State-owned enterprise

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search

A state-owned enterprise (SOE) otherwise known as a: state-owned company, state-owned entity, state enterprise, publicly owned corporation, government business enterprise, crown corporation, government-owned corporation, commercial government agency, public sector undertaking, or parastatal is a legal entity that undertakes commercial activities on behalf of an owner government. The legal status of SOEs varies from being a part of the government to being stock companies with the state as a regular stockholder. The defining characteristics of SOEs are that they have a distinct legal form and they are established to operate in commercial affairs. While they may also have public policy objectives, SOEs should be differentiated from other forms of government agencies or state entities established to pursue purely non-financial objectives.[1]

Government-owned corporations are common with natural monopolies and infrastructure such as railways and telecommunications, strategic goods and services (mail, weapons), natural resources and energy, politically sensitive business, broadcasting, demerit goods (alcohol), and merit goods (healthcare).


SOEs can be fully owned or partially owned by government. As a definitional issue, it is difficult to determine categorically what level of state ownership would qualify an entity to be considered as "state-owned", since governments can also own regular stock, without implying any special interference. As an example, the Chinese Investment Corporation agreed in 2007 to acquire a 10% interest in the global investment bank Morgan Stanley, but it is unlikely that this would qualify the latter as a government-owned corporation. Government-owned or state-run enterprises are often the result of corporatisation, a process in which government agencies and departments are re-organized as semi-autonomous corporate entities, sometimes with partial shares listed on stock exchanges.

The term 'government-linked company' (GLC) is sometimes used to refer to corporate entities that may be private or public (listed on a stock exchange) where an existing government owns a stake using a holding company. There are two main definitions of GLCs are dependent on the proportion of the corporate entity a government owns. One definition purports that a company is classified as a GLC if a government owns an effective controlling interest (>50%), while the second definition suggests that any corporate entity that has a government as a shareholder is a GLC.

In the Commonwealth realms, particularly Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom country-wide SOEs often use the style "Crown corporation", or "Crown entities". Examples of Crown corporations include the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Air Canada before the latter underwent privatization. Cabinet ministers (ministers of the Crown) often control the shares in such public corporations.

At the level of local government, territorial or other authorities may set up similar enterprises which are sometimes referred to as "local authority trading enterprises" (LATEs). Many local authorities establish services such as water supply as separate corporations or as a business unit of the authority.

Economic sectors

SOEs often operate in sectors where there is a natural monopoly, or where the government has strategic interest. However, government ownership of industry corporations is common.

Nationalization also forcibly converts a private corporation into a state-owned enterprise.

In most OPEC countries, the governments own the oil companies operating on their soil. A notable example is the Saudi national oil company, Saudi Aramco, which the Saudi government bought in 1988 and changed its name from Arabian American Oil Company to Saudi Arabian Oil Company. The Saudi government also owns and operates Saudi Arabian Airlines, and owns 70% of SABIC, as well as many other companies. They are, however, being privatized gradually.


In Western Europe and Eastern Europe there was a massive nationalization throughout the 20th century, especially after World War II. In Eastern Europe, governments dominated by Communists adopted the Soviet model. Governments in Western Europe, both left and right of centre, saw state intervention as necessary to rebuild economies shattered by war.[2] Government control over so-called natural monopolies like industry was the norm. Typical sectors included telecommunications, power, petroleum, railways, airports, airlines, public transport, health care, postal services and sometimes banks. Many large industrial corporations were also nationalized or created as Government corporations, including among many British Steel, Statoil and Irish Sugar. Starting in the late 1970s and accelerating through the 1980s and 1990s many of these corporations were privatized, though many still remain wholly or partially owned by the respective governments.

A state-run enterprise needs to be distinguished from an ordinary limited liability corporation owned by the state. For example, in Finland, state-run enterprises (liikelaitos) are governed by a separate act. Even though responsible for their own finances, they cannot be declared bankrupt; the state answers for the liabilities. Stocks of the corporation are not sold and loans have to be government-approved, as they are government liabilities. In contrast, the state also owns controlling interest in ordinary limited liability corporations. A state-run enterprise is technically not always a corporation, it might also be a separate state entity, or simply a governmental agency acting as an enterprise, perhaps having its own budget. Conversely, the state can directly fund unprofitable business, such as railway services to remote areas, regardless of whether the operator is a private corporation.


  • ÖBB (national railway system of Austria, administrator of Liechtenstein's railways)
  • ASFINAG (Autobahn and highway financing, building, maintaining and administration)
  • Hypo Group Alpe Adria: Austria nationalised this bank in 2009, and in 2014 its then-Chancellor feared its insolvency might have a similar effect to the Creditanstalt event of 1931.[3]
  • Verbund 51% SOE (electricity generator and provider)
  • Volksbank 43.3% SOE (retail banking group, with additional operations in Hungary, Romania and Malta)
  • ORF: funded from television licence fee revenue, dominant player in the Austrian broadcast media
  • Österreichische Industrieholding (ÖIAG): Austrian industry-holding stock corporation for partially or entirely nationalized companies, as of 2005:
    • 31.50% of the oil producer OMV: an integrated international oil and gas company
    • 28.42% of Telekom Austria: fixed line, mobile, data, and Internet communications services
    • 52.85% of Österreichische Post: postal services
    • 100% of ÖIAG-Bergbauholding
    • 100% of Finanzmarkt Beteiligungs AG (FIMBAG)


Region of Wallonia owns the:


Czech Republic

See Summary.


