Netherlands Stops Privatization Program

The Netherlands has decided to stop its privatization program and canceled plans for a partial sale of two state-owned energy companies.

Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the government is not selling minority stakes in gas company Nederlandse Gasunie NV and power grid operator TenneT Holding BV. Both companies will remain fully state-owned, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Nederlandse Gasunie NV -

Currently, the Netherlands owns stakes in 33 companies, including Schiphol Airport and railway Nederlandse Spoorwegen.

The government said it will seek more control over companies that will remain state-owned by imposing financial targets and gaining more influence on management pay and key appointments.

"The reason why we have these companies is the public interest. In the past, some companies made large investment decisions that resulted in big losses." Dijsselbloem said. "As a shareholder, we will put these companies under tighter control."