How much will you pay for a assets ‘loyalty scheme’?

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, June 15th, 2012 - 17 comments
Categories: class war, privatisation - Tags:

Most Kiwis won’t be able to afford to pay to buy what  we already own when National sells our assets. When they sold Contact, only 5% of us got shares. You know who will buy the shares. Not your working families. Not Key’s new army of the unemployed. It’ll be the people who won big from National’s tax cuts. Now, to add insult to injury, Key is looking at making you and me pay a bonus to these people if they keep the shares.

Here’s how it’ll work, based on the Queensland Rail experience.

National sells half of Mighty River for half its value -$1.9 billion (it doesn’t get the 15% ‘gain on sale’ that Treasury invented to make the asset sales numbers look less awful). 30% of the shares sold go straight offshore. Half the remainder go to institutions (to provide what Treasury calls ‘pricing tension’ -ie enough demand to get the price you want) and the rest get purchased by ‘mum and dad’ investors in $2,000 lots.

$670m in $2,000 lots is 335,000 lots. So, only 7% of Kiwis end up buying shares in Mighty River. And it has to be small percent like that – even if you made it $1,000 lots and only ‘mum and dad’ bought any of the shares, that’s still only enough lots to go around for 43% of us (if 43% of us had $1,000 sitting around to buy shares we already own).

So, these 335,000 mum and dads hold on to their shares for two years and get a ‘loyalty bonus’ from the Government of one more share for every 15 they own. That’s $45m worth of bonus shares. Where’s the money coming from? Ultimately, from the people who pay taxes and didn’t buy shares …. that’s most of us.

Russel Norman points out that, if National spin came true and the assets sold for a total of $6b, all to mums and dads who held on to their shares, then we would be forking out $360m to that small elite of share purchasers, by way of a thank you to them for taking our profitable and strategically vital companies off our hands.

Key seems very keen on these loyalty bonuses, although he has had no advice on them. Isn’t that unbelievable? National is embarking on a multi-billion sales programme and, with only a couple of months to go, hasn’t even begun to consider how a loyalty bonus would work.

But nonetheless, Key is keen to shell out hundreds of millions of dollars to reward those few Kiwis who buy shares in his asset sales. And that just means the economics of the sales get even worse. They were already going to increase the government deficit by $100m a year, now add a few more hundred million to the tab.

And, for what, exactly, again?

Oh yeah, so that the capitalist elites that National represents can control the profit streams of our lucrative and strategically vital power companies.

17 comments on “How much will you pay for a assets ‘loyalty scheme’?”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    Wont the shares come from the 51% the government retains.

    This is the question you should be asking , will it dilute the governments share they have pledged to retain ?

    Im sorry the rest of your conclusions dont seem to add up. Affecting the governments deficit ??

    • bbfloyd 1.1

      interesting…. can you explain this position you’ve taken? Or are we just supposed to chorus “yeah naaah, yeah naaah, yeah naaah” to the yune of “we don’t know how lucky we are”?

  2. The loyalty bonus is presumably so at the time of the next election National can say: Look, the shares are still in New Zealand hands!

    Before everyone collects their loyalty bonus and promptly sells the shares offshore for their capital gains tax-free bonus.

    Can people buy more than one $2000 lot? (One for ‘Mum’ and one for ‘Dad’ for a start presumably, but beyond that)

    • Deano 2.1

      And that’s another unbelievable thing. They’re saying the first sale will be in less than 3 months, yet they haven’t said what the minimum share package will be and if you will be able to buy more on top of that. …. how are ‘mum and dad’ meant to save up for this float with no specific date and no specific amount of money needed to take part? Or is it only for ‘mums and dads’ who have thousands of dollars sitting around?

      • Herodotus 2.1.1

        I am sure that it would be one lot per person. So mum,dad, little Johnny and little bronagh all buy so the famy unit can the purchase 4 lots. If there was any sincerity to keeping it in NZ, then all residents have 1st choice followed by nz institutions with any residual being picked up by offshore investors, but we all know that it will be the reverse;foreigners, institutions and the M&D with the scraps. That will assist our current account issues 🙁

        • bbfloyd 2.1.1.1

          i will assume you are being sarcastic little hero…… otherwise you are contradicting yourself….