See Summary.


The Fonds stratégique d'investissement, a sovereign wealth fund initiated by Nicolas Sarkozy in October 2008 at the height of the Dexia crisis,[4] holds capital in approximately 50 firms, which are listed in the French wiki.

One significant piece of legislation in 2013 of the Hollande government is that for the constitution of the Banque Publique d'Investissement, (French) which has a mandate to encourage a German-patterned Mittelstand-like climate for France.[5][6] The former partner of Hollande, Ségolène Royal, was appointed to the vice-Chair directorship of the Bank, from which position she stated that the "BPI's purpose is not to do business nor to make profits".[7]

Agence des participations de l'État (APE) is a special agency of the French government managing the state's holdings in about 70 firms, including France Telecom, Renault and Air France.[8] It was established in 2004.[9] Among the fully owned corporations (51% or more) of the French Republic are:

The state of France owns a minority stake in:


Note that Germany owns the most (in terms of capital worth) out of any European Country in state owned assets, which seems to be an increasing trend since the late 2000s, with the seizure of 20% of VW Group's assets.

Germany has not yet been able to divest itself of state-owned enterprises that were amassed by East Germany. The banking system in Germany is rife with SOEs, managed at the provincial Länder level, and that is one of the reasons for the delay in the Single Supervisory Mechanism banking oversight by the ECB.[13] This note about the German public bank system may help to explain matters.

  • Deutsche Bahn (full ownership by Germany)
  • Hapag Lloyd 37% via city of Hamburg
  • Airbus/EADS 12%[12] (28% total with France and Spain)
  • the Landesbank, regionally organised by the Lander, function predominantly to provide wholesale banking
  • the Sparkassen system, where more than 400 German SOEs hold more than 40% of bank assets in Germany[14]
  • Volkswagen Group 20% (Through State of Lower-Saxony)
  • T-Mobile 32% (Deutsche Telekom) (17.4% though KfW, 14% Owned Directly by state)
  • KfW Bank 100% and following assets amounting to a worth of $70.6Bn
  • Deutsche Post 25.5% (through KfW) (Assets including DHL and Deutsche Postbank are therefore also partially owned by the state)
  • Hypo Real Estate Seized by SoFFin in 2003 to restore financial stability to the German housing market.
  • "Bundesdruckerei" (Federal Print Office) Renationalised in 2013
  • Germany owns an approximate 4% stake in British Telecom as 12% of the stake of British Telecom was sold to T-Mobile in early 2015.

Note that many smaller State owned enterprises are owned by individual states of Germany such as TransnetBW.


  • MOL Group (integrated petroleum and gas company).


In Ireland state-owned enterprises are referred to as "State-sponsored bodies".

See summary.


Companies owned by the Ministry of Economy and Finances



See summary.


  • Polsteam, 3,000 employee steamship line




Government-owned Open joint-stock company (OJSC)


Unitary enterprise

In Russia and some other post-Soviet states, a unitary enterprise (Russian: унитарное предприятие) is a commercial organization that have no ownership rights to the assets used in their operations. This form is possible only for state and municipal enterprises, operating with state or municipal property, respectively. The owners of the property of a unitary enterprise have no responsibility for its operation, and vice versa.

The assets of unitary enterprises belong to the Federal government, a Russian region, or a municipality. A unitary enterprise holds assets under the right of economic management (for both state and municipal unitary enterprises) or operative management (for state unitary enterprises only), and that such assets may not be distributed among the participants, nor otherwise divided. A unitary enterprise is independent in economic issues and obliged only to give its profits to the state. Unitary enterprises would have no right to set up subsidiaries, but, with the owner's consent, can open branches and representation offices.

State corporation

By contrast, a state corporation (Russian: государственная корпорация) is a non-profit organization which manages its assets as described in its charter. State Corporations are not obliged to submit to public authorities documents accounting for activities (except for a number of documents submitted to the Russian government) and, as a rule, are subordinate not to the government, but to the Russian president, and act to accomplish some important goal. Control by the Government is implemented on the basis of annual corporation meetings, an annual report on the audit opinion of accounting and financial reporting (accounting), as well as the conclusion of the auditing commission on the results of verification of financial (accounting) statements and other corporation documents. Any other federal government departments, organs of state power of subjects of the Russian Federation, and the local governments have no right to interfere in the activities of State corporations.



Slovenia is an ex-Yugoslavian republic. As such, its economy was largely state-owned prior to dissolution of that federation. The state still owns many enterprises, such as the banks, which in turn own such businesses as supermarkets and newspapers.[15]


See summary


Two types: Government-owned companies, which legally are normal companies but mainly or fully national owned. They are expected to be funded by their sales. A big customer might be the government or a government agency. The other type is Government agencies which might also do activities competing with private owned companies. They usually are funded by tax money but can also sell services. The government has tried to avoid having agencies doing commercial activities, by separating out areas that compete with private companies into government-owned companies, for example within road construction. The reason is both to avoid unfair competition, and a wish to have market economy instead of plan economy as much as possible. Based on the tradition of avoiding "ministerial rule", the government has avoided interfering with the business of the companies, and allowed them to go international.


Here is the government owned of the Swiss Confederation:

United Kingdom

After extensive privatisation of the public sector during the Margaret Thatcher administration, there remain few statutory corporations in the UK. Ongoing privatisations lasted from the end of the 1970s, through the 1980s until 1990 with the privatisation of British Rail. After the Hatfield rail crash accident, the British government decided to intervene and temporarily renationalised some companies.

