Italy’s state-controlled companies: Letting go, slowly

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Italy’s state-controlled companies


The government promises sales but shows little taste for ceding control



MATTEO RENZI, Italy’s new prime minister, is keen to show off his pro-market zeal. His government has promised to speed up and extend the privatisation programme unveiled in November by his predecessor, Enrico Letta. Last month it endorsed plans by Finmeccanica, a conglomerate in which the state holds a controlling 30.2% stake, to sell its rail assets; the firm wants to focus on aerospace and defence. But a proper shake-up of Italy’s state-controlled companies is a long way off.
Mr Renzi is pressing ahead with Mr Letta’s scheme, which aims to raise €8 billion-10 billion ($11 billion-13.7 billion) towards reducing Italy’s public debt, now 132% of GDP. The treasury intends to float 40% of Poste Italiane, which runs the postal service and BancoPosta, a retail bank, and 49% of Enav, which …

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