In late February, the shares of Air France KLM went down as the Dutch government announced it had bought 14% of the shares; the government of France owns 14.3% of the shares. In an article by Toby Sterling. Tim Hepher and Sudip Kar-Gupta of Reuters the Netherlands spent $744 million Euros or about $1.5 billion for its shares.
The other big holders of shares are Delta Airlines and China Eastern Airlines who own 8.8 % each
Air France reported earnings of E 266 million and KLM reported earnings of E1.07 billion.
The Dutch Finance Minister said they bought the shares in order to have a board seat. The companies have been merged since 2004.
Linking to dividend paying stocks, to all governments some industries are more important than others and they want a say. If they do not feel their say is big enough through fiscal and tax measures, they can buy shares on the open market similar to everyone else. What type of say the countries think they need will affect the outlook for the stock as they try to ensure investments go to one country or another. Institutions buy shares for different reasons than individuals however as an individual you can determine what you want to live with or not.
There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.