Kazakhstan plans three People's IPOs in 2013

By bne IntelliNews March 19, 2013

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Three Kazakh "People's IPOs" of major state owned companies are scheduled for 2013, and will kick off with the sale of shares in electricity grid operator Kegoc in the first half. The listing of another two energy companies - KazTransGas and Samruk-Energy - will also take place this year, Deputy Prime Minister Kairat Kelimbetov said on March 18.

"The second stage of the People's IPO programme is to start this year with the sale of Kegoc shares in the second quarter," Kelimbetov told a press conference in Astana, according to Kazinform. This will be followed in the fourth quarter by the sale of shares in gas transportation company KazTransGas and power generator Samruk-Energy - a division of Kazakh sovereign wealth fund and state holding company Samruk-Kazyna.

Kegoc announced in October that it plans to sell 10% of its shares in its upcoming float on the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE). This will follow the debut People's IPO, which saw pipeline operator KazTransOil list a 10% stake in November. The sale, at KZT725 ($4.82) per share, valued the stake at $186m.

Overall, the People's IPO programme plans to sell minority stakes in twelve major state-owned or partially state-owned companies. The goal is to boost retail stock market investment and stimulate activity on KASE, as well as raise funds for the participating companies' investment programmes. Priority is given to Kazakh retail investors.

Speaking at the same press conference as the deputy PM, Kuandyk Bishimbayev, deputy chairman of Samruk Kazyna, claimed that the programme is now gaining support from the public following a series of educational events in 2012. "The proportion of respondents positively evaluating the People's IPO programme increased from 24 to 36.5%, while the percentage of skeptics expressing a negative opinion ... almost halved, falling from 13.4 to 7.7%," he said.

Following the three IPOs scheduled for 2013, eight other companies are due to be listed by the end of 2015. They include national carrier Air Astana, Kazmortransflot, national oil and gas company KazMunaiGas, railways operator Kazakhstan Temir Zholy and its subsidiary Kaztemirtrans and nuclear energy company Kazatomprom.

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