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Nationalizations by Country 2024

Nationalizations by Country - List of countries and the assets they have nationalized.

Note: Countries may nationalize additional assets or privatize formerly state-owned assets at any time.

Argentina

  • 1940s - British railways.
  • 1946 - Central Bank of Argentina.
  • 1946 - Natural gas services (later privatized in 1992).
  • 1947 - Telephone network (later privatized in 1990).
  • 1947 - Radio networks (later privatized between 1980 and 1993).
  • 1948 - Rail transport (privatized between 1991 and 1999).
  • 1959 - Oil reserves (the state oil enterprise, YPF, had been established in 1922; mineral resources were nationalized with Article 40 of the 1949 Constitution; the latter was abrogated in 1956, but oil was renationalized in 1958 and private firms operated afterward via leases).
  • 1949 - Port administration (privatized in 1992).
  • 1949 - Merchant marine (privatized in 1991).
  • 1951 - LR3 TV Canal 7 (the first and only existing television network in the country at the time; despite not being founded by the state itself, it began as a state-owned venture. It was briefly privatized in 1954 and renationalized in 1955).
  • 1952 - Buenos Aires Metro (operations privatized in 1994).
  • 1958 - Electric utilities (privatized in 1992).
  • 1974 - Television networks (privatized between 1982 and 1998).
  • 1980 - Austral Líneas Aéreas (privatized in 1987, renationalized in 2008).
  • 2003 - Postal service renationalized (state-owned between 1949 and 1997).
  • 2006 - AySA, the water utility serving Buenos Aires (its state-owned precursor, OSN, was established in 1912 and privatized in 1993).
  • 2008 - Aerolíneas Argentinas renationalized (state-owned between 1949 and 1990).
  • 2008 - Pension funds (transferred to ANSES).
  • 2010 - FAdeA (state-owned between 1927 and 1995).
  • 2012 - YPF renationalized (state-owned between 1922 and 1993).
  • 2013 - Metrogas (part of the Gas del Estado state-owned enterprise privatized in 1992).
  • 2015 - Rail transport (renationalization of commuter lines began under the auspices of SOFSE in 2013).

Australia

  • 1946 - The South Australian Government nationalized the Adelaide Electricity Supply Company into the Electricity Trust of South Australia.
  • 1948 - The government attempted to nationalize the banking industry, but the act was declared unconstitutional by the High Court of Australia in the case Bank of New South Wales v Commonwealth.

Bahrain

  • 1975-1980 - Nationalization in three steps of Bahrain Petroleum Company, originally founded in Canada in 1929 by Standard Oil of California. The company had found oil in Bahrain in 1932 and was wholly nationalized 48 years later.

Bangladesh

  • 1971 - The State Bank of Bangladesh was founded by nationalization of the private shares in the eastern section of the State Bank of Pakistan.
  • 1972-1974 - Through this three years period after independence of Bangladesh in 1971, the government had taken over 786 industrial undertakings. Included in this number, the government nationalized 245 enterprises in 11 industries: 76 jute mills, 52 textile mills, 30 textile tanneries, 17 engineering companies, 16 food producers, 15 sugar mills, 10 paper industry companies, 9 companies within the fertilizer, pharma and chemical industries, 8 steel companies, 6 oil and gas companies, and 6 forest industry undertakings. A further 375 state-owned enterprises had been founded in the same period, but 320 of them placed for later re-privatization to Bengali owners, of which 211 had been privatized by 1978.
  • 1972 - On March 26, 1972, the Government of Bangladesh formally took over all assets having belonged to (West) Pakistani citizens. Many enterprises expropriated 1971-1974 had been owned by West Pakistanis (citizens of present-day Pakistan) who had fled the country during war and liberation. This included all jute exports and 6 private shipping companies.
  • 1972 - On March 26, 1972, the government nationalized 12 commercial banks belonging to both (West) Pakistani and Bangladeshi shareholders.
  • 1975 - A reversal of policies started, with large-scale divestment of state-owned enterprises and reimbursement of compensation to previous private owners.
  • 1977 - This year, a total of 371 of the previously nationalized enterprises still remained under state ownership. Approximately 400 companies had been de-nationalized and transferred to private owners.

Bolivia

  • Most utilities were nationally owned before being privatized in 1994.
  • 2006 - On May 1, 2006, newly elected Bolivian president Evo Morales announced plans to nationalize the country's natural gas industry; foreign-based companies were given six months to renegotiate their existing contracts.
  • 2008 - On May 1, 2008, the nationalization of Bolivia's leading telecommunications company Entel was completed, previously having been owned by Telecom Italia.
  • 2010 - On May 1, 2010, the government nationalized the country's main hydroelectric plant, thereby assuming control over most of Bolivia's electrical generation and end-user sales.
  • 2012 - On May 1, 2012, the Morales government nationalized power grid operator Transportadora de Electricidad (TDE), until then 99.94% owned by Red Eléctrica de España. TDE owns and runs 73% of the power lines in Bolivia.

