13 Nov 2011

Potential seen for return of 1980s asset sale problems

11:19 am on 13 November 2011

A senior figure in the sale of state assets during the 1980s believes the National Party's plans for partial privatisations could be bedevilled by some of the same problems encountered in those earlier sales.

Ian Dickson is a former chief economist at Fay Richwhite, the investment bank that bought a number of previously privatised assets.

He says the National Party's plan to retain 51% as part of a mixed ownership model, could create conflicts among vocal minority investors who have different ideas about corporate structure or dividend policies

These tensions resulted in the subsequent sale of the BNZ to the National Australia Bank.

But Mr Dickson believes such tensions are surmountable and points to the lessons learnt by politicians under the MMP voting system over how to manage diverse views.