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Italian Govt Says No Plans to Sell Stakes in Eni, Enel

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ROME - The government doesn't plan to reduce its stakes in the country's two biggest energy companies, Eni SpA and Enel SpA, considering their importance to Italy's security, Economy Minister Vittorio Grilli said Wednesday.

"Important cash flows [from the dividends] and the strategic importance maybe don't advise the sale of our stakes in Eni and Enel," Mr. Grilli said at a parliamentary hearing.

Italy owns, directly and indirectly, more than 30% of both oil and natural gas company Eni and utility Enel.

Earlier this year, Mr. Grilli said he didn't expect the Eni and Enel stakes to figure in the government's drive to sell public assets and trim Italy's towering debt of more than 1.9 trillion euros ($2.45 trillion).

Eni market capitalization is EUR62.8 billion, while Enel's is EUR 26.9 billion.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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