State-owned companies yield 5.3% and are worth 107 billion: the map from FS to Rai (and the unknown nomination)

State-owned companies yield 5.3% and are worth 107 billion: the map from FS to Rai (and the unknown nomination)

of 106.5 billion, down from 111 billion in 2020, the treasury. It brings in profits of 5.6 billion, with a yield of 5.3% (up sharply from 4.25% in 2020), and dividends of 3.25 billion (from 4.7 billion). The value of state holdings has been affected by stock market falls, but remains high and profitable in these pre-election days, according to the calculations of Economy of the Corriere della Sera as at 30 August (based on the stock market capitalization for listed companies and on the equity system for unlisted companies). the second episode of the trip to public companies after the one on Cdp on 29 August. The Treasury portfolio reveals via XX Settembre a role similar to that of a sovereign fund.

State-owned companies, worth 107 billion and yielding 5.3%: the ranking from Rai to Fs

The palatability of the wallet

An important weight of shareholdings (over 100 billion which 12.5% ​​of the entire stock market), thepresence of three of the only six Italian companies that appear in the Fortune 500 list of the largest in the world (Enel, Eni and Poste), a return (over 5%) attractive to every investor. Significant numbers for the next nomination and government season.

The expiring armchairs

The top management of Eni and Enel, Poste and Mps, Leonardo and Enav expire this year (with renewals for approval next spring). The practice, also followed by Minister Daniele Franco, who strengthened the 2013 Saccomanni directive on the governance of public subsidiaries, requires the Treasury to appoint top management after consulting the headhunters in order to guarantee competent profiles. And it provides for the application of the pink quotas, to which Giorgia Meloni, leader of the Brothers of Italy, said she was against. The method may change, but not too much or everywhere. State-owned companies, especially if listed, are now linked to institutional investors: a profile of competence must be maintained so as not to alienate them. Rai is an exception, where the practice is more political than technical.

Renewals and totonomi

Mind you. A premature totonomine, also because the renewal season will begin in spring 2023 with the assemblies. But some hypotheses can be made, having heard the market and observers. For Enel, CEO Francesco Starace is likely to leave after three consecutive terms. On energy with the center-right, Flavio Cattaneo, who led Terna and was general manager of Rai, could be seen again. For Eni, the current CEO Claudio Descalzi remains listed, unless there are any government destinations (he too has already made three terms). The exit of Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo, is possible. Here Guido Crosetto, Brothers of Italy, former Undersecretary of Defense in the Berlusconi government, may have a role of address.Montepaschi tests the capital increase, a delicate intervention (and approved by the ECB, as reported by the bank on 5 September): CEO Luigi Lovaglio is likely to remain. Among the possible returns Massimo Sarmi, former post office, and Marco Alver, former Snam.

The public superstars

But let’s see the ranking of public superstars. In first place is Ferrovie, wholly owned: worth 41.54 billion. The board expires in 2023 but the group is a guarantor of the PNRR and will have to maintain stability. The CDP follows with 21.1 billion (82.77%). Third is Enel with 11.44 billion for 23.59%, fourth is Rai with 7.62 billion for 99.56%. Fifth place with 4.9 billion for Sace newly acquired (100%). Fifth with 4.4 billion (13.75%) the Stm of the great exploit: the microchip company, held on par with the French government, capitalizes 32 billion, the stock is worth 35 euros against 24 on average in July 2020. Then the post office with 2.97 billion (29.26%); Enav with 1.19 billion (53.28%). And Leonardo (30.2%), in Defense, with 1.46 billion.

Rai at a loss

The novelty compared to 2020, in addition to Sace, Ita Airways (valued at 950 million here, initial estimate of the offers, pending the final value of the transaction). Eni is worth 1.9 billion but only 4.34% directly owned by the Treasury (if added to the 21.7% held transparently through Cdp for 9.16 billion it rises to 11 billion). Enel brings to the Treasury 858 million in dividends, Cdp 1.84 billion, Poste 194 million. That’s 2.89 billion in revenue with three companies. Rai made a loss for 30 million.

State-owned companies, worth 107 billion and yielding 5.3%: the ranking from Rai to Fs

The risks

Thinking about the general interest of the country, the risks to which this portfolio may be exposed should be avoided. The first is that of employmentfor those who look at you as an instrument of consensus and political connotation. The second is the use of taxpayers’ money to support interventions that have no prospect and capacity to generate profits. Alitalia, now Ita, the emblematic case.

Growth and sustainability

In 2022 the shareholder state makes sense if it follows three guidelines: growth, sustainability and multiplicative force. In the participatory structure there are large and prestigious companies, but Italy also has fewer and fewer companies capable of counting on a global scale (six among the top 500 in the world, in 2011 there were ten). And today’s champions are in danger of slipping into the rankings. An active shareholder reasons for measurable objectives, avoiding slogans. On sustainability, the ambition should be to qualify state-owned companies with ESG best practices. Some have moved, Cdp a decisive actor: the management must be made more visible and distinctive.

The multiplicative force

As for the multiplicative force: the shareholder state can make sense because it can act where the market is thin. And to intervene where the initiatives are not visible enough or there is a temporary but complex situation of crisis. The Ita (and MPS) affair can reach a solution with the ability of the State to exit, that is, to act as a private equity fund that knows how to exit when the crisis is resolved without wasting the money of investors and citizens. To meet these challenges the entrepreneur state must be put behind in favor of a state responsible for the resources it invests.

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