Norway Oil Minister Eyes Reducing Statoil Stake

Norway's Oil and Energy Minister Einar Steensnaes is in favor of selling a portion of the state's ownership in Statoil ASA (STO) with the aim of increasing the value of the company, Aftenposten reports.

Statoil's management views the state's potential sale positively as it would increase the liquidity of its shares, Aftenposten writes.

In April 2001 the Norwegian Parliament authorized the state to sell up to 33.3% of Statoil. When Statoil went public 18.2% of the company was sold, which means Statoil can still sell another 15% of its shares. With today's market capitalization, these shares would be worth NOK26.5 billion, Aftenposten reports.

The Oil and Energy Ministry has a standby agreement with financial advisors who can execute the sale quickly.