Top Kazakh Companies to Be Privatised through IPO in 2017, 2018

ASTANA – A Kazakh government commission has approved the Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund’s plan to privatise major Kazakh national companies through initial public offerings (IPOs) beginning this year, head of Samruk Kazyna Umirzak Shukeyev announced Dec. 6.

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“Air Astana plans an IPO in late 2017 or early 2018, depending on market conditions. The deal is already agreed with the second shareholder. As a result, the fund will own only blocking minority ownership, which is equal to 25 percent plus 1 share of voting shares. At that, 51 percent of shares must remain in the hands of Kazakh investors under the intergovernmental agreement,” Shukeyev said.

According to him, Kazakhtelecom is already 49 percent privately owned company. It is planned to prepare it for IPO at the end of 2018. A quarter of Kazatomprom shares will be sold in the first half of 2018 and a quarter of KazMunayGas shares will be sold by the end of 2018. An IPO of Samruk-Energo is planned for 2019.

“Up to 49 percent of Kazpost shares will be sold in 2019. Kazakhstan Temir Zholy will be sold only after its financial recovery in 2020,” the head of Samruk Kazyna said.

Shukeyev reported that Samruk Kazyna is also preparing Qazaq Air and Tauken-Samruk for IPO.

The head of the fund asked the Ministry of National Economy to create a working group to prepare all assets for IPO.

All approaches were approved Nov. 1 by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, said Minister of National Economy Kuandyk Bishimbayev.

“As of today, corresponding decisions were made for 153 companies of 216 companies of Samruk Kazyna and they will be transferred to the competitive environment,” the minister said.

Those include 20 companies among the top 65 major Kazakh companies and 133 second-tier companies.

Bishimbayev said the companies will be listed not only at the Astana International Financial Centre, but also on exchanges in London and Hong Kong.