Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kiwibank could be up for sale, as English hints at state asset sales

Finance Minister, Bill English has today speculated on the possible sale of state assets, including Kiwibank. Mr English said at a post-Budget event in Christchurch that National would "come to grips" with its position on state asset sales within the next few months.

He later revealed that the government was doing a stocktake of its current assets - this has led to speculation that there may be various state assets up for sale shortly.

''It seems to me, and I have checked this, that there is a strong demand among the mums and dads for a Kiwi investment model and if we put product into the market people would buy it. Would I be right about that?''
A few hands went up in the room.
''In fact I think there would be a bigger proportion of the population than that would have a crack at it. So we will have a think about it,'' English said.
''My guess would be there's a lot of demand for good share value and it would certainly help us to be able to free up that capital.
"But we have made undertakings to the public and we certainly won't move anywhere without getting a mandate to do so,'' English said in answer to a question about asset sales.
The National Party's plans for state assets have been questioned before - particularly during the election. This was particularly evident when a tape was leaked that showed Mr English commenting that National would "sell Kiwibank eventually, but not now".

Here is a news report from the time of the incident:

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