Canada

  • 1918 - Canadian National Railways, created from several systems nationwide following their bankruptcy during and after World War I, and since privatized in 1995. (Air Canada, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Marine Atlantic and Via Rail (still government-owned) were all subsidiaries of the company at one time).
  • 1943 - Eldorado Resources, private radium and uranium mining company nationalized by the Canadian federal government after it was contracted to supply uranium for the Manhattan Project. Privatized after merging with the Saskatchewan Mining Development Corporation to form Cameco in 1988.
  • 1944 - Hydro-Québec, first created through partial nationalization of electricity concerns around Montreal in Quebec by the Liberal government of Adélard Godbout. During the Quiet Revolution of the early 1960s, the remaining 11 privately owned electricity companies in Quebec were nationalized by the Liberal government of Jean Lesage.
  • 1975 - Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, Province of Saskatchewan nationalized part of the potash industry. Many potash producers agreed to sell to the government instead of being nationalized.

Chile

  • 1972 - Chilean nationalization of copper mining industry, after a unanimous modification to the Constitution by the Chilean Congress on 11 July 1971, nationalizing the operations of the US companies Anaconda, Kennecott, and Cerro. The act was carried out by the Socialist government of Salvador Allende.

China

  • In the period of Republican China, Sun Yat-sen had sweeping land reforms and nationalized many industries. The rise of the People's Republic of China under Mao Zedong nationalized all private assets, restricted private ownership, even of land, and the state determined output and price levels. Some of these were reversed after Deng Xiaoping loosed restrictions in 1978, allowing private and foreign investment to enter the country.
  • After the end of martial law period and democratization in Taiwan, the Republic of China began to privatize many government-owned assets, even those owned by the Kuomintang.

Colombia

  • 1998 - Granahorrar Bank nationalization.

Croatia

  • On the break-up of Yugoslavia, The HDZ government nationalized private agricultural property and rezoned it under the guise of forest statesmanship, when their publicly professed agenda was to only complete the nationalization of the communists. Much of this land is in the process of being reinstated and the model rethought.

Cuba

  • After the Cuban Revolution of 1959 the Castro government gradually expropriated all foreign-owned private companies, most of which were owned by American corporations and individuals. The immediate trigger was the refusal by American-owned oil refineries to refine the crude oil received from the Soviet Union. Faced with the prospect of no oil, Cuba nationalized the three American refineries. This action escalated the US embargo on Cuba, which responded by nationalizing all American owned property. Eventually all Cuban private property was nationalized.
  • Beginning in 1966, the Castro government nationalized all remaining privately owned businesses in Cuba, down to the level of street vendors. The process accelerated on March 14, 1968, with a new "revolutionary offensive."
  • Castro had offered bonds at 4.5% interest over twenty years to U.S. companies, but U.S. ambassador Philip Bonsal requested the compensation up front and rejected the offer. A minor amount of $1.3 million, was paid to U.S. interests before deteriorating relations ended all cooperation between the two governments. The U.S. established a registry of claims against the Cuban government, ultimately developing files on 5,911 specific companies. The Cuban government has refused to discuss the compensation of U.S. claims and the U.S. government continues to insist on compensation for U.S. companies.

Czechoslovakia

  • 1945 - Large manufacturing enterprise nationalized by the National Front government.
  • 1948 - All manufacturing enterprises nationalized by Klement Gottwald's Communist government after the 1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état.

Egypt

  • 1956 - On July 26, 1956 Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal Company's assets in Egypt, including the Suez Canal, and placed them under the control of the Suez Canal Authority.

Finland

  • **1993 A minor part of the banking sector is nationalized, Omaisuudenhoitoyhtiö Arsenal was created to solve the banking crisis.
  • **2015: Talvivaara Sotkamo Ltd which operated a nickel mine in Sotkamo, went bankrupt in November 2014, and the Finnish state immediately took over the mine in order to stabilize the mine's operations in order to prevent environmental damage. Terrafame, which is wholly owned by the Finnish state, bought the mine from the bankruptcy estate for one euro in August 2015. Since then, efforts have been made to privatize the mine. The state's holding in November 2020 was still 71.2%.

France

  • Nationalization dates back to the 'regies' or state monopolies organized under the Ancien Régime, for example, the monopoly on tobacco sales. Communications companies France Telecom and La Poste are relics of the state postal and telecommunications monopolies.
  • There was a major expansion of the nationalized sector following World War II. A second wave followed in 1982.
  • 1938 - Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français (SNCF) (originally a 51% State holding, increased to 100% in 1982).
  • 1945 - Several nationalizations in France, including most important banks (Crédit lyonnais, le Comptoir national d'escompte de Paris and the Société générale among others), the schemes and companies comprising the insurance sector, and the car-maker Renault. The firm was seized for Louis Renault's alleged collaboration with Nazi Germany, although this condemnation was without judgment and after his death, making this case remarkable and rare. A later judgment (1949) admitted that Renault's plant never collaborated. Renault was successful and profitable whilst nationalized and remains successful today, after having been partially privatized in 1996. France increased its 15% minority share holding in Renault to 19% in 2015.
  • 1946 - Charbonnages de France, Electricite de France (EdF), Gaz de France (GdF) nationalized as établissements public à caractère industriel et commercial.
  • 1982 - François Mitterrand's proposals in the 110 Propositions for France and alliance with Jean-Pierre Chevènement's Socialist Party faction CERES, committed France to an explicitly socialist ‘rupture with capitalism’. Full nationalization (100%): the Compagnie Générale d'Electricité, the Compagnie Générale de Constructions Téléphoniques, Pechiney-Ugine-Kuhlmann, Rhône-Poulenc, Saint-Gobain-Pont-à-Mousson, Thompson-Brandt. Partial nationalization (51%+): Dassault, Honeywell-Bull, Matra, Roussel-Uclaf, Sacilor, Usinor. Thirty-nine banks, two financial houses, and the remaining 49% of the SNCF were also nationalized, taking the size of the French state to unprecedented levels within a year of Mitterrand's election as president in 1981.
  • The Paris regional transport operator, RATP Group, can also be counted as a nationalized industry.

