Lawmakers question New Zealand asset-sales program

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - Five months after the New Zealand government launched an asset-sales program with the IPO of a 49 percent stake in a power company, the company says it will buy back some of its own shares.

Mighty River Power says the move is a prudent way to invest extra capital. But opposition lawmakers say the company is trying to boost its lackluster stock price and the move highlights broader problems in the government's contentious program.

Mighty River announced Thursday it will buy back shares worth up to 50 million New Zealand dollars ($42 million), representing a little under 2 percent of the total.

Shares in Mighty River had slumped by 12 percent from their IPO price of NZ$2.50. The shares were up 1 percent Thursday after the announcement, trading at NZ$2.23.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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