Central government
Rescued banks
Devolved government
Local government



In 2009, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan formed the Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF) as a "state owned enterprise" subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior. By Presidential Decree, the APPF is mandated to replace all non-diplomatic private security companies by 20 March 2013 to become the sole provider of pay-for-service security contracts within Afghanistan.[16]

China, People's Republic of China

After 1949, all business entities in the People's Republic of China were created and owned by the government. In the late 1980s, the government began to reform the state-owned enterprise, and during the 1990s and 2000s, many mid-sized and small sized state-owned enterprises were privatized and went public. There are a number of different corporate forms which result in a mixture of public and private capital. In PRC terminology, a state-owned enterprise refers to a particular corporate form, which is increasingly being replaced by the listed company. State-owned enterprises are governed by both local governments and, in the central government, the national State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. As of 2011, 35% of business activity and 43% of profits in the People's Republic of China resulted from companies in which the state owned a majority interest. Critics, such as The New York Times, have alleged that China's state-owned companies are a vehicle for corruption by the families of ruling party leaders who have sometimes amassed fortunes while managing them.[17] Some major Chinese SOEs of which 275 are known as of March 2014 are listed below:

Taiwan (Republic of China)

The founding father of the Republic of China and of the Kuomintang, Sun Yat-sen, was heavily influenced by the economic ideas of Henry George, who believed that the rents extracted from natural monopolies or the usage of land belonged to the public. Sun argued for Georgism and emphasized the importance of a mixed economy, which he termed "The Principle of Minsheng" in his Three Principles of the People.

"The railroads, public utilities, canals, and forests should be nationalized, and all income from the land and mines should be in the hands of the State. With this money in hand, the State can therefore finance the social welfare programs."[18]

Kuomintang leader, and later President of the Republic of China on the mainland and Taiwan Island, Chiang Kai-shek, crushed pro-communist worker and peasant organizations and the rich Shanghai capitalists at the same time. Chiang continued Sun Yat-sen's anti-capitalist ideology—Kuomintang media openly attacked the capitalists and capitalism, demanding government-controlled industry instead.[19]

The Kuomintang Muslim Governor of Ningxia, Ma Hongkui promoted state-owned monopoly companies. His government had a company, Fu Ning Company, which had a monopoly over commerce and industrial activity in Ningxia.[20]

Under the Kuomintang Muslim General Ma Bufang in Qinghai, industries and projects such as educational, medical, agricultural, and sanitation schemes were controlled by the state.[21]

The Chinese Muslim 36th Division (National Revolutionary Army) governed southern Xinjiang from 1934 to 1937. The General Ma Hushan was chief of the 36th Division. Chinese Muslims operated state-owned carpet factories.[22]

Corporations such as Wang Film, CSBC Corporation, Taiwan, CPC Corporation, Taiwan and Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation are owned by the state in the Republic of China.


In India a state-owned enterprises is termed a Public Sector Undertaking or Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE). These companies are owned by the federal Government of India, or one of the many state or territorial governments, or both. The company equity needs to be majority owned by the government to be a PSU. Few examples are Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Engineers India Limited, India Trade Promotion Organization, GAIL, BSNL etc.


state-owned enterprises, known locally as Badan Usaha Milik Negara are easy to recognise by their names. Company names with suffix PERSERO mean that the company is wholly/majority owned by the government. The government takes control of the state corporations under one single ministry, the Ministry of State Enterprises, which acts like the CEO of a holding company. Some of the government-owned corporations are;

In January 2012, the Minister of State Enterprises decided to unite manufacturing companies and for the first stage PT Barata should acquire PT Bisma to make an effective manufacturing sector.[23]


In Japan, Japan Post was reorganized into Japan Post Group in 2007 as a material step of the postal privatization. It is currently wholly owned by the government, but is planned to be sold into private ownership. Japan Railways Group (JR), Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) and Japan Tobacco (JT) were formerly owned by the government.



In the Philippines, state-owned enterprises are known as government-owned and controlled corporations. They can range from the Social Security System (SSS) and the Philippine Coconut Authority with no counterparts in the private sector to LandBank, a wholly government-owned bank that competes with private banks. A number of government-owned and controlled corporations, especially those created during the Marcos Dictatorship under his New Society program of crony capitalism, were privatized at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, including Philippine Airlines, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company or PLDT and Philippine National Bank.


Government-linked corporations play a substantial role in Singapore's domestic economy. These GLCs are partially or fully owned by a state-owned investment company, Temasek Holdings. As of November 2011, the top six Singapore-listed GLCs accounted for about 17% of total capitalization of the Singapore Exchange (SGX). Notable GLCs include Singapore Airlines, SingTel, ST Engineering, and MediaCorp.[24]

South Korea

There are many state-owned enterprises in South Korea.


Here is the state-owned enterprises held by the government of the kingdom of Thailand. The Kingdom of Thailand as shareholding of 51% or more.



