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New Zealand government will sell stake in 3rd state-owned power company

New Zealand's government has announced plans to sell a slice of a third state-owned power company as the final step in a contentious program of asset sales.

Finance Minister Bill English said in a speech Wednesday that it planned to list Genesis Energy on the stock market in mid-April. He said the government would sell between 30 and 49 percent of the company depending on demand.

Over the past year, the conservative government has raised about 4 billion New Zealand dollars ($3.3 billion) by selling 49 percent stakes in energy companies Mighty River Power and Meridian Energy. It also sold a 20 percent stake in national carrier Air New Zealand.

More than two-thirds of New Zealanders who voted in a referendum last year said they opposed the sales.