Govt raises $365 million from Air NZ sale

Govt raises $365 million from Air NZ saleThe Government has announced this afternoon that it has earned $365 million from the sale of a 20% stake of Air New Zealand.

The price which was shares $1.65 a piece was in line with Friday's closing share price for Air New Zealand indicative of strong demand for the offer.

Out of 221 million shares on offer, 186 million were bought by New Zealand buyers.

Bill English, the Finance minister mentioned that including the Governments of 53 per cent stake, 88 per cent of Air New Zealand would be owned by the Kiwis.

He also added, "The sell down of shares has returned $365 million, which will now be allocated to the Future Investment Fund so we can keep building new assets like schools and hospitals while controlling Government debt."

There is a chance for the shares to climb when trading resumes, given the overhang of the government's holding is lessened and some index-weighted institutions will be looking to raise their holdings.

Air New Zealand is due to come off a trading halt tomorrow morning.

The Government has come under fire from Labour and the Green Party regarding its decision to sell a lump of its Air New Zealand shares just a few days before voting opens on a non-binding referendum on asset sales.