Parastatals in Kenya, partly from a lack of expertise and endemic corruption, have largely inhibited economic development. In 1979, a presidential commission went as far as saying that they constituted "a serious threat to the economy", and, by 1989, they had still not furthered industrialization or fostered the development of a Black business class.[25]

Several Kenyan SOEs have been privatized since the 1980s, with mixed results.[26][27]

South Africa

In South Africa "the Department of Public Enterprises is the shareholder representative of the South African Government with oversight responsibility for state-owned enterprises in key sectors, including: Defence, Energy, Forestry, ICT, Mining and Transport". The current (March 2011) Minister of Public Enterprises is Malusi Gigaba.[28]

The corporate entities that this department is responsible for are:

  • Alexkor – Mining sector (diamond mining)
  • Broadband Infraco – ICT sector (national backbone and international connectivity)
  • Denel – Aerospace and Defence sector (armaments manufacturer)
  • Eskom – Energy sector (national electricity utility)
  • PBMR – Energy sector (development of Pebble Bed Modular Reactor nuclear energy technology)
  • South African Airways – Transport sector (international airline)
  • SA Express – Transport sector (regional and feeder airline)
  • SAFCOL – Forestry sector (manages forestry on state owned land)
  • Transnet – Transport and related infrastructure sector (railways, harbours, oil/fuel pipelines and terminals)
  • Telkom SA – Telecommunications sector (national fixed line telephone network (PSTN))

Other corporate entities not under the Department of Public Enterprises include the South African Post Office and the South African Broadcasting Corporation.


The Government of Tanzania owns a number of commercial enterprises in the country via the Treasury Registrar. It wholly owns the following corporations unless indicated otherwise:[29]



State-owner enterprises are divided into public enterprises (empresa pública) and mixed-economy companies (sociedade de economia mista). The public enterprises are subdivided into two categories: individual – with its own assets and capital owned by the Union – and plural companies – whose assets are owned by multiple government agencies and the Union, which have the majority of the voting interest. Caixa Econômica Federal, Correios, Embrapa, and BNDES are examples of public enterprises. Mixed-economy companies are enterprises with the majority of stocks owned by the government, but that also have stocks owned by the private sector and usually have their shares traded on stock exchanges. Banco do Brasil, Petrobras, Sabesp, and Eletrobras are examples of mixed-economy companies.

Beginning in the 1990s, the federal government of Brazil launched a privatization program inspired by the Washington Consensus. Public-owned companies such as Vale do Rio Doce, Telebrás, CSN, and Usiminas (most of them mixed-economy companies) were transferred to the private sector as part of this policy.


In Canada, state-owned corporations are referred to as Crown corporations, indicating that an organization is established by law, owned by the sovereign (either in right of Canada or a province), and overseen by parliament and cabinet. Examples of federal Crown corporations include:

Ministers of the Crown often control the shares in such public corporations, while parliament both sets out the laws that create and bind Crown corporations and sets their annual budgets.

Foreign SOEs are welcome to invest in Canada: in Fall 2013, British Columbia[30][31] and Alberta[32][33][34] signed agreements overseas to promote foreign direct investment in Canada. The Investment Canada Act governs this area federally. Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper stated in 2013 that the "government [needs] to exercise its judgement" over SOEs.[35]

Saskatchewan has maintained the largest number of Crown corporations, including

Crown corporations of British Columbia include

In Ontario:

In Quebec:

Privatization, or the selling of Crown corporations to private interests, has become common throughout Canada over the past 30 years. Petro-Canada, Canadian National Railway, and Air Canada are examples of former federal Crown corporations that have been privatized. Privatized provincial Crown corporations include Alberta Government Telephones (which merged with privately owned BC Tel to form Telus), BCRIC, Manitoba Telecom Services, and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan.

United States

Government-sponsored enterprises

Government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) are a group of financial services corporations created by the United States Congress. The United States GSEs are private corporations owned by their stockholders, rather than government-owned corporations. Their primary function is to generate profits for their stockholders, but they are structured and regulated by the U.S. government to enhance the availability and reduce the cost of credit to targeted borrowing sectors. Congress created the first GSE in 1916 with the creation of the Farm Credit System; it initiated GSEs in the home finance segment of the economy with the creation of the Federal Home Loan Banks in 1932; and it targeted education when it chartered Sallie Mae in 1972 (although Congress allowed Sallie Mae to relinquish its government sponsorship and become a fully private institution via legislation in 1995). The residential mortgage borrowing segment is by far the largest of the borrowing segments in which the GSEs operate. Together, the three mortgage finance GSEs (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks) have several[quantify] trillion dollars of on-balance sheet assets.[citation needed] The federal government possesses warrants which, if exercised, would allow them to take a 79.9% ownership share in the companies. The federal government has not, as of December 2014, exercised these warrants.

Government sponsored enterprises include:

Federal government chartered and owned corporations

The federal government chartered and owned corporations are a separate set of corporations chartered and owned by the federal government, which operate to provide public services, but unlike the federal agencies (Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Indian Affairs), or the federal independent commissions (e.g., the Federal Communications Commission, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, etc.), they have a separate legal personality from the federal government, providing the highest level of political independence. They sometimes receive federal budgetary appropriations, but some also have independent sources of revenue. These include (as of this writing):

Federal Government-acquired corporations

The federal government acquired corporations are a separate set of corporations that were not chartered or created by the federal government, but into which the federal government has obtained ownership and presently operates. These are corporations temporarily in possession of the government as a result of a seizure of property of a debtor to the government, such as a delinquent taxpayer. Usually these are awaiting auction, and most are too small to note.

