France gears up for asset sales

Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron will be putting his investment banking chops to use in coming weeks as his government prepares a new wave of state asset sales to pay for his “disruptive innovations” fund.
After his election last year Macron pledged 50 billion euros ($62 billion) to help modernise the country’s economy, and 10 billion has been earmarked for promoting innovative technologies.
To avoid putting further strain on the already stretched public finances, the government will finance the plan by selling stakes in the roughly 80 French companies owned partly or entirely by the state.
The process was launched last autumn, but Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said last week that he would soon seek legislative approval to cancel the minimum state holdings for four major companies. Analysts said that of the four, the government was unlikely to sell more shares in the energy giants EDF and Engie.—AFP

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