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New Zealand energy company may privatize

June 17, 2010 at 4:00 PM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, June 17 (UPI) -- New Zealand's state-owned Solid Energy Ltd. Company should be partially privatized, its chairman said.

Solid Energy Chairman John Palmer said that the company should be partially marketed to private investors to raise up to $10 billion for needed capital, Business Day reported Thursday, adding that it carried a lower political risk than other state-owned businesses.

Palmer said, "A partially listed model, similar to Air New Zealand, is really important for Solid Energy Ltd."

Palmer is also chairman of Air New Zealand, owned 75 percent by the state.

Palmer insisted that partially privatizing Solid Energy Ltd. wouldn't subject the government significant commercial risk beyond those that it currently faces, adding, "The political risks for a company like Solid Energy are very low. This can be one of NZ's most-important companies. It's not about selling the family silver, it is about gold plating the family silver that we have."

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