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The Genesis share float has problems

Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, February 27th, 2014 - 15 comments
Categories: assets, bill english, david cunliffe, john key, labour, national, privatisation, same old national - Tags:


Bill English yesterday announced that the sale of up to 49% of Genesis Energy’s shares will start from next month.  But this time things will be different from the other sales.  It appears that the Government is preparing itself for the likelihood that demand for the shares will be limited.

According to TV3:

Mr English announced up to 49 percent of shares will be available from next month, with the company expected to be listed on the NZX in mid-April.

The shares will be priced at the beginning of the offer period, as opposed to the end as with previous sales. And unlike previous sales, US institutions will be blocked from owning Genesis shares.

The Government aims to float at least 30 percent of the company’s shares, but Mr English says the true number has not yet been decided.

“Our initial advice is that a smaller Genesis offer could increase price tension in the front-end book build by offering fewer shares to more bidders,” he says.

“We will not know that until we further test demand in the market, where investors now have a wider choice of several energy companies.”

This is basically an admission that the share sale process is flawed.  Treasury had advised the Government to release no more than $1 billion worth of shares in a 12 month period so that the shares could be absorbed by the market.  The Government has released $4 billion worth of shares in the past 12 months.

Genesis was estimated as being worth $1.8 billion in November last year.  If only 30% of the shares are sold then $540 million can be expected before realisation costs are taken out.  But the  figures are likely to be a lot worse.

The Government is considering setting the price so that there is an expected dividend yield of 9% return on investment for the shares.  The last financial year’s dividend payment was $114 million.  If you extrapolate this figure on the basis that the return on investment is 9% then the company is worth $1.26 billion, which suggests that the sale of 30% of the company will yield only $380 million before sale costs.  When you think about the cost of sale and the proposed loyalty bonus National is getting to the stage where it is giving our shares away.

If this amount only is achieved then the Government will fall short of its minimum expectation of $4.4 billion being raised by asset sales.

David Cunliffe has said:

John Key has given up on the Genesis sale before it has even begun by saying he may only be able to sell just 30 per cent of the state asset, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.

“Everyone knows the Genesis sale is going to be a failure, from the public to investors to Treasury. Now it turns out even John Key knows it.

Not only is it a bad idea to sell off assets in the first place, it’s economic idiocy to sell three in the space of a year. The sharemarket just isn’t that interested. That’s why John Key has admitted he may not be able to sell the full 49 per cent.

Nothing shows this Government has run out of ideas more than the return of the ‘buy-one-get-one-free’ scheme of Mighty River Power. Since then they’ve tried ‘buy-now-pay-later’ with Meridian and ‘Grab-a-Share’ with Air New Zealand but with little success.

John Key has already effective admitted that the asset sales programme has failed. It’s been so unpopular and so unsuccessful that he’s had to say ‘no more sales’ after the election.

He should listen to the people and stop the sales right now. The Genesis sale is the last cab off the rank. The Government should leave it there.”

You have to wonder why the Government is continuing with the share float.  It does not make financial sense and it is terribly unpopular.  There is a sense that a combination of ideological belief that the state should not own anything combined with a politically belligerent refusal to back down are the reasons the Government will continue with the float.

15 comments on “The Genesis share float has problems”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    What about the unannounced, unmandated privatisation of health and education? Is that going to stop too? Doubt it.

  2. Skinny 2

    Houston we have a problem!

    Or in the eyes of the public, Dipton you have a problem!

  3. bad12 3

    English tho sees no problem, there is plenty of other assets that this Government can sell according to this ‘economic Neanderthal’ on RadioNZ National this morning,

    Take Government owned property for instance said Bill, there’s thousands of State Houses out there that ‘We’ don’t need and selling them will cover any shortfall in the Asset Sales act of theft,(the latter 3 words of course being my interpretation,

    Someone should ask English the little question of ”if ‘We’ not needing these State Houses pertains solely to those who would cast a vote for National then why the fuck would English be planning on selling off 20% of the States Housing stock to this ‘We’,

    On a related peripheral issue, it appear to me that far from being a highly profitable partly privatized entity showing a near doubling of profitability, Might River Power would give every impression of being ‘Asset Stripped’, with the generators ability to perform in the future being deliberately kneecapped with the running down of maintenance costs on a permanent basis,

    ”One off gains of financial instruments” along with the permanent ‘savings’ being achieved by Mighty River Power are simple code for ”all the cash bearing assets have now been stripped from the company’s books”, and,”permanent savings in maintenance costs” bluntly tells us all that Mighty River Power is being treated in exactly the same manner as AirNZ and Kiwirail were in past decades by the privateers…

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Which is exactly how we on the left said they would be treated. Give it a few years and we’ll be paying out billions to rebuild those assets and the private owners will get windfall profits from that rebuild – the same as Telecom/Spark is expecting windfall profits from the UFB roll-out.

  4. mikesh 4

    Presumably National will be back in power at some time in the future and can flog the rest off, including the remaining 51% of the companies already sold. It’s a war of attrition.

  5. Clemgeopin 5

    Government debt has reached $60 billion, having climbed $27 million a day since John Key became prime minister – and forecasts show it will rise for years to come.

    Treasury figures show net Crown debt reached the highest yet at $60,015,000,000 at the end of September 2013.

    It already equates to 28 per cent of New Zealand’s economic output, is more than $13,000 for every person in New Zealand and is forecast to climb by another $10b by 2017.

    When National took control of the Beehive in 2008, debt was just over $10b.

    So stupidly spending $ 500 million to stupidly sell the energy companies, this stupid government has got back less than 5 billion and has stupidly lost our publicly owned income generating valuable assets.

    If elected back into power, the bastards will be eyeing by hook or by crook, the Kiwi Bank, the ACC, the state houses, the state schools, the state hospitals and anything else that the general public own. I simply don’t trust these right wing cunning selfish greedy rogues. Let us be vigilant and kick them out at this election.

    • fender 5.1

      “When National took control of the Beehive in 2008, debt was just over $10b.”

      “Government debt has reached $60 billion, having climbed $27 million a day since John Key became prime minister – and forecasts show it will rise for years to come.”

      Making voters aware of this HAS to be one of the main messages the opposition gets across leading up to the election. I believe there is a level of confusion out there between debt and the “getting back to surplus” mantra we keep hearing. People with only a mild level of interest in politics don’t really understand the difference and don’t realise how poorly National have managed the economy.

      • Hayden 5.1.1

        It’s not even a question of managing the economy, i.e., whether Labour would have done any better 2008-2014; the sheer number of people who (apparently) believe that National have been paying off a debt run up by Labour really does beggar belief.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      We need to do more than just kick them out. We also need to make it so that our assets can’t be sold without our permission and that requires that a referendum needs to be passed first for each asset.

  6. captain hook 6

    well the government has used the sharefloats as collateral for other borrowing and paying off their mates. You know like when Wellington sold off their pwer company to pay for a caketin so lumpens could run round showing off their big thighs.
    Everything is back to front in New Zealand and nobody gives a shit as long as they have a car an a leaf blower an a horizontal grinder an a chainsaw an a hardly davison an a trip to peru (where the nuts come from) an a fishing boat an you name it.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    You have to wonder why the Government is continuing with the share float.

    No I don’t as I know why the government is selling our assets. It’s to turn us back into serfs for the enrichment of the new aristocrats.

  8. Paul 8

    No compensation.
    Try Key and his cronies for treason.

  9. Stuart Munro 9

    Yes – it’s time for that bill they’ve been putting off: The State Asset Thief Summary Execution Act. It won’t even get proposed till Labour’s asset thieves are gone from cabinet.

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