Mixed ownership of state assets good for stock market - Joyce

Steven Joyce.

One of the biggest pluses in the government's plan to sell shares in four state-owned energy companies was that listing them would help anchor the stock market, Associate Finance Minister Steven Joyce said this afternoon.

In a speech to the Wellington Employers' Chamber of Commerce, Mr Joyce said the partial floats of what would be four big listings would not only be good for the government's books, it would also help to reinvigorate the stock market.

That would be of great benefit to New Zealand's future, he said.

“We need to get an investment culture based in this country,” he said.

Mr Joyce told those at the meeting that they faced challenges much closer to home, as in general the lower North Island had underperformed in recent years and it was up to Wellington businesspeople to do something about that.

Growth in the region during the last 10 years was negative, he said, and Wellington, as the biggest city, had to lead the change.

“It's crucially important that Wellington picks up the baton and drives forward,” Mr Joyce said.

Due to cuts in state sector spending, the city could not rely on the public sector to make that happen, he said.

“It requires the whole city and the whole region to push ahead on all fronts.

“The people in this room can help achieve that,” he said.

Mr Joyce was cagey when asked whether a single Wellington council would help lift Wellington's economic performance.

He said he was not there to make a case for a single council.

However, he pointed to Auckland as an example worth looking at, following the introduction of the super city model.

Mr Joyce said he had personal experience of how hard it was in Auckland to get something done when the city was split eight ways, as it was before it united under one council.

However, while there were benefits, Mr Joyce said it was important to have local government that was able to listen to and appreciate different views.

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25 Comments & Questions

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Phooey - Going to need more than a few companies I already own carved off to enrich a lot of ernest consultants and wide boys to get me to put more dosh into NZ shares. Got burnt last time.. Insider trading abounds...only have to see the last blip in Telecom shares a week before the big announcement a few weeks back to see what a little village this place is. Looking forward to ASX taking the whole lot over.

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Good for the foreign owners of New Zealand shares in assets previously owned by the NZ taxpayer. The NZ 'Mum and Dad' investor myth is absolutely ridiculous. The level of capital needed to finance the offerings is simply not available from that source.

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The sooner mixed ownership happens the better. The low productivity in state owned activity is appalling. Anything to improve productivity is very high priority

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He goes Watch this space,he will be with rodney h; at the side lines.

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As a nation, we will also have lost the ongoing revenue from these assets. This income goes to the assets’ new owners — and they won’t be in this country. After just 10 years, they will have pocketed the $6–7 billion the country made from selling the assets in the first place. We know this because it has happened before, with the sale of the Bank of New Zealand and Contact Energy. Currently, ⅔ of Contact Energy’s dividends goes overseas—in excess of $1 billion since National sold it in 1999.

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Our power companies, dams, our bank, our airline—all important sources of ongoing revenue. Selling them is a one-off, short-term fix that ignores the lessons of history.

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Selling shares in state assets would only benefit certain groups of people and would not be good for the country as a whole, as it was only a short-term fix.

It is good for the people who list the shares and draw up the legal documents.

It's good for the brokers who sell the shares for a fat commission to overseas investors who will end up owning even more of New Zealand.

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It's like selling off the spare bedroom to paper over the cracks in the walls in the lounge. Joyce insults our intelligence and ignores the fact that we have been down that road before to our great loss.

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It's like selling off the spare bedroom to paper over the cracks in the walls in the lounge. Joyce insults our intelligence and ignores the fact that we have been down that road before to our great loss.

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Selling assets to solve crises is not viable long term planning

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General election or not, we the people should be allowed to vote on what happens to assets we own. Just like they do in Switzerland.

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NO ASSET SALES!

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National's plans to partially sell these assets is just as soft and PC as Labour's PC attempt at their CGT.. Both these parties lack the spine to do what their voters , and the country, needs.

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We do not wish to sell something we own.Insulting our intelagence is just an insult beyond comprehention.Why does joyes think we will fall for that absolute rubbish.We are real normal Kiwis and let bankers play gambling with stock market.We own good assets and have no nead to sell them , staight and sompel.

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Phil Goff mentioned a vague number ... as a tax payer & voter I would love to see that figure as an ROI so we can make educated informed decisions not this emotional playing one off against the other BS

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as a return from these state assets of ours...

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NZers do not want to follow the paths of Iceland, Ireland, Portugal, Greece and lately Italy....sell parts of these assets but still with hold atleast 51% controlling stake.

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To all the people who are talking about missing out on the dividends from the stakes we are going to sell off...

The dividend returns are awful. The dividend below the borrowing interest rates in what is a very low interest rate environment. The government is subsidising these "assets". This is exactly why the assets need to be sold - they are not actually assets if you take a purest approach and define an asset as one that generates money in the long term.

Would you keep an asset that loses money in the long term? I don't consider this an asset.

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Whats wrong with selling parts of assets retaining control and then reassigning the revenue to new assets?

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If we’re gonna sell off or free up assets, why not a huge hunk of land in a 1000 year lease to World? Maybe somewhere near Christchurch even?

Consider a “free trade zone” eco-city built near Christchurch, encouraging countries of the world to collaborate in a NZ based, international city creating and offering the world standard of learning and R&D in engineering, medicine, manufacturing, eco-living & green technology, the sciences, sport, arts, human rights etc to the world.

Each country could “lease” and develop their bit of land in the city – paying up-front for infrastructure costs - and hey-presto! another new city for NZ and one that also encourages and leads global participation towards solving vast amounts of human problems and issues.

What a share-market offering! With so much ethical Sovereign and Corporate wealth looking for a solid, ethical investment vehicle – what an offering the government could put up.

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