State asset sale for Eskom to wrap up this month: Nene | Fin24
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State asset sale for Eskom to wrap up this month: Nene

Jun 04 2015 19:21

Cape Town - Government expects to conclude the sale of state assets to raise R23bn for cash-strapped Eskom this month, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said on Thursday.

"We are anticipating the resources coming through during the month of June," Nene told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa in Cape Town. The government was "on track" to meet its capital-raising target, he added.

Nene declined to give any details of the sale, citing market sensitivity.

However, sources involved in the process told Reuters in December the government was considering relinquishing shares in listed firms such as mobile phone company Vodacom [JSE:VOD] and landline operator Telkom [JSE:TKG], in which it has a 51% stake.

Other options could be selling shares it owns through the state Industrial Development Corporation, including an 8.2% holding in petrochemicals firm Sasol [JSE:SOL], and stakes in mining firms Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] and BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL].

The government also has the option of selling part of freight logistics giant Transnet, arms manufacturer Denel, forestry firm Safcol, diamond miner Alexkor or national carrier South African Airways (SAA).

Nene presented an appropriations bill to parliament this week that will enable him to allocate the first R10bn of capital raised to Eskom this month.

The ruling African National Congress has long been reluctant to sell stakes in public firms for fear of upsetting its powerful labour union allies who believe more private ownership will translate into job losses.

However, a funding crunch at Eskom, which is also battling to keep the lights on as it completes new power stations, has forced it to change tack.

anc  |  eskom  |  wef africa 2015  |  nhlanhla nene  |  sa economy


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