Other types in the United States

There exists a second level of sovereign government in the United States after the federal government, those of the several states of which compose the United States. They have sovereign existence deriving from the consent of the sovereign people of their territories who created them and wrote their state constitution. They are not bodies corporate, as they are not created by the acquis of the federal government and exist with or without that Government's consent. They have the power to hold radical title to land, to exercise the four fundamental powers, taxation, eminent domain, police power, and escheat, as well as numerous other powers, including the power to grant charters, and implicit in that power to charter is the power to charter corporations, which they do, extensively. The vast majority of non-governmental corporations in the United States are chartered by the states of the United States, and not the federal government, this includes most charitable corporations (though some charities of national repute are chartered by the federal government, and not by a state government), non-profit corporations, and for-profit corporations. States also have the power to charter corporations that they own, control, or are responsible for the regulation and finance of. These include municipal corporations and state chartered and owned corporations. Municipal corporations (generally known as, depending on the size and function, as villages, towns, townships, boroughs, authorities. districts, cities or counties) are public corporations that have devolved, democratic control over local matters within a geographic region. Though these municipal corporations are often regulated and sometimes financed by the state government, and often can collect taxes, they are arms-length, non-sovereign, devolved public entities, and a state government which charters them is not legally responsible for their debts in the event of a municipal bankruptcy. State government chartered and owned corporations are numerous and provide public services. Examples include North Dakota Mill and Elevator and South Dakota Public Broadcasting. Generally speaking, a statute passed by a state legislature specifically sets up a government-owned company in order to undertake a specific public purpose with public funds or public property. Lotteries in the United States are also run by government corporations, such as the Georgia Lottery Corporation and many others.

There exists a third level of sovereign government in the United States as well, the sovereignty of the Native American tribal governments. Native American tribes are comprehended as ancient sovereigns, established by their sovereign people since time immemorial, and recognized as sovereign by the federal government of the United States as well as the several states, and as such, the Native American (and Alaska Native) tribal governments have rights appertaining to sovereigns, including the power to hold radical title to land, to exercise the four fundamental powers, taxation, eminent domain, police power, and escheat, as well as other powers, for instance, the power to charter corporations and undertake public undertakings that might benefit their tribal citizens, Native Americans and Alaska Natives also being citizens of their respective U.S. state, and also citizens of the United States. For example, a tribal council could establish a public service broadcaster along the lines of Ireland's Raidió Teilifís Éireann, partially fund it with a television licence on tribal land and partially through advertising as a means of uniting the tribe and giving it a voice as well as a commercial venture.

The Alaska Natives are particularly advanced in using their tribal sovereignty to incorporate corporations that are owned by and for the benefit of their tribal citizens and often compete in highly competitive economic sectors through the Alaska Native Regional Corporations. The Native American tribes in the lower 48 states often use their sovereignty and their ability to charter to compete using regulatory easements; for instance, Native American tribal corporations often trade in goods that are highly taxed in surrounding states (such as tobacco), or engage in activities that surrounding states have (for reasons of public policy) forbidden, such as the operation of casinos or gaming establishments. Most of these endeavors have proven very successful for Native American tribal sovereigns and their tribal corporations, bringing wealth into the hands of Native Americans.


Uruguay had the first welfare state of Latin America under the presidency of José Batlle y Ordoñez in 1904. Government-owned corporations monopolize services such as electricity (UTE), land-line communications (Antel) and water (OSE). Antel competes with private corporations in the cell-phone lines and international telephony markets.[citation needed] In 1992, under the presidency of Luis Alberto Lacalle, the government attempted to privatize all its companies, following the neoliberal Washington Consensus. However, a referendum won by 75% of the population kept the companies in the hands of the government. By the end of his term, president Lacalle alleged that he had achieved a successful modernization of the companies, which had made them more efficient.



In Australia the predominant term used for Commonwealth SOEs is "government business enterprise" (GBE). Various Australian states also have GBEs, especially with respect to the provision of water and sewerage, but many state-based GBEs were privatized in some states during the last decade of the twentieth century.

Commonwealth GBEs include:

Some of these enterprises are overseen by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

Tasmania has a considerable amount of GBEs, relative to other states:

GBEs of Victoria are:

GBEs of New South Wales are:

Queensland's GBEs:

Western Australian GBEs:

South Australia is notable for having very controversially privatized most of its GBEs:

Northern Territory's GBEs

Australian Capital Territory GBEs:


Former Commonwealth SOEs include Telstra, established in the 1970s as Telecom Australia. Telstra, now Australia's leading telecommunications company, was privatized in 1997 by the government of John Howard. As of June 2010 Telstra owned a majority of the copper wire infrastructure in Australia (the rest is owned by Optus) and is pending sale to its former parent, the Australian government, for a non-binding amount of 11 billion Australian dollars, as ducts in the copper wire tunnels are needed to install the fiber optic cable. The Commonwealth Bank, as its name indicates, was also founded as public company before later being privatized.

In Victoria many GBEs were sold in the 1990s to reduce the state's level of debt. The State Electricity Commission of Victoria and the Gas and Fuel Corporation were the best-known government enterprises to be disaggregated and sold.

New Zealand

New Zealanders refer to their state-owned enterprises as "state-owned enterprises", as "SOEs", or as "crown entities". Local-government councils and similar authorities also set up locally controlled enterprises, such as water-supply companies and "local-authority trading enterprises" (LATEs) as separate corporations or as business units of the councils concerned.

Government-owned businesses designated as crown entities include:

New Zealand's state-owned enterprises have included:

State-owned enterprises which have undergone privatisation and subsequent renationalisation:


In this list, government-owned corporations are classified on their legal status: silver color represents legal monopolies, where no competition is permitted; light green represents a corporation that has private competitors; yellow means that although competition is legally permitted, there are no other corporations de facto; uncolored refers to a free market, regulated or not.

