The Norwegian government had been planning to reduce its stake in the country’s biggest telco by a reported 20 per cent

Norway’s government has announced that it will abandon plans to reduce its stake in national telecoms operator, Telenor, following a policy U-turn.

In 2015, the Norwegian government announced plans to reduce its stake in Telenor from 54 per cent to 34 per cent. However, the proposed time frame for reducing the stake has now passed and the Norwegian government says that it has no plans to extend the timeframe and has no plans to downsize its interest in Telenor.

“The authorisation has not been utilised and, based on an overall assessment, the government sees no need to extend it,” Minister of Trade and Industry Torbjoern Roe Isaksen told journalists from Reuters.

“The state’s rationale for its ownership of Telenor is to maintain a leading technological and industrial company with head office functions in Norway. The state’s goal as an owner is the highest possible return over time,” he added.

At today’s share price, divesting a 20 per cent stake in Telenor could have netted the Norwegian government $5.23 billion.