The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.


All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Privatization: Way to go

Privatization has got itself a bad name. Investors, burned by poorly-performing issues over the past two years, are no longer excited by it.

Most European governments have botched their privatization programmes by being too greedy and wanting to raise cash quickly. The British have run out of things to sell. In many developing countries, privatization is tainted with corruption.

The received wisdom of the moment is that privatization worldwide has reached the end of the line. But received wisdom is wrong. The wave of privatization, which started in 1984 with the sale of British Telecom, has only just begun.

Take the figures for the share of the public sector in GDP. In the US, according to the World Bank, state companies represent only 0.6% of GDP and in the UK 1.9%. It's a fair bet that most developed countries, over time, will tend to move towards those levels. But look how far they still have to go. The World Bank's statistics (published in October) are not as recent or accurate as might be desired. But they give an indication of the respective size of countries' state sectors. They show that the state sector in France (excluding banks and insurance companies, themselves a large chunk) equalled 10% of GDP, in Austria 13.9%, in Germany 6.4% and in Portugal 14.2%.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree