Privatization is not selling off SOE’s: Minister Ameer

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer | Photo: Sun

Male’, Maldives – Finance Minster Ibrahim Ameer has said that selling shares from government companies to overseas investors is not “selling the company to foreigners” and is was a step taken to improve efficiency at such companies.

“These companies need to be run efficiently, they need to lower their wastefulness, eliminate the corruption within them and bring in large dividends for the government” said Minister Ameer.

Minister Ameer explained that the government currently gains large profits from companies listed in the stock exchange and that all such companies are compliant to corporate governance policies of the country.

He added that not all government owned companies are aimed at bringing in dividends such as companies formed to provide essential services to citizens rather than to gain profits.

The Minister noted that the foreign companies to which shares are sold to would be selected with assistance from foreign experts after an in-depth study of their capacity is carried out.

“After the study is done we will decide if shares from the company would be sold, or if a strategic partnership would be formed, or if it is better to go for a public IPO, and if we go for an IPO whether it would be done locally or overseas” Minister Ameer said.

Minister Ameer told that he accepted that citizens had some issues with how the government runs some companies, and told that this can be solved after public involvement in companies increases further. He also told that the government wants to give assurance that privatization would increase the efficiency of the companies and increase the profits which would directly benefit the people.

Minister Ameer pointed out that many Maldivians have shares in companies such as BML and STO and that it was crucial to ensure that such companies are being run according to the corporate governance policies,

Minister Ameer further said that foreign investment in government companies is not something anyone should be against for, as shares are sold after considering all aspects of it and after making sure that it was the right time to do it. He also added that share sales is expected to bring in MVR 462.6 Million in revenue for the 2021 budget.