Germany

  • The railways were nationalized after World War I. Partial privatization of Deutsche Bahn was planned in 2008 but stopped due to the World Economic Crisis. As of 2020 there are no plans for privatization.
  • Large sections of the mining, banking, and shipping industries either became dependent on government money or were placed entirely under care of the Weimar Republic in the wake of the Great Depression; these were later reprivatized between 1934 and 1937 by the Nazi regime.
  • In Nazi Germany, private businessmen had the ability to influence government policy, and most of them remained committed to the principle of Gewerbefreiheit – business freedom – seeking to prevent any nationalization of industry. Nevertheless, as the Nazi government confiscated the assets of conquered nations during World War II, over 500 state enterprises were expanded to absorb those assets, one of the largest being the Hermann Göring Works (iron), mostly operated by the Nazi Party apparatus.
  • In East Germany, most enterprises were nationalized in the years following World War II. After German reunification, an agency called Treuhand was established to return them to private ownership, however many were liquidated.
  • 2008 - Renationalization of the "Bundesdruckerei" (Federal Print Office), which had been privatized in 2001.
  • 2022 - nationalized Gazprom Germania assets as Securing Energy for Europe
  • 2022 - nationalized Rosneft's German assets as Securing Energy for Europe

Greece

  • 1974 - Nationalization of Olympic Airlines, main airline of Greece. Its founder, Aristotle Onassis, sold all his shares to the Greek state.
  • 2011 - Proton Bank is effectively nationalized in the midst of the Greek financial crisis.

Guernsey

  • 2003 - Aurigny Air Services was bought by the States of Guernsey to keep important routes from the island to London Gatwick Airport.

Iceland

  • 2008 - Renationalization of Iceland's largest commercial banks: Kaupþing, Landsbanki, Glitnir and Icebank.
  • 2009 - Nationalization of Straumur Investment Bank and the savings bank SPRON.

India

  • 1949 - (1 January) Reserve Bank of India nationalized. The Reserve Bank of India was state-owned at the time of Indian independence.
  • 1953 - Air India under the Air Corporations Act 1953.
  • 1955 - Imperial Bank of India and its subsidiaries (State Bank of India and its subsidiaries).
  • 1969 - Nationalization of 14 Indian banks.
  • 1972 - Nationalization and restructuring of 107 insurance companies under the General Insurance Corporation of India.
  • 1973 - Coal industry under Coal India Limited and the oil and gas industry under the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.
  • 1980 - Another six banks nationalized.

Indonesia

  • 1953 - Bank of Java nationalized, after nationalization this bank became Bank Indonesia
  • 1957 - During the height of Western New Guinea dispute, Dutch companies were nationalized.
  • 1964 - During the height of Konfrontasi, British companies were nationalized.
  • 1998 - Four banks nationalized during financial crisis (Bank Danamon, Bank BCA, Bank Tiara Asia, and Bank PDFCI).

Iran

  • 1953 - Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in Iran. After the 1953 Iranian coup d'état it was reprivatized as an international consortium eventually known as the "Seven Sisters."
  • 1953 - Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh nationalized all buses in Iran.
  • 1953 - British Petroleum's Iranian assets (actually a nationalization of part of a part-nationalized company).

Iraq

  • Nationalization of the oil industry.

Ireland

  • 1940s - Railways were nationalized in the 1940s as Córas Iompair Éireann.
  • 2007 - On August 3, 2007, the Irish government was offered a stake in Eircom's copper network infrastructure. Ireland's telephone networks were privatized in 1999.
  • 2009 - On January 16, 2009, the Irish Government nationalized Anglo Irish Bank to secure the bank's viability.
  • 2010 - State-owned Anglo Irish Bank is to take majority control of one of Ireland's largest companies QUINN group bringing it under Public ownership.

Israel

  • 1983 - Nationalization of the major banks: Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Discount Bank, Mezrachi Bank due to the Bank stock crisis that struck in 1983.

Italy

  • 1905 - The railways were nationalized as Ferrovie dello Stato.
  • 1978 - The formation of the National Health Service provided free healthcare to all citizens, still some private spending but 77% is public.
  • The regime of Benito Mussolini extended nationalization, creating the Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale (IRI) as a State holding company for struggling firms, including the car maker Alfa Romeo. A parallel body, Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (Eni) was set up to manage State oil and gas interests. Fascist Italy had nationalized over three-quarters of its economy by 1939, more so than any nation other than the Soviet Union. Mussolini had earlier boasted in 1934 that “Three-fourths of the Italian economy, industrial and agricultural, is in the hands of the state." By 1939 the Italian state had taken over four-fifths of Italy's shipping and shipbuilding, three-fourths of pig iron production, and nearly half of the steel industry.