Government corporations by field and by country
Postal Railways Pharmacy Gambling Alcohol Health care Universities Telephone Broadcasting Oil & Gas Energy Water Airports Highways
Argentina mix (Correo Argentino) Yes (Administración de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias) mix (LIFSE) yes (Lotería Nacional) mix (INV) mix mix (public universities) no mix (TV Pública Digital, LRA Radio Nacional, Télam) yes (YPF) mix (Enarsa, CNEA) mix mix (EZE, CRD, BHI, etc.) mix
Australia Yes (Australia Post) monopoly on postal delivery of letters to 250g mix (Australian Rail Track Corporation; varies by State) mix (PBS funding only; no retail competition) mix (varies by State) no mix (Medicare) mix mix (NBN Co wholesale only; no retail competition) mix (ABC, SBS) no mix (varies by State) mix (varies by State) mix (varies by State) mix (varies by State)
Belgium Yes (Bpost) yes (NMBS/SNCB) no mix (Nationale Loterij/Lotterie Nationale) no mix mix mix (Belgacom) mix (VRT, RTBF, BRF) no mix mix yes
Brazil Yes (Correios) mix (pt:VALEC, pt:CBTU, Trensurb) no yes (Caixa Econômica Federal) mix (ethanol only) mix (SUS) mix (public universities) mix (Telebras) mix (Agência Brasil) mix (Petrobras) mix (Eletrobras) mix (varies by State) mix (Infraero) no
Canada Yes (Canada Post) mix (Via Rail), passenger rail; freight is private. no varies by province varies by province (LCBO, SAQ, SLGA) yes (Medicare) 95% publicly governed charitable trusts (public universities) varies by province (Sasktel) mix (CBC) private enterprise favored varies by province (Hydro-Québec, BC Hydro, Hydro One, Manitoba Hydro, Nalcor, SaskPower) varies by province publicly governed by local authority in trust; see above Except 407 ETR
Chile Yes
(Correos de Chile)
yes (EFE) no mix no yes
mix (public universities)
no mix
yes (ENAP) no no mix
(SCL, CCP, IPC, etc.)
Colombia Yes (4-72) no no mix (Etesa) [lower-alpha 1] varies by department Nueva EPS mix (Universidad Nacional), plus various local ones mix (Telefónica Telecom) (Empresas Públicas de Medellín) mix (Radio Televisión Nacional de Colombia) mix (Ecopetrol) (ISA Emgesa) mix
Czech Republic Yes (Česká pošta) yes (České dráhy) no no no yes (VZP) mix no mix (Česká televize, Český rozhlas) no majority-held ČEZ Group
Denmark Yes (Post Danmark) mix (Banedanmark, DSB) no yes (Danske Spil) no mix mix (public universities; vast majority of all universities) mix mix (DR) mix ( mix (DONG Energy) municipalities mix (Københavns Lufthavne) yes (Helsingørmotorvejen)
Finland De facto (Itella) de facto (VR) no yes (Veikkaus, RAY, Fintoto) yes (Alko) mix (municipal) mix (All universities are state owned, few private ammattikorkeakoulu/yrkeshögskola, which is variously translated as polytechnic or as a University of Applied Sciences) mix (TeliaSonera) mix (YLE) de facto (Neste) mix (Fortum) yes (municipal) yes (Finavia) mix (Destia)
France Yes
(La Poste)
yes (SNCF) no mix
(Française Des Jeux)
no mix (CMU) mix (EPSCP) mix (Orange S.A.) mix (France Télévisions) no mix (Électricité de France, CEA) mix mix mix
Germany Mix
(Deutsche Post)
mix (DB) no no no mix (BG) mix mix (DTAG) mix (ARD, ZDF, Deutschlandradio) no mix (Stadtwerke Köln) mix yes (states) yes (by federal and state governments)
Greece De facto
de facto (OSE, TrainOSE) no mix
no mix (ESY) mix (All institutions titled as Universities are state owned whereas there are numerous private colleges) mix (OTE) mix (NERIT) mix (ELPE) mix (DEI) mix
Iceland De facto (Íslandspóstur) no railways in Iceland no no gambling in Iceland yes (ÁTVR) mix mix no mix (RÚV) no oil industry in Iceland mix (Landsvirkjun)
India Yes (India Post) yes (Indian Railways) mix (IDPL) no mix, varies by state (BEVCO, TASMAC) mix mix mix (BSNL) mix (Doordarshan, Akashvani) mix (ONGC), IndianOil yes mix mix (Airports Authority of India) mix
Indonesia Yes (Pos Indonesia) de facto (PT Kereta Api) mix (Kimia Farma, etc.) no no mix mix (public universities) mix (Telkom Indonesia) mix (TVRI and RRI) mix (Pertamina and PGN) yes (Perusahaan Listrik Negara) mix mix (Angkasa Pura) mix (Jasa Marga)
Republic of Ireland Yes (An Post) yes (Iarnród Éireann) no mix National Lottery, (Prize Bond, HRI, BnaC) no mix (Health Service Executive) mix no mix (RTE, Teilifís na Gaeilge) mix (Ervia) mix (ESB, BMN), mix (Irish Water) mix (Dublin Airport Authority, etc.) de facto (National Roads Authority)
Israel Yes (Do'ar Yisrael) de facto (Israel Railways) no yes (Mifal HaPayis) yes mix yes mix mix (IBA, IETV, Kol Yisrael etc.) mix (Oil Refineries) mix (IEC) de facto (Mekorot) yes (IAA) mix (Netivei Israel)
Italy De facto (Poste italiane) mix (FS) no yes (AAMS) no mix (SSN) mix no mix (RAI) mix (Eni) mix (Enel) mix mix (AOT, REG, ALL etc.) mix (ANAS)
Japan Mix
mix (JR) no yes (JRA etc.) no mix (NHI) mix mix (NTT) mix (NHK) no no yes mix (NRT, Haneda, ITM, etc.)
Republic of Korea De facto
(Korea Post)
de facto
(Korea Railroad Corporation)
no yes (Kangwon Land Inc.) no de facto
mix de facto
(KT Corporation)
de facto
de facto
de facto
(Korea Expressway Corporation)
Malaysia Yes (Pos Malaysia) de facto (KTMB, SSR, Prasarana) mix no no mix mix (public universities) mix (Telekom Malaysia) mix (RTM) yes (Petronas) mix (Tenaga Nasional, Sarawak Energy) mix mix (Malaysia Airports) de facto (Malaysian Federal Roads System, Malaysian State Roads system)
Mexico Mix (Servicio Postal Mexicano) mix (Ferrocarril Transistmico) mix (e.g. in public hospitals) no no mix (Mexican Social Security Institute, Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers) mix (National Autonomous University of Mexico, National Polytechnic Institute and state universities among others) no mix (Once TV México, Notimex, XEIMT-TDT) yes (Pemex) yes (electricity: CFE) mix
