October 15, 2018 / 8:46 AM / 10 months ago

Top uranium producer Kazatomprom may sell 25 percent stake in London/Astana float

(Reuters) - Kazakhstan’s Kazatomprom, the world’s biggest uranium producer, said it plans to float up to a 25 percent stake in an initial public offering in London and Astana, but did not confirm whether the listing was still on track for this year.

The global market for IPOs has been hit by recent turmoil in financial markets, prompting a number of companies to put listing plans on hold.

State-owned Kazatomprom, which accounts for 20 percent of global uranium production, hired JPMorgan last year as lead adviser for a London listing planned for 2018, Reuters reported at the time citing sources.

On Monday, Kazatomprom said Credit Suisse and JPMorgan were acting as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners in connection with the potential offering. China International Capital Corporation, Halyk Finance and Mizuho International plc were joint bookrunners.

Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s biggest economy, has set an ambitious privatization program after being hard hit by the fall in world oil prices.

Kazatomprom was one of three large companies slated to make public share offerings this year, alongside telecommunications firm Kazakhtelecom and flagship carrier Air Astana.

Kazakhtelecom and Air Astana, however, have yet to announce details of the plans.

State oil company KazMunayGaz (KMG) also plans to list in London in the second half of next year, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters last month.

Kazatomprom said Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna, its sole shareholder, would sell shares in the offering in London and Astana but would still hold at least 75 percent of the company’s issued share capital after the IPO.

In a bid to develop Kazakhstan's domestic equities market, the government also wants here shares of newly privatized firms to be listed on its Astana bourse. Kazatomprom said it would list shares and potentially GDRs on the Astana International Exchange (AIX).

Following recent global market turmoil, Spanish oil company Cepsa became on Monday the latest firm to postpone listing plans, in what would have been the biggest oil IPO in a decade.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Olzhas Auyezov in Almaty; Editing by Bernard Orr and Susan Fenton

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