          “that will assist our current account issues”

  3. vto 3

    Someone please tell me I’m wrong but all references to this legislation has the government retaining 51% voting rights, not 51% ownership. These are very different things and of course the profits go to ownership not control. This is what Russell Norman was going on about.

  4. tracey 4

    I understood in the past when this was mooted key and english dismissed it?

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Correct, Key came out and in no un-certain terms said that they wouldn’t be doing any clever tricks and that they will only sell 49% of the shares.

      So the question has to be asked, why is the legislation written that way? Presumably Key was careful with his statements and there was an un-said “for this term” that should be tacked on at the end.

  5. deuto 5

    Key seems very keen on these loyalty bonuses, although he has had no advice on them. Isn’t that unbelievable? National is embarking on a multi-billion sales programme and, with only a couple of months to go, hasn’t even begun to consider how a loyalty bonus would work.

    IMO Key’s sudden mention of loyalty bonuses is yet another tactic to deflect attention/discussion from the main issue – a tactic used by these …. so many times on so many other issues.

    According to the lead article on the TV3 website this morning:

    Prime Minister John Key says he likes the idea.

    “I think it makes sense for New Zealand investors to be given some encouragement to hold on to their shares,” he told reporters on Thursday.

    Mr Key says Finance Minister Bill English has raised it with him.

    “I’ve encouraged the murmurings he’s been making in that regard.”,/i>

    This suggests that no real thought has been given to such bonuses, the pros and cons, or the costs.

    Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Govt-ponders-asset-sale-loyalty-scheme/tabid/1607/articleID/257817/Default.aspx#ixzz1xoAoe5y0

    The fact that they have rushed the legislation back into the House so far ahead of schedule suggests to me that they have everything ready to go for the first sale of Mighty River and this will happen as soon as the legislation is through.

  6. tracey 6

    Bear in mind minority voting rights when decisions involve something the major shareholder has a conflict of interest. Werewolf in sept last year did a good analysis of assest sales

  7. Lightly 7

    The Government could use a loyalty scheme to help keep state-owned energy company shares in New Zealand hands.

    Ministers are ramming a bill through Parliament so 49 percent of the shares in four companies can be sold and Opposition parties are saying it’s inevitable they will end up in foreign hands.

    A loyalty scheme was used when Queensland Rail sold shares and offered one bonus share for every 15 held if they were kept by Australian buyers for more than two years.

    Prime Minister John Key says he likes the idea.

    “I think it makes sense for New Zealand investors to be given some encouragement to hold on to their shares,” he told reporters on Thursday.

    Mr Key says Finance Minister Bill English has raised it with him.

    “I’ve encouraged the murmurings he’s been making in that regard.”

    Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Govt-ponders-asset-sale-loyalty-scheme/tabid/1607/articleID/257817/Default.aspx#ixzz1xoLYqb22

  8. Rob A 8

    Honest to god I was looking for the satire tag

  9. Hayden 9

    I have a brilliant scheme that ensures that 100% of shares stay in NZ hands, but I don’t think Jonkey’s interested.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Of course he isn’t as that wouldn’t get that ownership of critical assets to his rich mates so that they can become even bigger bludgers.

  10. xtasy 10

    Whatever – they must be putting something in the water we use and drink daily. There is no other explanation for the common disease of ignorance and indifference that abounds.

    Or is it the stacks of bottles of booze consumed again tonight, that lead so many into inebriation and a differnet sphere of mind, so they do not quite get what is going on?

    Well, it seems some, and more each week, are waking up, but it needs to be more.

    A “loyalty scheme” to betray the collective interest of NZ must be the last resort measure by traitors like Key and his gang. It is a bit like a Mafia reward for doing the dirty deed.

    Roll on world economic and financial collapse, that is maybe what is needed, to shake the living daylight out of peoples inertia.

    The Greeks will start setting the agenda, with the left likely to win the elections on Sunday. That will really shake things up. It may be the beginning of the world revolution, which is overdue. Forget selfish nationalistic and individualistic interests and think beyond the ordinary limits of mental and physical boundaries.

    The speculative, gambler like, merchant banking rotten capitalist system of old is rotten, redundant and due to be replaced with something that actually may work and set an agenda for a better future.

    See how the rating agencies play the casino of real life, see how the debt dealers extort more and more advantages for a few out of nations pushed to their knees. There is nothing ethical and just in what goes on in Europe and elsewhere now. Time for the big task, to overthrow this corrupt system that ruins so many.

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