(varies by state/municipality)
mix (Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares, Benito Juárez International Airport) mix (Caminos y Puentes Federales)
Netherlands No mix (Nederlandse Spoorwegen),[lower-alpha 2] passenger rail. Freight is private no yes
(Holland Casino)
no mix mix(Dutch universities) except Nyenrode Business University no mix (Netherlands Public Broadcasting) no no yes
New Zealand Yes (NZ Post) yes (KiwiRail) no yes (New Zealand Lottery Commission) no mix (District health boards) yes no mix (TVNZ) no mix (Genesis Energy, Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, Solid Energy, Transpower New Zealand Limited) yes mix yes (State Highway network)
Norway Yes (Posten Norge) yes (NSB) no yes (Norsk Tipping) yes (Vinmonopolet) yes, via state monopoly mix mix (Telenor) mix (NRK) mix (Statoil, Petoro) yes (Statkraft, and various municipally owned companies) mix mix (Avinor)
Peru Yes (Serpost) no no no no mix (EsSalud) yes (local ones, including (Universidad Mayor de San Marcos) no yes (TV Peru) yes (Petroperú) mix yes (only in local water supply and sewage services, including Sedapal)
Philippines Yes (PhilPost) yes (PNR) no yes (PAGCOR) no yes yes (UP) no mix (PTV) mix (PNOC) mix (NAPOCOR) mix
Portugal no mix (Comboios de Portugal) no no no mix mix no mix (Rádio e Televisão de Portugal) no no mix (Águas de Portugal) no mix
Russia Yes (Russian Post) de facto (Russian Railways) no mix (Gosloto, etc.) no mix (Mandatory Medical Insurance) mix mix (Rostelecom, TransTelekom) mix (VGTRK, 1TV, TVC, Public Television, Zvezda, RT, Voice of Russia via monopolies Russian Satellite Communications Company and RTRS) mix (Rosneft, Gazprom Neft via monopoly Transneft) mix (Inter RAO, Rosenergoatom, RusHydro, Gazprom via monopoly Russian Grids) mix mix de facto (federal highways, Rosavtodor, Avtodor)
Singapore Yes (SingPost) mix (SMRT) mix yes (Singapore Pools) mix mix (SingHealth) mix (NUS, NTU, SIT, SUTD) yes (SingTel) yes (MediaCorp) yes (SNOC) mix (Temasek) mix (PUB) yes yes
Spain Yes (Correos) mix (FEVE, Renfe Operadora, Adif) no mix (Loterías y Apuestas del Estado) no mix (Spanish National Health System) mix (public universities) mix mix (EFE, RTVE) mix (Enagas) mix (Red Electrica de España) mix mix (Aena) mix
Sweden De facto (Posten AB) de facto (SJ, Green Cargo) mix (Apoteket) yes (Svenska Spel) yes (Systembolaget) mix mix (All state-owned except 3 universities Chalmers University of Technology (owned by government,faculty,student union run as a private entity), Stockholm School of Economics (22% from state funds) and Jönköping University Foundation mix (Telia) mix (SVT) no de facto (Vattenfall, Svenska Kraftnät) mix mix (Swedavia) yes (Svevia)
Switzerland mix (Swiss Post) monopoly on postal delivery of letters to 250g mix (SBB CFF FFS) no no no mix (cantonal hospitals) yes (cantonal and federal universities) no mix (SRG SSR) no mix yes (operated by cantonal and/or municipalities) mix (international airports) yes (operated by cantons)
Thailand Yes (Post) yes (State Rail) yes (GPO) yes (State Lotto) Alcohol Permit mix (MOPH) mix (public universities) mix (Telecom) mix (MCOT) mix (PTT) yes (EGAT) yes yes
Turkey Yes (PTT) yes (TCDD) no yes (Millî Piyango İdaresi) no mix mix (state universities) no mix (TRT) mix (TPAO) mix mix (State Hydraulic Works) mix
United Arab Emirates Yes (Emirates Post) no mix no Liquor permit mix (GCC, Daman) mix yes (TRA) yes (DMI) mix (ENOC, ADNOC, etc.) mix (TAQA) yes mix
Ukraine Yes (Ukrposhta) Yes (Ukrainian Railways) no yes no mix mix no mix mix yes yes mix yes
United Kingdom Mix (Post Office Ltd) mix
(Northern Ireland Railways, Network Rail)[lower-alpha 3]
no mix (Premium Bond) no mix (NHS) mix (publicly funded universities) no mix (BBC, Channel Four, S4C) no no Mix
(Scottish Water, Northern Ireland Water)
mix Mix
(All public roads except M6 Toll and some private toll roads are state owned)
United States Yes (USPS) mix (Amtrak), passenger rail; freight is private no mix (State Lotteries) varies by state (ABC store states) mix (Medicare, Medicaid, Military Health System) mix (U.S. military service academies, public universities) no mix (CPB, BBG, VOA) no mix (TVA) mix mix mix (U.S. Routes, the Interstate)
Uruguay Yes (Correo Uruguayo) yes (AFE) no mix (Casinos del Estado) no mix mix (UdelaR) mix (ANTEL) mix (SODRE) mix (ANCAP) mix (UTE) yes (OSE) mix
Venezuela Yes (Ipostel) yes (IFE) mix mix mix mix (Mission Barrio Adentro) mix (SCV, ULA), UIV, etc. yes (CANTV) mix (TVes, ANTV, VTV) yes (PDVSA) mix (CVG) yes
Vietnam Yes (VNPT) yes (Vietnam Railways) mix no gambling in Vietnam yes mix mix (public universities) mix (VNPT, Viettel) de facto (VTV, VTC, Voice of Vietnam) yes (Petrovietnam, Petrolimex) yes (EVN) mix yes (Airports Corporation)
Postal Railways Pharmacy Gambling Alcohol Health care Universities Telephone Broadcasting Oil & Gas Energy Water Airports Highways
  1. Etesa is a company wholly owned by the Colombian government and holds the exclusive right to gambling activities. However, it sublicenses gambling permits to any private company who applies and fulfills legal requirements.
  2. Nederlandse Spoorwegen is a company wholly owned by the Dutch government.
  3. Network Rail is a private company whose debts are guaranteed by the UK Government, which has caused controversy over whether it is state owned or not.

