The Slovenia Times

State assets yield record-high return in 2023

The logo pf Slovenian Sovereign Holding. Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

The return on equity managed by Slovenia Sovereign Holding (SSH) hit 10.2% last year, a record high since the state asset custodian was established in 2014, preliminary data released by the holding show. The state and SSH received €175.5 million in dividends, above the projected value of €162.6 million.

The figures, released by the holding on 9 March, put the total value of the state's investments managed by SSH at the end of last year at €12.2 billion, about a billion euros more than at the end of 2022.

At 10.2%, the return on equity was 2.9 percentage points above the target. The key reason for such a high return was the outstanding performance of energy companies in the holding's portfolio, mainly the HSE and GEN groups, SSH said, adding that all other groups of assets also delivered above-target results.

The return on equity of the state and SSH was 4.7% in 2015, rising to 6.9% in 2019, before falling back to 4.3% in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. After an intermediate rise in 2021, it slid to just 2.8% in 2022 due to the energy crisis.

The Finance Ministry has recently drawn up an update of the 2015 state asset management strategy, which is yet to be discussed in parliament.

The draft relegates postal company Pošta Slovenije and insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav from strategic to important assets, meaning their sale would no longer be off limits because the state's interest would be allowed to decrease to 25% plus one share or vote if the update is endorsed in the current form.

After concerns were raised by trade unions, Finance Minister Klemen Boštjančič clarified that the change in the classification of state investments was purely for technical reasons and that there was no plan to sell the companies.

Meanwhile, the telecoms incumbent Telekom Slovenije, slated for potential sale in 2013 and given portfolio status, has been upgraded to important investment, meaning it seen as a company vital for broader economic development and serving as a key link in supply chains or in the economy's internationalisation.

As strategic the document classifies companies managing key infrastructure or natural resources.

Of the 104 companies listed in the 2015 strategy, 29 have been sold for €1.6 billion in total, according to the draft strategy.

The data shows that despite these sales the book value of the state's shareholdings fell only by €400 million after 2015 to €11.2 billion at the end of 2022, with a low point of €9.9 billion in 2020.

From 2015 to 2022, the state and SSH received €1.7 billion in dividends, mostly from companies in the financial sector.


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