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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

France plans privatisation as it looks to sell assets

The government outlined last year plans to sell stakes in order to finance a €10 billion (Dh44.17bn) innovation fund

The French government is planning a privatisation bill as part of its programme of asset sales, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe says. Benoit Tessier / AFP Photo.
The French government is planning a privatisation bill as part of its programme of asset sales, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe says. Benoit Tessier / AFP Photo.

The French government is planning a privatisation bill as part of its programme of asset sales, prime minister Edouard Philippe said, confirming that the state could cede control of some companies.

The government outlined last year plans to sell stakes in order to finance a €10 billion (Dh44.17bn) innovation fund.

It has since reduced its minority stakes in energy group Engie and car maker Renault, and there has been speculation that Paris airport operator ADP and national lottery firm Francaise des Jeux are in line to be privatised.

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“There have already been some [asset sales] and there will be more,” Mr Philippe told Sunday paper JDD.

Asked if the government would present a privatisation bill, a necessary step for ceding state control, he said: “Yes. The question is not taboo.”

He declined to indicate the timetable for asset sales and did not mention any companies.

Last month, finance minister Bruno Le Maire said the government would detail its asset sale programme in early 2018, while the head of APE, which manages the state’s corporate holdings, said the government had yet to make any decision over whether to privatise ADP.