See also

<templatestyles src="Div col/styles.css"/>


  1. Profiles of Existing Government Corporations, pp. 1–16
  2. The Economist, 4 January 2014, All Men Are Created Unequal url accessed 27 September 2015. Quote: «The wars and depressions between 1914 and 1950 dragged the wealthy back to earth. Wars brought physical destruction of capital, nationalisation, taxation and inflation,»
  3. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  4. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  5. Kohler and Weisz: "Pour un nouveau regard sur le Mittelstand: Rapport au Fonds stratégique d'investissement", La Documentation Française, 2012
  6. "AU NOM DE LA COMMISSION DES AFFAIRES ÉCONOMIQUES SUR LE PROJET DE LOI relatif à la création de la banque publique d’investissement"
  7. "BPI: Ségolène Royal vole la vedette au directeur général" 24 Apr 2013 (French)
  8. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  9. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  10. "Chinese Firm and France to Buy Stakes in Peugeot" 18 Feb 2014
  11. "After Two Centuries, Peugeot Family Cedes Control" 19 Feb 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  13. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  14. Felix Hüfner: The German Banking System: Lessons from the financial crisis, Economic Department Working Papers No.788, OECD, P.7. [1] ; accessed: 13.06.2011
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  16. [2]: Official Afghan Public Protection Force Website.
  17. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  18. Simei Qing "From Allies to Enemies", 19
  19. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  20. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  21. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  22. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  23. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  24. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  25. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  26. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  27. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  28. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  29. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  30. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  31. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  32. "Redford’s trip to China highlights petrochemical potential" 17 Sep 2013 FP
  33. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  34. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  35. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  36. Profiles of Existing Government Corporations, pp. 18, 24
  37. Profiles of Existing Government Corporations, pp. 18, 44
  38. Profiles of Existing Government Corporations, pp. 18, 60
  39. Profiles of Existing Government Corporations, pp. 18, 50
  40. Profiles of Existing Government Corporations, pp. 18, 77
  41. Profiles of Existing Government Corporations, pp. 18, 82
  42. Profiles of Existing Government Corporations, pp. 18, 105
  43. Profiles of Existing Government Corporations, pp. 18, 120
  44. Profiles of Existing Government Corporations, pp. 18, 125
  45. Profiles of Existing Government Corporations, pp. 18, 131
  46. Profiles of Existing Government Corporations, pp. 18, 145
  47. Profiles of Existing Government Corporations, pp. 18, 149
  48. Profiles of Existing Government Corporations, pp. 18, 165
  49. Profiles of Existing Government Corporations, pp. 18, 180
  50. Profiles of Existing Government Corporations, pp. 18, 162
  51. Profiles of Existing Government Corporations, pp. 18, 168
  52. Profiles of Existing Government Corporations, pp. 18, 214
  53. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  54. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  55. PRIVATISATION DEBATE SHOULD BE RIGOROUS | Roger Kerr, New Zealand Business Roundtable Executive Director. (2011-01-17). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.


  • Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.. Alternate location:
  • Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found..

Further reading