Sweden to raise 150 billion kronor from state sell-offs

The government plans a massive series of privatisations over the next three years and anticipates an income of 150 billion kronor, according to the budget proposals presented on Monday.

The proceeds will be used to reduce the national debt.

No details were offered regarding which companies were top of the sales list. However, in the run-up to the election, Telia Sonera, Nordea, SAS, SBAB, Vin & Sprit and Vasakronan were mentioned as early contenders.

“The government’s view is that a sales volume of 50 billion kronor per year over the next three years is a reasonable forecast,” said the government in its proposal.

The government was at pains to stress that the point of the sell-off was not simply to generate some quick cash:

“Privatisation ought to take place with a view to creating better conditions for the businesses to grow and to contribute to a positive development of employment.”

In a press release, Minister for Industry and Trade Maud Olofsson said that the state should only remain as the owner of a business when there were powerful reasons for it.

“A sale of a state owned company must take place with great consideration of taxpayers’ money and it is therefore important that privatisations happen in a responsible fashion,” said Olofsson.