1 Sep 2011

Share limit not an attempt to quell fears - PM

6:53 am on 1 September 2011

Prime Minister John Key says a share limit for potential investors in state owned companies is not an attempt to quell some voters' fears.

A second-term National government would sell parts of some State owned assets, limiting private shareholdings to 10%.

ACT says the limit looks like an attempt to reassure those voters worried about the domination of foreign investors.

But Mr Key says the cap is to help the Government's goal of keeping as much of the shareholdings in New Zealand hands as possible.

However, Labour leader Phil Goff says that would be totally ineffective in limiting foreign ownership.

But Tower Investments chief executive Sam Stubbs says claims that New Zealanders will be outgunned by foreigners in bidding for shares are wrong.

He says the investment attributes of the SOEs suit financial institutions like his, which are currently heavily invested overseas.

Mr Stubbs says Tower would definitely sell overseas investments to buy shares in state assets here.