FRENCH GOVERNMENT TO TRIM DIRECT STAKE IN TOTAL

The French government his decided to slash its direct stake in partly state owned oil company Total to 5% from 31.7%, a surprise move expected to raise 10 billion francs ($1.8 billion). At the same time, other state owned entities will be asked to boost their combined 2.2% stake in Total to 10%, leaving the government with a net 15% interest in Total vs. the current 34%. Initially, state owned insurance companies Groupe des Assurances Nationales and Assurances Generale de France will be asked

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