Prime Minister John Key says New Zealanders will be prioritised for Mighty River Power shares and if there's enough interest they could squeeze out foreign buyers altogether.
The Australian Financial Review reported today that Australian and other overseas investors were set to be offered up to 30 per cent of shares in the state-owned company.'
And a very signifcant number was surpassed yesterday; read on:
A milestone was reached today when 400,000 New Zealanders pre-registered their interest in buying shares when a 49 per cent stake goes on the market later this year.
The Government has said throughout that 85 per cent to 90 per cent of shares would be held by New Zealanders, including the Government's 51 per cent shareholding. That suggests about 70 per cent of the stake about to go on the market will be held by New Zealanders and the rest may go offshore.
But Key indicated today the Kiwi shareholding could go even higher.
"Our intention is to put New Zealanders at the front of the queue," he said.
"My view is that's got to be no less than 85-90 per cent held by New Zealanders.
"I'm sure there may well be interest from Australian institutions and Australian individuals but in the end we've seen 400,000 New Zealanders pre-registering. They'll be at the front of the queue as will New Zealand institutions."
In just 15 days, more people have pre-registered for Mighty River Power shares than signed the Labour/Green Political Party Initiated Referendum petition in ELEVEN MONTHS. Russel Norman and co can spin this however they want, but politics is a numbers game, and the numbers are very much in John Key's favour. And it is clear that a huge volume of shares will go to everyday New Zealnders; that's just what the intent of the share float was.
Let the sale of Mighty River Power shares commence!