Kazakhstan delays stock market listing of national airline

NUR-SULTAN, April 24 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan has shelved plans to list its flagship carrier Air Astana after the whole sector was hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic, sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna said on Friday.

The Central Asian nation had planned to list the airline this year on its Astana bourse and a large international market such as the London Stock Exchange under a privatisation campaign aiming to sell stakes in dozens of large companies.

“Listing in a market like this would make no sense,” Samruk-Kazyna managing director Kanat Alpysbayev told a briefing.

“We will probably consider 2021 given demand is there as well as the market conditions required for a successful listing.”

Like most airlines in the world, Air Astana has grounded its passenger fleet due to border closures and lockdowns worldwide to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Reporting by Tamara Vaal Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)