New Zealand Prime Minister vows to reach NZD5 billion revenues from asset sales

By Marc Castro

Sep 16, 2013 08:40 AM EDT

Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand stated he expects to get NZD5 billion or USD4.1 billion from the sale of shares in state companies. He would be completing a schedule of asset sales before the general elections to be held next year.

The forecast sales proceeds are at the low end in the original target of between NZD5 billion and NZD7 billion. The value of a few assets, such as the restructuring of Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd and the write down of Meridian Energy required to soften the target revenues for the sales.

According to Prime Minister Key, during a news conference held in Wellington, "Not having Solid Energy and being able to take that to the market makes life a little bit trickier for us, so it's more likely to be at the lower end." He added that he is 'reasonably confident' of hitting the NZD5 billion target at the very least.

Key pledged the sale of government owned stakes in companies to pay for new infrastructure projects and payment of outstanding debt. Last May, the government had raised NZD1.7 billion from the sale of 48% of Mighty River Power Ltd. It said that offer documents for the sale of as much as 49% of Meridian Energy Ltd would be lodged on Sept 20. Meridian is the largest power company in New Zealand.

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