PARIS--The French state on Tuesay began selling a 1.39% stake in defense-equipment group Safran SA (SAF.FR), as it seeks to shift capital into new sectors.

At the end of the sale, the state will still hold 14% of Safran's shares and 21.9% of the voting rights, the French state's asset management agency Agence des Participations de l'Etat said.

"This sale is part of the active asset management policy, which should preserve the strategic interests of the state while also freeing up capital resources to support new sectors," the agency said in a statement.

-Write to William Horobin at william.horobin@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 22, 2016 13:36 ET (18:36 GMT)

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