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Saccomanni says sales of State assets to net 8-9 bn euros

Government selling stakes in post office, air traffic agency

12 February, 15:28
Saccomanni says sales of State assets to net 8-9 bn euros (ANSA) - Rome, February 12 - The Italian government will net as much as nine billion euros through the sale this year of assets such as stakes in the post office and national air traffic agency, Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni said Wednesday.

"In relation to the first phase of privatization that will conclude later in the year, I consider it to be a reliable estimate that the overall financial benefits for the State will be in the order of eight billion to nine billion euros," Saccomanni said in comments to the Senate's committee on public works and communications.

He added that the present sale of minority stakes in such State agencies as PosteItalia and Enav does not mean the government can't sell further shares in future.

The government earlier said it wanted to sell off a 40% share of the national postal service, Poste Italiane Spa, for at least four billion euros by the end of 2014 as part of efforts to raise much-needed capital to offset Italy's huge debt.

A similar-sized share will be offered in Enav, the Italian air traffic control company.

Poste Italiane is a public company but is controlled by the Italian government with the sole shareholder being the economy ministry.

It offers both postal and financial services.

The government has also been discussing the sale of shares in numerous other holdings including energy company Eni.