Japan

  • 1906 - Railway Nationalization Act of nationalized 17 railway companies to form the nationwide railway network that was later called Japanese National Railways.
  • 2003 - Resona Holdings was effectively nationalized after the bank's capital adequacy went too low.
  • 2010 - Japan Airlines was nationalized after its bankruptcy.
  • 2012 - Tokyo Electric Power Company was partially nationalized by the Tokyo Metropolis after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Kuwait

  • Nationalization of the oil industry.

Lithuania

  • 2011 - Snoras bank was nationalized.

Latvia

  • 2008 - Parex Bank was nationalized.

Libya

  • Nationalization of the oil industry.

Malta

  • 1974 - Bank of Valletta is founded following nationalization of the National Bank of Malta.

Mexico

  • 1938 - The Expropriation of the Petroleum Industry: President Lázaro Cárdenas issued a decree that the petroleum companies were in rebellion against the government and under the powers granted him under the Expropriation Act passed by the Congress of Mexico in late 1936 expropriated them. March 19, 1938, union personnel took control of the properties, eventually reorganizing it as Pemex.
  • 1960 - President Adolfo López Mateos nationalized the electrical system on September 21, 1960, under the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE). President Carlos Salinas de Gortari reprivatized the system in 1992, although the state-owned CFE remains influential.
  • 1982 - The nationalization of the Mexican banking system made by President José López Portillo in response to the debt crisis. Under the Carlos Salinas de Gortari presidency (1988–1994) the nationalized banks were privatized very rapidly between 1991 and 1992 to Mexican family groups.
  • Nationalization of the oil industry.

Nepal

  • 1951 - The government after a revolution nationalized private and communal forests throughout the country.

The Netherlands

  • 2008 - The state nationalizes the Dutch activities of Belgian-Dutch banking and insurance company Fortis, which had come in solvability problems due to the international financial crisis.
  • 2013 - SNS Bank is nationalized. It had been in trouble for more than a year, not able to find a private investor. On February 1, 2013, Jeroen Dijselbloem (Dutch Minister of Finance) declared SNS nationalized.

New Zealand

  • 1945 - The Bank of New Zealand was nationalized. It was later sold to the National Australia Bank in 1992.
  • 2001 - Government purchased the Auckland railway network from Tranz Rail.
  • 2003 - The Labour Government took an 80% stake in near-bankrupt national air carrier Air New Zealand in exchange for a large financial infusion.
  • 2004 - The rest of the country's rail network is purchased from Toll New Zealand, formerly Tranz Rail. A new state owned enterprise, ONTRACK, was established to maintain the rail infrastructure.
  • 2008 - The rolling stock and ferries of Toll New Zealand was purchased, bringing the rail system under state ownership, renamed KiwiRail.

Nigeria

  • Nationalization of the oil industry.

North Korea

  • Many lands, enterprises and industries were nationalized by the Soviet Civil Administration and the Worker's Party-dominated provisional government in northern Korea after World War II, which later became the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in 1948.

Pakistan

  • 1972 - On January 2, 1972, Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, after East Pakistan broke away, announced the nationalization of all major industries, including iron and steel, heavy engineering, heavy electricals, petrochemicals, cement and public utilities except textiles industry and lands. The process was effectively ended after the overthrow of Prime Minister Bhutto in Operation Fair Play.
  • 2011 - On December 15, 2011, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani nationalized all privately held shares in PIA, Railways, and Steel Mills, in order to protect capital flight of the state-owned enterprises. Pakistan Railways as well as Pakistan International Airlines. The current nationalization program remains intact and profitable while remaining within government ownership.

Philippines

  • During the term of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, important companies such as Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), Philippine Airlines, Meralco and the Manila Hotel were nationalized. Other companies were sometimes absorbed into these government-owned corporations, as well as other companies, such as National Power Corporation (Napocor) and the Philippine National Railways, which in their own right are monopolies (exceptions are Meralco and the Manila Hotel). Today, these companies have been reprivatized and some, such as PLDT and Philippine Airlines, have been de-monopolized. Others, like government-owned and controlled corporation Napocor, are in the process of privatization.

Poland

  • **1946: Following World War II the Soviet-sponsored Provisional Government of National Unity nationalized all enterprises with over 50 employees under the Three-Year Plan.

Portugal

  • 1974 - In the years following the Carnation Revolution, the Junta de Salvação Nacional and Provisional Governments nationalized all the banking, insurance, petrol and industrial companies. Among those companies were Companhia União Fabril (CUF), the assets of the Champalimaud family and SONAE. Along with the telecommunications companies, which were state-owned even before the Revolution, many of the nationalized companies were reprivatized in the 1980s and 1990s. In the agricultural sector, according to government estimates, about 900,000 hectares (2,200,000 acres) of agricultural land were occupied between April 1974 and December 1975 in the name of land reform; about 32% of the occupations were ruled illegal. In January 1976, the government pledged to restore the illegally occupied land to its owners, and in 1977, it promulgated the Land Reform Review Law. Restoration of illegally occupied land began in 1978.
  • 2008 - BPN - Banco Português de Negócios bank nationalized to prevent its collapse.

