ALMATY, Dec. 4 (The Conway Bulletin) — Kazmunaigas EP, the upstream unit of state-owned Kazmunaigas, said that it wanted to buy back its Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs), a move analysts said signalled that it was planning an IPO.
Kazakhstan has been teeing up the sale of a handful of its most valuable state-owned companies, including Kazatomprom, the state nuclear agency, and Air Astana. Kazmunaigas, though, is the most important company in Kazakhstan and the driver of its economy.
In its press release, Kazmunaigas said it was offering $14/GDR, a premium of 23.7% on its average 30-day weighting.
“The Company will then also call a further EGM for shareholders to consider and, if thought appropriate, approve the cancellation of the London listing of the Company’s GDRs and of the KASE listing of the Company’s Common Shares,” it said.
Kazakh officials have always hinted that a sale of a chunk of Kazmunaigas on an international stock market was likely and the buying up of its outstanding GDRs is a major step towards that.
Although Kazmunaigas said that it expected full backing from the company’s independent non-executive directors, it may still face resistance. Last year it tried and failed to increase its share of Kazmunaigas EP’s GDRs up from the 58% it currently owns.
>>This story was first published in issue 353 of the weekly Conway Bulletin newspaper. The Conway Bulletin is an independent newspaper that covers Central Asia and the South Caucasus