According to Australian news source The Herald Sun, the Future Fund, which currently holds 2.1 billion shares in Australian fixed line and broadband incumbent Telstra, is preparing plans to reduce its stake in the operator. It is understood however that there is no rush to divest its stake, with Future Fund general manager Paul Costello reported to have stated that the investment would be sold gradually over the next three to five years, ‘Whilst we expect to reduce our Telstra holding in the medium term, it will take up to five years. We’re in no way an urgent seller of these securities.’
The Future Fund was created by an act of parliament, and is designed to assist future Australian governments meet the cost of public sector superannuation (pension) liabilities, by delivering investment returns on contributions to the fund. The Australian government transferred its last 17% stake in Telstra to the fund in February 2007, and the fund is required to hold the shares in escrow for at least two years.