Kazakh government approves list of assets to be privatised

By bne IntelliNews January 7, 2016

The Ministry of Economy has published a government resolution on a  large-scale privatisation that is planned to be carried in 2016-2020. The resolution includes a list of state-owned assets that will be privatised via direct sale or IPO.

The list includes dozens of major state-owned assets that are planned to be privatised. However, it also includes Air Astana that the government pledged not to privatise as a reduction in government involvement in the air carrier may lead to the company losing its right to operate international routes. Therefore, the list might not be final and is likely to be revised.

The list includes oil and gas company KazMunayGas, uranium miner Kazatomprom, power operaotr Samruk-Energo, railway operator Kazakhstan Temir Zholy and gold miner Tau-Ken Samruk as well as postal operator Kazpost. According to the document, they will be sold through IPO.

The list also includes dozens of other companies but does not indicate how they are planned to be privatised. In 2015, Kazakh officials said that they would be sold to strategic investors.

The ministry did not provide any details regarding the potential value of the assets. At the same time, no information about the size of the stakes to be offered to potential investors was given.

In 2015, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev ordered the government to expand the privatisation plan in an attempt to reduce state-involvement in the economy and to increase competitiveness. Privatisation is also seen by Kazakh authorities as a way to revive the economy suffering from the low oil price. In December, privatisation plan was approved and the government is working on the list and the mechanisms of privatisation.

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