The world's largest uranium producer, Kazatomprom sold 15 percent of the company's stake, valued at $3 billion, in the country's first initial public offering since 2005 on the newly-established Astana stock exchange and on the London stock exchange, the company announced on Tuesday.
According to the company, the total size of the offering on both exchanges was $451.3 million, including an over-allotment option. The offered price implies a value of $3 billion for the company. The stake sale is the first initial public offering of a Kazakh company since 2005.
Through the newly-established Astana bourse, Astana International Exchange (AIX), institutional and retail investors in the country bought 2.1 percent of Kazatomprom's total stock.
Kazakh investors have purchased 47.5 percent of the total offered stock, according to the statement from Samruk-Kazyna, officially known as the Kazakh sovereign wealth fund.
A total of 49 foreign and 16 Kazakh institutional investors have bought the stock, as well as 2,700 Kazakh retail investors, the fund's statement detailed.
Samruk-Kazyna, which is a wholly-owned state body, will retain 85 percent of the company's share capital.
Speaking at the first trading session on the Astana International Finance Centre (AIFC) Exchange’s launch ceremony, Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev said that Kazakhstan is the world's largest uranium producer accounting for 20 percent of the world uranium market.
He asserted that the company shares are "of strong interest in the world, and the demand will only go up."
"In the future, we plan to offer for sale such assets as Kazakhtelecom, Air Astana, KazMunaiGas, and other national companies, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, state-owned news agency Kazinform quoted Nazarbayev as saying.
A statement from Samruk-Kazyna said that Kazatomprom became the first public company in Kazahstan that successfully placed 15 percent of its shares on an international stock exchange.
"The initial public offering of Kazatomprom is the first key element of the state property privatization program adopted by the government in 2016. The program is implemented within the framework of the task set by the president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev to reduce the state's share in the country's economy to 15 percent of GDP in line with the recommendations of the OECD [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development]," the statement read.
Kazatomprom is the world's largest producer of uranium, representing approximately 20 percent of total global uranium primary production in 2017. The group sells uranium and uranium products under long-term and short-term contracts, as well as in the spot market, directly from its headquarters or through its Switzerland-based trading subsidiary.
By Firdevs Yuksel