Romania

  • 1948 - With the Decree 119 of June 11, 1948, the new Communist regime nationalized all private companies and their assets leading to the transformation of the economy from a market economy to a planned economy.
  • 1950 - With the Decree 92 of April 19, 1950, a huge number of private houses and lands are confiscated.

Russia/Soviet Union

  • 1918 - All manufacturing enterprises, many retailing enterprises, any private enterprises, the whole banking sector, agrarian sector, transportation sector, mining sector, and others nationalized by the new Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic under War Communism. Later the government of Vladimir Lenin introduced the New Economic Policy that shifted the country somewhat towards market economics until the end of the revolutionary period and Joseph Stalin's acquisition of power.
  • 1998 - The Yeltsin government began seizing Gazprom assets, claiming that the company owed back taxes. Privatization of Gazprom from the mid-1990s had been reduced to 38.37% with the intention of achieving full privatization. However, the stake of the Russian Government in Gazprom has since been increased to 50% with Vladimir Putin's plan to increase the stake to a controlling position. Gazprom is also buying up both Russian and other international utility companies.
  • 2013 - The space industry is renationalized. The government created a new corporation—United Rocket and Space Corporation—in August 2013 because of a string of recent rocket launch failures. According to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, "The failure-prone space sector is so troubled that it needs state supervision to overcome its problems."

Saudi Arabia

  • 1980 - The government nationalized the oil producer company Aramco.
  • Nationalization of the oil industry.

South Korea

  • 1946 - USAMGIK nationalized all railroad companies in southern Korea and made the Department of Transportation. This now becomes Korail.

Spain

  • 1927-1930 - Petroleum industry was nationalized.
  • 1941 - Railways were nationalized, as RENFE, by the Francoist state in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War.
  • 1944 - Nationalization of the Airline Iberia under the Instituto Nacional de Industria.
  • 1945 - The State buys a 79% share of telephone operator Telefónica.
  • 1983 - Nationalization without compensation of Rumasa.

Sri Lanka

  • 1957 - On November 01, 1957, Katunayake air base and Trincomalee naval base were nationalized from the British.
  • 1958 - On January 01, 1958, Bus transport was nationalized, creating the Ceylon Transport Board.
  • 1958 -On August 01, 1958, the Port of Colombo was nationalized, creating the Port (Cargo) Corporation.
  • 1961 - On January 14, 1961, private schools were nationalized.
  • 1961 - On July 27, 1961, the Bank of Ceylon was nationalized.
  • 1961 - Insurance industry nationalized, creating the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation.
  • 1961 - American and British oil companies nationalized, creating Ceylon Petroleum Corporation.
  • 1962 - The Ceylon Government nationalized the assets of the partly British-owned Royal Dutch Shell company.
  • 1971 - Graphite mines nationalized, creating the State Graphite Corporation. Partially privatized in the 1990s.
  • 1972 - Locally owned tea, rubber and coconut plantations nationalized.
  • 1973 - On July 23, 1973, the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited were nationalized.
  • 1975 - Nationalization of the assets of the British-owned plantation companies.
  • 1977 - August 1977 Times of Ceylon Limited nationalized.
  • 2009 - Seylan Bank nationalized to prevent its collapse.
  • 2011 - The Expropriation Act passed. The government will take over "underperforming or underutilized assets of 37 enterprises".

Sweden

  • 1939-1948 - Nationalization of most of the private railway companies.
  • 1957 - The mining company LKAB is nationalized. The state had owned 50% of the corporation's shares, with options to buy the remainder, since 1907.
  • 1970s - The Swedish government nationalized the pharmacies, where the state-owned Apoteksbolaget AB was given a retail monopoly.
  • 1992 - A minor part of the banking sector is nationalized.

Tanzania

  • 1967 - The Arusha Declaration was proclaimed in 1967 by President Julius Nyerere, which aimed to achieve self-reliance through nationalizing key sectors of the economy such as banks, large industries and plantations were therefore nationalized. This failed, worsening Tanzania's economic problems until foreign aid and liberalization took effect in the 1980s and 1990s.

Turkey

  • 1928-1940 - After the abolition of Capitulations of the Ottoman Empire by the Treaty of Lausanne (1923), foreign concessions were suppressed, rail transport, electric power generation and distribution, telephone network and other big industrial firms were nationalized by Turkish government between 1928 and 1940.

