Freeport Begins Releasing Shares in October

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Copper giant PT Freeport Indonesia is set to release some of its shares to the public in October. Freeport’s shares will be gradually offered to the public till 2019 or two years prior to the expiry of its contract.

    “The process of the release has been approved. We all abide by the government’s regulations,” said Freeport Indonesia president director Maroef Sjamsoeddin after a hearing with the House of Representatives on Tuesday, June 23, 2015.

    Freeport plans to let go 20 percent of its shares this year, while the remaining will be released gradually in 2019. The government presently controls 9.36 percent of Freeport’s shares. Maroef, however, stopped short of detailing the percentage of Freeport’s shares to be offered to the public.

    Tony Wardoyo, a lawmaker of the House’s Commission VII overseeing energy from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), said an agreement on the amount of Freeport’s divestment had not been made yet. He said the government was still negotiating with Freeport to sway the latter into releasing more than 30 percent of its shares.

    Tony added that the Papua Administration could later purchase some of the shares. “So the benefits will be larger,” he said.

    The sales of Freeport’s shares are laid out in the Presidential Regulation No. 77 Year 2014 on the Third Amendment to the Government’s Regulation No. 23 Year 2010 on the Implementation of Mineral and Coal Business Activities. The divestment is also part of Freeport’s six obligations to extend its work contract.

    Earlier, Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) chief Franky Sibarani said state-owned mining company PT Aneka Tambang (Antam) was worthy of controlling 10 percent of Freeport’s shares—and that this will indirectly cause the government to have larger shares in Freeport. Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said has also thrown his weight behind the planned purchase of Freeport’s shares by Antam.