The Future Fund, which was established in 2006 and was designed to help the Australian government meet the cost of public sector superannuation (pension) liabilities by delivering investment returns on contributions to the fund, has revealed that its stake in fixed line incumbent Telstra has fallen to around 2.5%. Having issued a portfolio update yesterday, the Fund said it had decreased its holding in Telstra to approximately 313 million shares, valued in total at AUD939 million (USD953 million), down from its original holding of 17%. The Fund’s board also reiterated its intention to continue selling off its shares in the telco until it hits market weight (around 100 million shares).
As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, February 2007 saw Australia’s Federal Government transfer its last 17% stake in Telstra to the Future Fund, which was then required to hold the 2.1 billion Telstra shares in escrow for at least two years. Subsequently it was announced in October 2008 that the holding would be sold off in a measured manner over the medium term, with initial indications suggesting that the process would take between three to five years.