Kazakh privatisation programme sells 291 entities worth $337.5 million

ASTANA – The national privatisation programme for 2016-2020 has seen the sale of 291 of 887 entities earlier slated for sale for 112.7 billion tenge (US$337.5 million) through Oct. 1, reported Kazakh Minister for Finance Bakhyt Sultanov during the Oct. 17 government session.

Bakhyt Sultanov

Bakhyt Sultanov

He noted the sales include 23 state-owned entities for 8.3 billion tenge (US$24.85 million), 162 in communal ownership for 33.1 billion tenge (US$99.1 million) and 106 in the quasi-public sector for 71.3 billion tenge (US$213.5 million).

At present, 211 entities on the list will either be reorganised or liquidated. The government plans to sell 473 entities with 251 already offered, including 112 entities sold for 55.6 billion tenge (US$166.5 million).

“The results of the analysis meant to examine the efficiency of the sales demonstrate that the total value of the sold entities is 17.4 percent more than their balance value,” said Sultanov.

In line with President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s instruction, the government has been carrying out an ambitious privatisation programme since 2014 to reduce the state share in the economy up to 15 percent of the nation’s GDP, a figure corresponding to the level of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member states. The government expects the measures will bolster the private sector and attract investments, funds needed for emerging economies such  as Kazakhstan.

The 2014-2016 privatisation programme resulted in the sale of more than 30 percent of 831 entities owned by the state and quasi-public sector. The privatisation plan for 2016-2020 incorporating a new list of entities began in January 2016.

“Currently, the programme is 74.3 percent complete,” noted Sultanov.

Privatisation of 24 entities are of particular importance this year, he added, including 20 currently under the control of national holdings and the state-owned Astana Airport, Astana Konak Yui, KazMedTech and the National Scientific Medical Centre.

Kazakh Minister for Economy Timur Suleimenov reported on changes made in the budget code as per Nazarbayev’s instruction.

“The changes are about the transfer of funds generated from privatisation to the National Fund. The draft decree is currently in state bodies awaiting their approval,” he said.

The ministry also conducted an inventory of subordinate organisations that will remain under state ownership, he added, including 6,523 organisations with social entities such as kindergartens, schools and hospitals accounting for 85 percent of the list.