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France to cut Renault stake only when price improves: Macron

ERGUE-GABERIC, France (Reuters) – France will not carry out the planned reduction of its stake in Renault until the carmaker’s share price picks up, Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said on Friday.

Macron had pledged to cut the holding back to its longstanding level of 15 percent after temporarily raising it to 19.7 percent last April, in order to secure double voting rights in a vote at the company’s 2015 shareholder meeting.

Renault shares fell 8.9 percent on Thursday after the disclosure that its offices had been raided by French authorities investigating understated engine emissions in the wake of the Volkswagen diesel test-rigging scandal.

At 1240 GMT on Friday the stock was down 3 percent at 75.42 euros.

“Our intention is not to sell these shares at a loss to the taxpayer,” Macron told reporters during a visit to an electric bus factory in western France.

“We will divest these shares only when they have returned to their normal price,” he said, without elaborating on the required level.

 

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