Kazakhtelecom, Air Astana to be listed as IPOs in 2019

ASTANA – Kazakh national telecom operator Kazakhtelecom and national airline Air Astana will be listed as IPOs this year, Minister of Finance Alikhan Smailov said at a Feb. 11 press conference.

Alikhan Smailov. Photo credit: primeminister.kz.

“In 2019, we plan to list two Samruk Kazyna [Sovereign Wealth Fund] companies through IPOs. These are Kazakhtelecom and Air Astana. In 2020, the plan will include Kazakhstan Temir Zholy [national railway company], KazMunayGas, KazPost and Samruk Energo. In each case, Samruk Kazyna will make the decision at the board of the fund on implementation of shares through IPO. The website will list all information concerning the sales,” he noted.

This year, the ministry plans to sell another 123 facilities as part of its large-scale privatisation effort; 22 large companies under Samruk Kazyna will remain for 2020.

The privatisation programme launched in 2016 is currently 84 percent complete, said Smailov. Of the 898 objects on the list, 530 are for sale, including 473 sold for 470 billion tenge (US$1.25 billion).

The figure is 1.7 percent higher than the estimated market price and 51 percent higher than their book value, he added. This includes 47 national objects worth 44 billion tenge (US$117.2 million), 246 communal property objects worth 64 billion tenge (US$170.5 million), 102 objects owned by national holdings worth 356 billion tenge (US$948.8 million) and 78 corporate social entrepreneurship objects worth six billion tenge (US$15.9 million).

Another 280 facilities are at the reorganisation and liquidation stage.

Kazatomprom, the national atomic company, placed 15 percent of its shares ($431 million) on the London Stock Exchange and Astana International Exchange in November. It was the first national company listed on an international stock exchange and shares were purchased by 49 foreign and 17 local companies and 2,700 Kazakh citizens.

“I would like to note that the comprehensive privatisation plan is regularly updated with the facilities revealed during the inventory. Last year, an additional 48 objects were included in the list,” said Smailov.

“There are no limits for taking part in an IPO. All citizens have the right to participate in an IPO. This entitles [the individual] to revenues of the company that lists its shares on the exchange and receive part of it through dividends on one side and, on the other, if company shares grow, then through this [mechanism],” he added.