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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Italy’s green signal for partial privatisation of postal service

The Italian government on Friday gave its final approval to the partial privatization of the country’s postal service, Poste Italiane, as well as of the national air traffic control authority, ENAV.
In a statement, the office of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said the Italian state would sell up to 40 per cent of Poste Italiane and up to 49 per cent of ENAV, while remaining a majority shareholder in both companies.
Italy is selling part of its public assets to reduce its debt burden, equal to more than 130 per cent of its gross domestic product, the second-highest ratio in the European Union after bailed-out Greece.
Shares in Poste Italiane are to be sold via a public offering, while for ENAV the government was also considering selling directly to a single investor. Employees of the two companies would be given discounts to buy shares, Mr. Renzi’s office said.
The decision to partly privatize the two entities was taken in January by the previous government, led by former premier Enrico Letta. At the time, the executive said it expected to raise up to 5.8 billion euros (8 billion dollars).
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