United Kingdom

  • 1858 - British East India Company - In the aftermath of the Indian Rebellion, under the provisions of the Government of India Act 1858, the British Government nationalized the East India Company.
  • 1868 - Nationalization of inland telegraphs under the General Post Office with the Telegraph Act 1868.
  • 1875 - Suez Canal Company - The Egyptian share in the company was bought by the government.
  • 1912 - Nationalization of National Telephone Company under the GPO, apart from Portsmouth and Hull. The Portsmouth telephone service was nationalized the following year.
  • 1916 - Liquor Trade - The nationalization of pubs and breweries in Carlisle, Gretna, Cromarty and Enfield under the State Management Scheme; mainly an attempt to restrict alcohol consumption by armaments factory workers. The scheme was privatized by asset transfer in 1973.
  • 1926 - Central Electricity Board introduced under Electricity (Supply) Act 1926 established the National Grid and set up a national standard for electricity supply.
  • 1927 - British Broadcasting Company (a privately owned company) became the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), a public corporation operating under a Royal Charter.
  • 1933 - London Transport nationalized.
  • 1938 - Nationalization of UK Coal Royalties under the Coal Commission by the Coal Act 1938.
  • 1939 - British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), later British Airways - combining the private British Airways Ltd and the state owned Imperial Airways and placing its control under National Air Communications.
  • 1939-45 - During World War II, much of British industry was subjected to close regulation or control, although not nationalized as such.
  • 1943 - North of Scotland Hydro-Electricity Board.
  • 1945-51 - The Labour Party comes to power in the Attlee ministry with a program for nationalising weak sectors of the economy.
  • 1946 - Coal industry under the National Coal Board with the Coal Industry Nationalization Act 1946.
  • 1946 - Bank of England - its private shareholders who were bought out by the state.
  • 1946 - National Health Service created taking over hospitals and making medical services free by the National Health Service Act 1946.
  • 1947 - Central Electricity Generating Board and area electricity boards. Privatized in the 1990s.
  • 1947 - Cable & Wireless Ltd - the latter had had private shareholders who were bought out by the state.
  • 1948 - National rail, inland (not marine) water transport, some road haulage, some road passenger transport and Thomas Cook & Son under the British Transport Commission. Separate elements operated as British Railways, British Road Services, and British Waterways.
  • 1949 - Gas Act 1948 nationalizes local authority and private gas supply undertakings in England, Scotland and Wales.
  • 1951 - Iron and Steel Industry under the Iron and Steel Corporation of Great Britain (denationalized by Conservative Government in 1955).
  • 1967 - British Steel Corporation Re-nationalized (Reprivatized by the Conservative Government in September 1988).
  • 1969 - National Bus Company, combining former interests of the British Transport Commission with others acquired from the British Electric Traction group.
  • 1969 - Post Office Corporation created by the Post Office Act 1969.
  • 1971 - Rolls-Royce (1971) Ltd - The strategically important aero-engine part of the recently bankrupt Rolls-Royce Limited.
  • 1973 - Water Act 1973 nationalizes local authority water supply undertakings in England and Wales
  • 1973 - British Gas Corporation created, replacing regional gas boards.
  • 1974 - British Petroleum - the combination of a 50% stake bought by Winston Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty after World War I with around a 25% stake acquired by the Bank of England from Burmah Oil made the government directly or indirectly BP's majority shareholder, though commercial independence was maintained. The shares were all sold during the 1980s.
  • 1975 - National Enterprise Board - a State holding company for full or partial ownership of industrial undertakings.
  • 1976 - British Leyland Motor Corporation - became British Leyland upon nationalization under the National Enterprise Board. Later became known simply as the holding company "BL Ltd", it was later reorganized into several standalone businesses - the best known being Austin Rover, Leyland Trucks, Freight Rover, Land Rover and Jaguar.
  • 1977 - British Aerospace - combining the major aircraft companies British Aircraft Corporation, Hawker Siddeley and others. British Shipbuilders - combining the major shipbuilding companies including Cammell Laird, Govan Shipbuilders, Swan Hunter, Yarrow Shipbuilders under the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act 1977.
  • 1981 - British Telecom (later styled as BT) created, taking control of telecommunications services from Post Office Telecommunications under the British Telecommunications Act 1981.
  • 1984 - Johnson Matthey Bankers - purchased for a nominal sum of £1 by the Thatcher government on fears of a banking crisis and sold to Westpac in 1986.
  • 1990 - The Caledonian Steam Packet Co. spun off its ferry arm, Caledonian MacBrayne, with all shares in the new company being purchased by the Secretary of State for Scotland. Since Scottish devolution Caledonian MacBrayne has been owned by the Scottish Government.
  • 1997 - Docklands Light Railway - John Prescott announced to the 1997 Labour Party Conference that he had nationalized this, although it was already in public hands anyway.
  • 2001 - Railtrack - The owner and operator of the railway infrastructure, Railtrack, was not nationalized as such. However, its replacement Network Rail, whilst not a state-owned company, had no shareholders (company limited by guarantee) and was underwritten by the state. Prior to this the government began to make use of a residual shareholding of 0.2% (including voting rights) in Railtrack Group Plc left over from the original sale.
  • 2003 - The Strategic Rail Authority took control of the South Eastern franchise after the failure of the private operator Connex South Eastern. The franchise was re-privatized in 2006 as part of the Integrated Kent franchise.
  • 2008 - Northern Rock - Nationalization announced by Alistair Darling, Chancellor of the Exchequer on 17 February 2008 as 'a temporary measure'. The bank will be run at 'arm's length' as a commercial business and sold to a private buyer in the future.
  • 2008 - Bradford & Bingley (mortgage book only) - announced by Alistair Darling, Chancellor of the Exchequer on 29 September 2008. The loans part of the company was nationalized, while the commercial bank was sold.
  • 2008 - In October, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and the newly merged HBOS-Lloyds TSB was partly nationalized. The Government took approximately 60% of RBS (later increased to 70%, then 80%) and 40% of HBOS-Lloyds TSB as part of the £500bn bank rescue package. The Lloyds Bank and TSB businesses were operationally demerged in 2013 in preparation for a full demerger and reprivatisation.
  • 2009 - In June the Department for Transport took control of London & Continental Railways.
  • 2009 - On 13 November, Directly Operated Railways, a government company, took over the InterCity East Coast franchise that National Express East Coast had been awarded in 2007 with £1.4 billion premium to be paid over seven years. The nationalized service operated as East Coast and included services from London to Leeds and Edinburgh. It returned to the private sector in April 2015 with Virgin Trains East Coast.
  • 2013 - Cardiff Airport was purchased by the Welsh Government from its private owners for £52 million.
  • 2013 - In December it was acknowledged that Network Rail would be reclassified as a "public sector body" in 2014 with its financial liabilities now formally included as part of the national debt. Much debate continues however, whether this still constitutes "nationalization" in a broader context.
  • 2013 - Glasgow Prestwick Airport was purchased by the Scottish Government for £1 from its previous owner Infratil.
  • 2018 - On 24 June London North Eastern Railway took over the InterCity East Coast franchise after Virgin Trains East Coast overbid.
  • 2019 - Ferguson Marine Engineering nationalized by the Scottish government.
  • 2020 - The ONS announced that private train operating companies were to be temporarily reclassified as "public non-financial corporations" from 1 April due to the government assuming the financial risk of their rail franchises during the COVID-19 pandemic. The train operating companies' debt is to be included in public borrowing figures and their employees are to be counted as public sector employees.
  • 2021 - In November 2020, the British government announced that AWE plc, operator of the Atomic Weapons Establishment, would become wholly owned by the Ministry of Defence from June 2021.
  • 2021 - Probation services in England and Wales for low- and medium-risk offenders brought back under public control after being privatized in 2014.
  • 2021 - Steel manufacturer Sheffield Forgemasters is purchased by the Ministry of Defence.
  • 2021 - Government-owned Operator of Last Resort takes over train operator Southeastern from its franchise holder Govia.
  • 2022 - In January 2022 the Scottish government announced that, from 1 April, Scotrail operations would be transferred from Abellio to a Scottish government owned company.
  • Nationalization was a key feature of the first post World War II Labour government, from 1945 to 1951 under Clement Attlee. The coal and steel industries were just two of many industries or services to be nationalized, while the formation of the National Health Service in 1948 entitled everyone to universal health care. The subsequent Conservative governments led by Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Home and Edward Heath allowed practically all of the nationalized industries and services to remain in public ownership, as part of the Post-War Consensus. However, the election victory of Margaret Thatcher's Conservatives in 1979 saw the vast majority of nationalized industries, services and utilities privatized within a decade, although the National Health Service was allowed to continue. The Labour Party initially opposed Thatcher's privatization, but the party's commitment to nationalization had been abandoned by the time it swept back into power in 1997 under Tony Blair. However, in February 2008, Blair's successor Gordon Brown nationalized the failing Northern Rock bank during the Great Recession. The much larger Royal Bank of Scotland and Halifax Bank of Scotland were partially nationalized for the same reason in October of that year. After nearly four years in public ownership, Northern Rock was sold to Virgin Money and Royal Bank of Scotland agreed a branch sale to the Santander Group in November 2011. However, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds remain in public ownership five years later and in November 2012 the Public Accounts Committee warned that it could be many years before the banks are sold and the £66 billion so far invested in these banks may never be recovered.

