The Swedish government said yesterday that it plans to take part in TeliaSonera’s upcoming SEK10 billion (USD1.5 billion) share buyback programme, terms of which are expected to be published at the end of this month. As reported by Dow Jones Newswires, a statement from the Finance Ministry read: ‘The government intends to participate in TeliaSonera’s buyback programme in accordance with the Swedish state ownership, given that the terms are attractive and that the stakeholding of about 37.3% remains the same.’
The government has previously indicated that it plans to move forward with state-owned asset sales, including part of its holding in the Stockholm-based telecoms group. However, last week Reuters reported that the centre-right coalition administration has no immediate plans for a sale of shares in TeliaSonera as it first has to overcome political opposition. Financial Markets Minister Peter Norman told a news conference that ‘at the moment a sale is not on the cards,’ adding that the state will not sell any more shares before a centre-left opposition bill aimed at stopping further privatisations has been dealt with in parliament.