The crisis weighed on the finances of the shareholder State. With the pandemic, fewer dividends have flowed into public coffers. The shortfall is significant.
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The State now holds stakes in 83 companies, listed and unlisted. The value of this portfolio managed by the APE (the State Participation Agency) is estimated at some 125 billion euros. Each year, the State shareholder is therefore entitled to receive dividends, like a traditional shareholder. In 2020, the State received 300 million euros in dividends against 2.3 billion euros in 2019 just before the outbreak of the pandemic. The sum rose to 4 billion euros in dividends in 2015. The shortfall in 2020 is unheard of for at least ten years.
The State shareholder portfolio includes Air France-KLM, Renault, Thales, Airbus, Engie, SNCF, La Poste… to name a few. The State is keen to keep strategic companies in its fold, mainly in defense and nuclear. To have a right of scrutiny and control, it must be present in the capital of the companies in question. We must also support companies that carry out major public service missions such as La Poste, SNCF or RATP.
The objective remains the mobilization on the essential missions which is to continue to support the companies in difficulty like Air France. The director general of the APE, Martin Vial, also specifies that there is no question of the State leaving the capital of the airline in the years to come. Leaving aside the question of dividends, the State intends to participate in new operations within the framework of reindustrialisation. A point of honor will be given to economic and industrial sovereignty as well as to the energy transition. This will not prevent the State from reviewing its policy towards less strategic companies like the Française des Jeux.
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