Norway’s government is planning to give up its right to sell up to 20% of telecoms operator Telenor Group, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said. Reuters writes that the parliament authorised a plan back in 2015 to allow the government to reduce its 54% stake in the group to 34%, with Minister of Trade and Industry Torbjoern Roe Isaksen quoted as saying: ‘The authorisation has not been utilised and, based on an overall assessment, the government sees no need to extend it … The state’s rationale for its ownership of Telenor is to maintain a leading technological and industrial company with head office functions in Norway. The state’s goal as an owner is the highest possible return over time.’ The government said back in 2015 that having permission to cut its stake in Telenor could make it easier for the company to conduct mergers and acquisitions.
As at 30 September 2019 Norway’s government is the largest shareholder in Telenor Group, with a 54% stake. The companies listed as major shareholders from beneficial ownership with 1% or more of Telenor Group’s total outstanding shares were: Folketrygdefondet (5.0%); BlackRock Institutional Trust Company (1.6%); The Vanguard Group (1.6%); DWS Investment GmbH (1.4%); JPMorgan Asset Management UK (1.1%); and Storebrand Kapitalforvaltning (1.0%).