State might buy up to EUR 100 million worth of airBaltic shares - Aseradens

  • 2024-04-30
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The Latvian state might purchase up to EUR 100 million worth of shares in airBaltic national carrier, Finance Minister Arvils Aseradens (New Unity) told reporters following the weekly coalition meeting on Monday.

Aseradens asked to wait for the matter to be discussed at Tuesday's government sitting.

Prime Minister Evika Silina (New Unity) said after the coalition meeting that the specific amounts and solutions will be discussed at Tuesday's government meeting. Representatives of the government parties have listened to the situation at airBaltic at Monday's meeting - the company is working well, achieving good profit indicators, the Prime Minister noted.

"airBaltic should look for development opportunities by attracting private capital,'' said Silina, noting, among other things, that in the future it is planned to list airBaltic's shares on the stock exchange, which will give Latvian residents the opportunity to purchase the company's shares.

Asked about the position of the Union of Greens and Farmers (ZZS) on the bond purchase matter, Saeima Speaker Daiga Mierina (Greens/Farmers) said that the government's decision was still pending, but the ZZS is inclined to support it.

Meanwhile, MP Antonina Nenasheva, member of the Progressives' faction in the Saeima, noted the good financial results of airBaltic presented in the coalition meeting. She stressed that the State's involvement in the purchase of the bonds would be on the same terms as private market participants.

The Saeima recently adopted government-approved amendments to the Law on Budget and Financial Management authorizing the finance minister to use state budget funds to purchase fixed-income securities of companies in which the state holds a majority stake.

Transport Minister Kaspars Briskens (Progressives) indicated last week that the new regulation would enable the state to participate in the bond issue of Latvia's national carrier airBaltic on the same terms as private investors.

Aseradens noted at last week's news conference that such bond acquisitions, which the state could make on the same terms as private investors, do not put pressure on Latvia's budget deficit. At the same time, Aseradens pointed out that such a bond purchase could only be financed by a loan, so it would increase the amount of borrowed money.