Italy eyeing partial privatizations in 2015

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The government hopes to raise some €10 billion with the sales, Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
13:45 CET+01:00
Italy hopes to sell off major parts of the postal service, air traffic control company and national railway in 2015 after the "unfavourable" market of 2014, the economy minister has said.

The government will likely sell off 40 percent of Poste Italiane, 49 percent of the air traffic control company Enav and nearly 40 percent of State Railways (FS), Pier Carlo Padoan said in an interview published on Wednesday.

Italy's reformist Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has vowed to cut the towering debt pile of the eurozone's fifth-largest economy.

The government hopes to raise some €10 billion with the sales, Padoan told the Rome daily Il Messaggero. "Of course, we have to keep the market in mind. But we are confident," he said.

Rome is still planning to sell off part of energy giant Enel, but will stand firm with oil firm Eni, in which it holds a 30 percent "golden share".

In late 2013, the previous government led by Enrico Letta mapped out a privatization plan aimed at raising up to €12 billion, but carried out only part of it.

"The market was unfavourable for us," Padoan said, adding however that the stock market listing of naval shipyards Fincantieri and telecoms company Rai Way "was very satisfactory".

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Asked about the effects of the Russian financial crisis and plunging oil prices, Padoan said Italians should not "overreact".

"It's true that the Russian situation could temporarily influence the European economy and create problems, but Italy can benefit from the drop in the price of crude," he noted.

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