Central Asia reform

Nose down: Kazakhstan’s stalled privatisation back on course

After notable silence, Kazakhstan looks set to push ahead with its privatisation programme in 2020. Although unlikely before the second quarter, investors and bankers see good reason its top three major state-owned entities will engage the markets.

When Kazatomprom listed on the London Stock Exchange in mid-November 2018, there were hopes that Kazakhstan’s long-touted privatisation might finally get underway.

The $400.8 million share sale of a 15% stake in the national uranium producer in London and on the Astana International Exchange was deemed a success. It was the first international Central Asia privatisation since 2006, its global depositary receipts GDR traded up 3.4% on their debut, and right behind Canada’s Cameco, Kazatomprom became the second-largest publicly traded uranium miner in the world.

But the flurry of privatisations that many hoped would then materialise have failed to appear. The oil-rich Kazakh economy a lynchpin of...

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