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Current as of 31/10/14 07:40PM NZST

Mighty River demand backs more sales - English

By Kate Shuttleworth

Demand for Mighty River shares shows there is enough demand to sell other state owned generators, including Genesis, the owner of the Huntly Power Station, says Bill English. Photo / Amos Chapple
Demand for Mighty River shares shows there is enough demand to sell other state owned generators, including Genesis, the owner of the Huntly Power Station, says Bill English. Photo / Amos Chapple

Finance Minister Bill English said investor interest in Mighty River Power showed there was enough demand to partially sell Meridian Energy and Genesis.

English told Radio New Zealand this morning Treasury had forecast that about 225,000 investors would buy shares in Mighty River Power - the number of people who bought Contact Energy shares when that company was floated in the late 1990s.

But Treasury's expectations have not been met. English said more sophisticated investors had the skills and interest to calculate what the risks were, but conceded the opposition parties' proposal was enough to deter 'mum and dad' investors.

English said these investors would not be put off future share floats as the impact of the Labour - Greens policy wore off.

"The relevance of the Labour/Greens policy is going to fade as people realise it probably won't be implemented and couldn't have the impact they are promising.

"What they did was put a lot of first-time investors off Mighty River Power," English said.

Last night English and State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall announced Mighty River Power shares would cost $2.50 each.

Abduction and escape


The shares will net $1.7 billion - about $200 million less than what it would have received if the higher price had been achieved.

The Government had set an indicative price range of $2.35 to $2.80.

It was announced 113,000 New Zealanders had bought shares in the offer; a modest portion of the 440,000 New Zealanders who pre-registered to buy shares, and half the number of people who bought shares in the Contact Energy float in 1999.


The numbers:

Price per Mighty River share - $2.50
Total value raised by Govt in float - $1.7b

Number of NZers who bought shares - 113,000
Number who pre-registered - 440,000
Average value of shares purchased - $8220

Percentage of shares staying in NZ hands: 86.5pc - $943m
Percentage owned by NZ 'retail investors' - 26.9pc
Percentage owned by NZ institutions - 8.6pc - $300m
Percentage owned by overseas institutions - 13.5pc - $472m
Applicants without a CSN - (suggesting first time investors) - 68pc

Market capitalisation of Mighty River - $3.5b
Shares to begin trading on the NZX: 12.30pm Friday May 10
Number to ring to confirm share allocation: 0800 90 30 90

- APNZ

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