Sweden’s parliament has voted to halt the government’s planned sales of state-owned stakes in several companies including telecoms group TeliaSonera. The legislature voted 172-170 against the minority centre-right coalition’s plan to reduce stakes in the Stockholm-based telco, postal company Posten Norden, power utility Vattenfall and mortgage lender SBAB. Opposition politicians of the Social Democrat, Green, Left and Sweden Democrat parties joined forces to block the privatisations. Seven of 349 MPs in the Riksdag did not vote. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database shows that the Swedish government is the largest shareholder in TeliaSonera with a holding of 37.3%, whilst the Finnish government holds 13.7%; the remainder is distributed. The Swedish government sold an 8% stake in TeliaSonera to institutional investors for SEK18 billion (USD2.7 billion) in May 2007.
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