Norway's government to retain big stake in Statoil

Norway's government says it will retain its current holding in Statoil (STO), backing off a pre-election proposal to cut its stake to ~50% from the current two thirds of the shares.

Although the new Conservative government had pledged to reduce the state's role in the economy, the trade minister says STOl has a special place in Norwegian oil and gas policy and there's broad political agreement that the state should keep a majority stake.

The government also plans to keep stakes in fertilizer producer Yara (YARIY, YRAIF), aluminum producer Norsk Hydro (NHYDY) and bank DNB (DNHBY) at current levels.

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Comments (4)
  • osooro
    , contributor
    Comments (88) | Send Message
    Government control is a bad idea. Look at PBR for example.
    23 Jun 2014, 11:42 AM Reply Like
  • Chancer
    , contributor
    Comments (4368) | Send Message
    Bad news for future of STO for the Norwegian government to have control and to dictate business policy. However, STO shares have performed better over past year.
    23 Jun 2014, 12:01 PM Reply Like
  • Rick D
    , contributor
    Comments (520) | Send Message
    It's my understanding that the Norwegian government does not vote its shares, so they don't directly control or dictate the business policy of STO, at least not at present. Of course there's no guarantee they won't exert control in the future at some point.


    The pre-election proposal was to reduce the Norwegian government's stake to 51%, so they would still have had majority ownership under that proposal. From an investor's standpoint, today's announcement only affects the size of the float. It's somewhat of a non-event.
    23 Jun 2014, 12:33 PM Reply Like
  • Veritas1010
    , contributor
    Comments (3264) | Send Message
    ?Yes and no in terms of an "non-event".


    It is a non-event since STO has finally moved forward in price and dividend policy. It can be an event in the future if the tide shift.


    Government control is a way of life in Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland. Having friends in some of these nations and business dealings with all of these nations contrary to the hallowed principals of 'enlightened socialists' government intervention always spells a lack of education that individual incentive and the concomitant success or failure that is a direct product of freedom and its risks.


    The move is not a good one for STO but no surprising given Scandinavian governance.
    23 Jun 2014, 10:02 PM Reply Like
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