Kazakhstan to announce IPO plans for top companies in February

By bne IntelliNews December 7, 2016

Kazakhstan will hold an investor day in London in February to announce details of a plan to privatise a number of large companies via initial public offerings (IPOs), the head of the Samruk-Kazyna sovereign wealth fund said on December 6.

The government, which faces a plunge in revenues from oil, has said earlier it plans to sell stakes of at least 25% in 43 large state-owned companies. Air Astana's IPO is scheduled for the end of 2017, while stakes in uranium miner Kazatomprom and telecommunications operator Kazakhtelecom will be offered for sale in 2018. Other companies that are to be privatised include KazMunaiGaz, electricity producer Samruk-Energo, mining company Tau-Ken Samruk, Kaztsink and Kazpochta. 

The Kazakh government aims for a full or partial sell-off of 1,008 companies under its privatisation plans until 2020. The companies include 217 units in direct ownership of Samruk-Kazyna or via its national company subsidiaries.

Kazakhstan has sold 310 state-owned companies as part of its privatisation programme launched in 2014, the finance ministry said on September 21. Kazakh state budget received KZT6.99bn from the privatisation deals by September 20. In addition, regional budgets obtained KZT4.83bn, national holdings acquired KZT68.06bn and corporate social enterprises got KZT6.3bn.

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 its competitiveness. Privatisation is also seen by Kazakh authorities as a way to revive the economy that has been hit by the low oil prices. The privatisation programme will reduce the government’s participation in the country’s economy to 15%.

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