French parliament’s economic affairs committee.

Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said last week that the French state had no intention to remain a permanent shareholder of the former telecoms monopoly. He added, however, that such a divestment was not on the agenda in the short-term.

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by James Regan