United States

  • 1775 - Postal roads in the former Thirteen Colonies placed under control of the U.S. Post Office lead by Postmaster General Benjamin Franklin by decree of the Second Continental Congress during the American Revolution. Succeeded by the U.S. Post Office Department enabled by the Postal Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and eventually the U.S. Postal Service after the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970.
  • 1862 - United States Military Railroad (USMRR), organized under the U.S. War Department by the Railways and Telegraph Act of 1862, took over and merged into this state-owned entity all captured Confederate trains and other railway assets.
  • 1917 - Merck & Co. seized by the U.S. federal government during World War I under the Trading with the Enemy Act, later became a private company, separate from the original Merck Group operating in Germany.
  • 1917 - All U.S. railroads were operated (but not owned) by the Railroad Administration during World War I as a wartime measure. Railroads were returned to private control in 1920 under the Esch-Cummins Act.
  • 1918 - The U.S. telephone system was nationalized on July 31, 1918, and placed under control of the Post Office Department. It was returned to private ownership on July 31, 1919.
  • 1939 - Organization of the Tennessee Valley Authority entailed the nationalization of the Tennessee Electric Power Company.
  • 1943 - On December 27, 1943, President Roosevelt nationalized the railroads for a few weeks to settle a strike.
  • 1971 - The National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) is a government-owned corporation created in 1971 for the express purpose of relieving American railroads of their legal obligation to provide intercity passenger rail service. The (primarily) freight railroads had petitioned to abandon passenger service repeatedly in the decades leading up to Amtrak's formation.
  • 1976 - The Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) was created by the Regional Rail Reorganization Act to take over the operations of six bankrupt rail lines operating primarily in the Northeast; Conrail was privatized in 1987 under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act when it was acquired by CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway, although it continues operations as an asset management and network services provider. Initial plans for Conrail would have made it a truly nationalized system like that during World War I, but an alternate proposal by the Association of American Railroads won out.
  • 1989 - Resolution Trust Corporation seized control of hundreds of failed savings and loan associations under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act in response to the 1980s savings and loan crisis.
  • 2001 - In response to the September 11 attacks, the airport security industry was nationalized and put under the authority of the FAA-controlled Transportation Security Administration under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act.
  • 2008 - Some economists consider the government's takeover of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation and Federal National Mortgage Association to have been nationalization (or renationalization). The conservatorship model used with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is looser and more temporary than nationalization.
  • 2009 - Some economists consider the government's actions through the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act with regards to Citigroup to have been a partial nationalization. A proposal was made that banks like Citigroup be brought under a conservatorship model similar to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that some of their "good assets" be dropped into newly created "good bank" subsidiaries (presumably under new management), and the remaining "bad assets" be left to be managed under the supervision of a conservatorship structure. The government's actions with regard to General Motors in replacing the CEO with a government-approved CEO is likewise being considered as nationalization. On June 1, 2009, General Motors filed for bankruptcy during the automotive industry crisis, with the government investing up to $50 billion in debtor-in-possession financing and taking 60% ownership in the company. In addition to a U.S. Government ownership, the Governments of Canada and Ontario also took ownership of 7.9% and 3.8% of General Motors, respectively. President Barack Obama stated that the nationalization was temporary, saying, "We are acting as reluctant shareholders because that is the only way to help GM succeed".

