Finland Relinquishes Control of Neste
Finland has given up control of oil and technology group Neste as it donates more than 900,000 shares, worth €50 million, to the Finnish National Fund for Children, consequently reducing its holding to 49.74%.
According to Reuters news agency, the Finnish government received a mandate from parliament last year to cut its stake in Neste to 33.4% and potentially invest the funds in new growth companies. The news agency said the government has not made a decision on selling any more equity, but a new state-owned company that would handle the shares began operating in the first week of January.
“No one knows when it would happen, but the assumption is that the shares will be sold, mainly to institutional investors. That would improve liquidity of the stock,” Henri Parkkinen, an analyst at Finnish financial services group OP Equities, told Reuters.
In separate news, Neste announced last month that it had chosen Singapore over the US as the site for its planned new biofuels plant. The additional facility will expand capacity at Neste’s existing refinery in Singapore by 1 million t/y.
A final investment decision is anticipated by the end of 2018 and, should the project proceed as planned, production would begin by 2022.
Neste also produces around 1 million t/y of renewable diesel in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and about 600,000 t/y in Porvoo, Finland. In addition to producing biodiesel, the refineries are also able to produce renewable aviation fuel and raw materials for various biochemical uses.