Investor Day was hosted by the London Stock Exchange (LSE), one of the world’s largest stock markets.
Speaking at the event, Kazakh Ambassador Erlan Idrissov noted that privatisation is one aspect of large scale economic and political reforms in Kazakhstan. These reforms are being implemented in line with the ‘Kazakhstan 2050’ National Strategy and President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s ‘Third Modernisation of Kazakhstan: Global Competitiveness’ address.
Stressing the significant role the UK plays as a key trade and investment partner, the Ambassador said it was unsurprising that London was chosen to present Kazakhstan’s privatisation programme. He said Kazakhstan encourages participation from London-based British and international companies, noting this will assist in developing the private sector and improving Kazakhstan’s investment climate.
Mr Umirzak Shukeyev, Chairman of Samruk Kazyna, briefed guests on work undertaken to transform the Fund and prepare Kazakh companies for privatisation. He discussed a major breakthrough made by Samruk Kazyna in corporate governance, explaining it has adopted a new policy which includes non-interference in the operational performance of portfolio companies, while acting as a strategic investor.
A presentation by Mr Timur Suleimenov, Kazakhstan’s Minister of the National Economy, focused on the current status and future economic development of Kazakhstan and its privatisation programme 2016-2020. Mr Suleimenov explained that the programme aims to reduce the presence of the state in the economy from 70 to 15 percent by 2021, in line with standards set by OECD countries. To reach this goal, 782 state assets have been earmarked for privatisation, including more than 200 belonging to Samruk-Kazyna, Baiterek, and Kazagro.
The LSE is supportive of Kazakhstan’s privatisation programme. Mr Robert Barnes, CEO of Turquoise and Head of Primary Markets for the London Stock Exchange Group, said the programme represents a new chapter for Kazakhstan. He added that the LSE is ready for active co-operation with the country.
Ms Janet Heckman from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EDRB) also shared her views on economic reforms in Kazakhstan, noting the country ranks second among EBRD countries, after Turkey. This indicates the EBRD’s confidence in reforms taking place in Kazakhstan.
Investor Day was followed by presentations from Ms Baljeet Kaur Grewal, Managing Director for Strategy and Portfolio Investments of Samruk-Kazyna; Mr Berik Beisengaliyev, Managing Director for Asset Optimisation of the Fund; Mr Peter Foster, President of Air Astana JSC; and Mr Meirzhan Yussupov, Financial Director of Kazatomprom JSC.
During the day, the Fund’s management participated in a number of meetings with potential investors and partners.
Investor Day continued with a business dinner attended by heads of major UK and transnational trade and investment companies. The event – held at Spencer House – saw potential investors presented with information on portfolio companies, including Samruk-Energy JSC, Tau-Ken Samruk JSC, and United Chemical Company JSC.
As part of Investor Day, Mr Shukeyev and Mr Suleimenov held a meeting with Mr Greg Hands, UK’s International Trade Minister. Minister Suleimenov also met with Lord Price, UK Minister of State at the Department for International Trade, and Mr Phillip Bennett, EBRD Vice President, during which he discussed issues around bilateral relations.