Kazakhstan Delays Oil Firm’s IPO Amid Worsening Market Conditions

Kazakhstan has postponed the listing of its state oil and gas firm KazMunayGas (KMG) until after 2019, due to worsening market conditions and Brexit uncertainty that could dampen investor appetite on London’s stock exchange, Reuters reported on Friday, citing two banking sources.

Kazakhstan’s wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna holds 90 percent in KMG, while the central bank, the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan, owns 10 percent plus 1 share. KazMunayGas produces 28 percent of Kazakhstan’s total crude oil and gas condensate production and 16 percent of the country’s natural and associated gas.

Kazakhstan’s fund Samruk-Kazyna originally had plans for an initial public offering (IPO) of KazMunayGas at some point after 2018, as part of a government privatization program.

Now the listing has been further pushed out to beyond 2019, due to a stalling IPO market on the London Stock Exchange, concerns over the global economy, the U.S.-China trade war, and the uncertainty over Brexit, Reuters reports.

According to Reuters’ sources, work on the listing of KMG has stalled because of the worsening market conditions.

In October 2018, people with knowledge of Kazakhstan’s plans told the Financial Times that KMG was finalizing plans for its IPO that could raise up to US$6.5 billion, which would have made it the biggest listing for a central Asian company ever. In the fall of last year, bankers were pitching for roles in the IPO which was planned to take place on the London Stock Exchange and on a local market in Kazakhstan, Astana or Almaty, FT’s sources said, but noted that work had been progressing slowly and a listing could be expected in late 2019.

The plans until a few months ago were to list between 20 percent and 25 percent of KMG in an IPO expected to value the entire company at between US$25 billion and US$26 billion, the FT reported at the end of October 2018.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com