Venezuela

  • 1975 - Nationalization of the iron and steel industry.
  • 1976 - Foundation of PDVSA with the nationalization of the Venezuelan oil industry under the presidency of Carlos Andrés Pérez.
  • 2007 - On May 1, 2007, the government stripped the world's biggest oil companies of operational control over massive Orinoco Belt crude projects, a controversial component in President Hugo Chávez's nationalization drive.
  • 2008 - On April 3, 2008, Chávez ordered the nationalization of the cement industry.
  • 2008 - On April 9, 2008, Chávez ordered the nationalization of Venezuelan steel mill Sidor, in which Luxembourg-based Ternium currently holds a 60% stake. Sidor employees and the Government hold a 20% stake respectively.
  • 2008 - On August 19, 2008, Chávez ordered the take-over of a cement plant owned and operated by Cemex, an international cement producer. While shares of Cemex fell on the New York Stock Exchange, the cement plant comprises only about 5% of the company's business, and is not expected to adversely affect the company's ability to produce in other markets. Chávez has been looking to nationalize the concrete and steel industries of his country to meet home building and infrastructure goals.
  • 2009 - On February 28, 2009, Chávez ordered the army to take over all rice processing and packaging plants.
  • 2010 - On January 20, 2010, Chávez signed an ordinance to nationalize six supermarkets under the system of retail stores of a French company because of increasing price and Illicit speculation hoarding.
  • 2010 - On June 24, 2010, Venezuela announced the intention to nationalize oil drilling rigs belonging to the U.S. company Helmerich & Payne.
  • 2010 - On October 25, 2010, Chávez announced that the government was nationalizing two U.S.-owned Owens-Illinois glass-manufacturing plants.
  • 2010 - On October 31, 2010, Chávez said his government will take over the Sidetur steel manufacturing plant. Sidetur is owned by Vivencia, which had two mineral plants appropriated by the government in 2008.
  • 2015 - Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro promises to nationalize food distribution.

Vietnam

  • According to the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1980, land ownership of farmers disappeared. Instead, the State owns all land and people have the right to temporary use of it, as a result of the Land reform in North Vietnam from 1953 to 1956.
  • After the Fall of Saigon in 1975, the government nationalized nearly all the property of the "landlords" and "comprador" in South Vietnam, property of the church and of the government of South Vietnam. All private enterprise was nationalized without compensation down to the street vendors, however "shadow companies" continued to operate.

Zambia

  • 1968 - Government under Kenneth Kaunda nationalized the copper industry, represented by Anglo-American Corporation and American Metal Climax, formerly having been controlled partly by the British South Africa Company.

Zimbabwe

  • Zimbabwe has nationalized its food distribution infrastructure.
  • Data can change with little warning, as countries may nationalize additional assets or privatize previously nationalized assets at any time.

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Country
# of Assets Nationalized
Additional Details
United Kingdom53
Argentina21
United States13
Venezuela12
India7
Bangladesh6
France5
Spain5
New Zealand5
Indonesia4
Japan4
Canada4
Bolivia4
Sweden4
Russia3
Mexico3
Germany3
Ireland3
Guernsey3
Pakistan2
Iran2
Italy2
Australia2
Romania2
Netherlands2
Czech Republic2
Greece2
Portugal2
Finland2
Iceland2
Nigeria1
Nationalization of the oil industry
Egypt1
Vietnam1
Turkey1
Tanzania1
Colombia1
South Korea1
Iraq1
Nationalization of the oil industry
Poland1
Saudi Arabia1
Nepal1
Zambia1
Chile1
Zimbabwe1
Israel1
Libya1
Nationalization of the oil industry
Kuwait1
Nationalization of the oil industry
Lithuania1
Latvia1
Bahrain1
Malta1
China
In the period of Republican China, Sun Yat-sen had sweeping land reforms and nationalized many indus...
Croatia
On the break-up of Yugoslavia, The HDZ government nationalized private agricultural property and rez...
showing: 53 rows

What countries have nationalized banks?

Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, India, Iran, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Palestine, Serbia, South Africa, and the United States have nationalized banking systems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sources