A Policy Maker's Guide to Privatisation

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Policy makers and privatisation experts agree that it is critical to “get privatisation right.” A well-planned and executed transaction, backed by sound rationales, institutional and regulatory arrangements, good governance, and integrity can have consequences on future divestment activity by enhancing investor confidence while gaining the support of stakeholders and the public. Drawing on the internationally agreed OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises and decades’ worth of national experience across both OECD and Partner economies, this Policy Maker’s Guide to Privatisation provides practical advice to newcomers on key stages of the process from inception to post-privatisation. With global privatisation activity trending upwards and expected to rise, this Guide can support policy makers in their decision making process in the years to come.



Globalisation, technological development and increased competition have changed the conditions for many state-owned enterprises (SOEs). As a consequence, the state as an owner has had to adapt its portfolio of companies over time – reflecting also changing rationales for state ownership. The OECD does not take a position on whether or not the state should own enterprises, which should be dependent on a number of factors related to the national economy as well as domestic policy choices. However, experience shows that the SOE sector can either promote or hamper economic and social development. This depends on the extent to which SOEs operate in a sound regulatory and competition environment. It also depends on good governance – the state acting as a professional and active owner plays a key role in this regard.


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