Kazatomprom reportedly hires JP Morgan as lead adviser for 2018 IPO

By bne IntelliNews November 29, 2017

Kazakhstan’s state uranium miner Kazatomprom has hired JP Morgan as its lead adviser for a London listing planned for 2018, Reuters reported on November 29, citing two anonymous sources.

Sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna chairman Umirzak Shukeyev has previously stated that Kazakhstan has completed the privatisation of 60% of companies belonging to the fund under the country’s privatisation programme. The fund has sold 215 small and medium-sized companies since the launch of its privatisation drive and is now preparing larger firms for their IPOs. The government, which has contended with a plunge in revenues from oil, has previously said it plans to sell stakes of at least 25% in 45 large state-owned companies. The transactions are to include at least seven IPOs.

Kazatomprom, the world’s second largest uranium producer by proven reserves, is aiming to float up to 25% of the company. It accounted for 24% of global production and its net income stood at $326mn in 2016, according to its website. The 2015 ratios show the company produced 39% of the world’s uranium in that year.

“Spot prices UX-U3O8-SPT of uranium, used to power nuclear reactors, dipped to a 13-year low late last year and have rebounded only modestly in 2017,” the Reuters report said.

Kazatomprom, is expected to produce 22,150 tonnes in 2017, Minister of Energy Kanat Bozumbayev said on November 27. The output would be below the 24,600 tonnes produced in 2016.

The IPOs were originally set to launch in 2017, but the fund has continuously postponed its goals or has been unclear about its future deadlines.

The Astana stock exchange, set to launch in January next year, hopes to attract investors via the planned IPOs of Air Astana and Kazatomprom as well as that of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC). The bourse is aiming to attract most of the major flotations planned under Kazakhstan’s privatisation programme.

The authorities expect the privatisation programme to yield between $4bn and $7bn by the end of the drive, with the IPOs alone accounting for $3.5bn-$5.5bn.

Most of the privatisation programme is expected to be completed by 2018, excluding the seven IPOs, which might get pushed out to 2019 or 2020.

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