Tuesday 26 September 2017

The Punt: Somers makes a good point

Deirdre Somers
Deirdre Somers

DESPITE the ailing Irish Stock Exchange's well-publicised problems, noobody can accuse formidable chief executive Deirdre Somers of going quietly into the night.

The exchange has lost some huge names in recent years as companies like DCC, Grafton and Greencore abandoned it in favour of listings in London, but Ms Somers is still doing her best to drum up business.

Her latest move is a call on the Government to consider floating on the stock exchange the state assets that it wants to dispose of, instead of selling its stakes to private buyers.

She makes a good point -- this would allow public participation in state assets and give the Government the flexibility to retain as much or as little ownership as it likes -- both desirable qualities.

She picked a canny time to make her request public, too -- just a day after the Government announced that its attempts to sell Bord Gais had fallen flat.

"The government seems to think at present that the only option for any assets within state control is to sell to the highest bidder. This is not the case," she said.

Irish Independent

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