Privatization to make Kazakh state companies more efficient

Privatization to make Kazakh state companies more efficient

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 7

By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

The partial privatization of state companies in Kazakhstan should increase their efficiency and transparency, which will positively affect economy of the country, Aivar Baikenov, director of Research Department of the country's Asyl-Invest brokerage and investment company, told Trend.

"State assets in such a case will receive a fair market assessment," he said.

Speaking November 30 with a message to the nation, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev instructed the government to develop a new program of privatization, and include all the organizations owned by the state, as well as the Samruk-Kazyna, Baiterek and KazAgro holdings in this program.

The assets of Samruk-Kazyna national welfare fund include KazMunaiGas national oil and gas company, Kazakhstan Temir Zholy railway operator, Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC), KazakhTelecom telecommunication operator and National Atomic Company Kazatomprom.

Baiterek National Management Holding includes: Development Bank of Kazakhstan JSC, Investment Fund of Kazakhstan JSC, Housing Construction Savings Bank of Kazakhstan JSC, Mortgage Organization "Kazakhstan Mortgage Company JSC, Export Credit Insurance Corporation KazExportGarant, Damu Entrepreneurship Development Fund, National Agency for Technological Development JSC, Kazakhstan Mortgage Loans Guaranteeing Fund JSC, Kazyna Capital Management JSC, Kazyna Capital Management JSC, Baiterek Development JSC, Public-Private Partnership Projects Support Center" LLP.

KazAgro holding includes Food Contract Corporation, KazAgroProdukt, KazAgroFinance, Agrarian Credit Corporation, Fund for Financial Support of Agriculture, KazAgroGarant and KazAgroMarketing.

Baikenov went on to add that work is already underway to put up the shares of state-owned companies for privatization, but the matter doesn't rest in the government's complete withdrawal from the companies of strategic importance.

He said that everything will take place within the framework of the Initial Public Offering (IPO), at which the investors will be offered up to 20-25 percent of the shares.

The expert said that in order to ensure maximum transparency and to receive an adequate assessment, the sale of shares of all companies within the framework of privatization should be carried out through the stock exchange.

"In this case, three problems will be solved at once: state share in the economy reduces, budget is replenished and the stock market develops," said Baikenov.

In the light of active promotion of Astana International Financial Centre and attracting foreign investments, such placements are indispensable, he added.

Baykenov noted that both local and foreign private and institutional investors can claim for a share in strategic Kazakh companies.

"If everything is carried out in IPO format, first of all, western investment funds will show interest in these shares," he said.

Edited by SI

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Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

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