Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA


Kazakhstan hopes to lure stock investors with relaxed rules and privatisations 0

Posted on February 14, 2016 by KazCham

Colibri Law Firm BI@colibrilaw.com

Kazakhstan hopes to attract foreign investors to its stock market by relaxing regulations and offering stakes in some of its biggest companies.

The Central Asian nation has long struggled to create a liquid and efficient stock market that could provide Kazakhs with additional investment opportunities and help local companies raise capital.

“Over the last few months the National (central) Bank has adopted a series of regulations aimed at liberalising the stock market rules and creating favourable conditions for investors and issuers,” said Maria Khajiyeva, director of the securities market supervision department at the central bank.

Khajiyeva was speaking at a meeting with officials from the London Stock Exchange and the investment banking arm of Barclays, and explained that the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange now allows foreign investors to trade on its platform without setting up offices in Kazakhstan.

She added that the bourse also hoped foreigners would be attracted by public offers of stakes in Kazakhstan’s biggest companies.

The Kazakh government, whose finances have been hit hard by the oil price crash, plans to float companies such as state oil firm KazMunayGaz, its flagship air carrier Air Astana, leading telecommunications operator Kazakhtelecom and railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, within the next four years.

Kazakhstan’s Air Astana expects to launch domestic IPO in Q3 2013 0

Posted on October 29, 2012 by KazCham

Reuters, Oct 10, 2012

Oct 10 (Reuters) – Air Astana, the flag carrier of oil-rich Kazakhstan, said on Wednesday it was looking to float at least 20 percent of its shares in a domestic initial public offering next year to support the company’s growth plans.

The central Asian carrier, profitable since 2003, its second year in operation, is also planning a secondary listing in overseas markets, said president Peter Foster.

“In the future, there will undoubtedly be a secondary listing to enable us to access international capital markets and there will be the choice between London or Hong Kong or both,” Foster, a former Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd executive, told a news briefing in Hong Kong.

Under the country’s privatisation plan, Air Astana, national grid KEGOC and state oil transportation firm KazTransOil, were among the first batch of companies expected to be floated this year.

Foster said, however, that Air Astana’s IPO would probably take place in the third quarter of 2013.

Before the listing, the airline’s two shareholders needed to agree on the size of the share sale, he said.

“Anything less than 20 percent will be too small and wouldn’t provide sufficient liquidity,” Foster told Reuters in an interview after the briefing.

Air Astana is 51 percent-owned by Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna and 49 percent Is held by BAE Systems Plc, Europe’s largest defence contractor.

The company’s first-half net profit net profit fell 80 percent to $4.9 million as fuel prices rose more than 140 percent year on year.

But Foster said oil prices had came off from year highs and a traditional strong second half should help lift full-year net profit to between $45 million and $50 million this year against $61.3 million in 2011.

Lifted by the booming economy of Kazakhstan, Air Astana has grown its net asset value to about $250 million from the original total investment of $17 million by its shareholders.

Although the carrier has not decided whether to issue new shares at its domestic IPO, it will have funding needs in the next few years for the acquisition of new planes.

“We don’t need the money now, but by 2014 and 2015 when the pre-delviery payment kicks in for the Boeing 787s, it is going to put us into a much more comfortable position to have more cash that we have at the moment,” Foster said.

Air Astana has placed orders to buy 15 planes, including three Boeing 787-8s, with a total list price exceeding $1.5 billion to be delivered in the next few years to help expand its capacity by 10 to 15 percent a year.

It operates a fleet of 26 aircraft, entirely leased except for two Embraer 190s it owns.

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