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Managing Director of Samruk-Kazyna Welfare Fund on People’s IPO

01 february 2012, 00:44
Peter Howes. Photo by Danial Okassov©
Peter Howes. Photo by Danial Okassov©
Managing Director of Samruk-Kazyna Welfare Fund Peter Howes announced January 31 that at least 160 000 people are expected to be covered by the People’s IPO Program, Newskaz.ru reported.

He elaborated that “it’s not a big percentage of the 16 million nation (…) If we compare that to England of 30 years ago [when such IPOs were run], the percentage was threefold higher”, he said.

“But changes don’t happen overnight; it takes time to cultivate the [investment] culture”.

He also added that “it is important to make clear from the very start whether there will be limits for foreigners to buy shares floated through the People’s IPO later on. Some countries have set limits of 10-20% in strategic assets. It should be defined before the very first People’s IPO whether there will be such a limit”, Peter Howes said.

Speaking at the Nur Otan party congress on February 11, 2011 President Nazarbayev instructed the Government to launch Initial Public Offerings (IPO) for common people before the end of 2011. The program is known as People’s IPO. According to President Nazarbayev, the IPO for the general public will enable citizens to purchase shares of the largest Kazakh companies, giving them a new tool for investments and savings.

Tengrinews.kz reported August 23, quoting Economic Development Minister Kelimbetov, that “the shares [of the national companies to be floated within the People's IPO] will be offered at market value (…) we’ve chosen the best timing: the companies are not overvalued at the present time”.

According to the Minister, potential demand for the shares on the part of common people is estimated at $100-200 million. However, the demand may grow following the nation-wide campaign designed to raise financial awareness of the population at large.

The Minister added that “on the part of accumulation pension funds, potential demand is estimated at $200-300 million with regards to the first wave of IPOs”.

Late December 2011 Managing Director of Samruk-Kazyna Welfare Fund Peter Howes said that the price of one share in the People’s IPO would be affordable for common Kazakhstan citizens.

According to him, KazTransOil and KEGOK companies that will be the first to offer their stock are preparing to launch the program. “They are going to split their shares to make the price affordable,” Howes said adding that the cost had not been defined yet.

“We cannot name the price of one share right now, but of course we can make the price not 10 thousand tenge, but around 100 tenge. We will make the prices low enough to allow everyone to buy at least one share or a batch of shares. I think that if one share costs, say, 150 tenge, it will be affordable for everyone. Of course, if the broker services costs 400 tenge, there is no point in buying only one share, but if someone wants to, they can. We want people to feel that they have their say,” Howes said at the time.

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