Only a yr in the past, Jusan Financial institution, considered one of Kazakhstan’s largest lenders, purchased a stake in Kcell, one of many largest operators within the nation, throughout a buying spree in cellular telecom ventures. Now, it plans to promote it off.
The biggest shareholders of Kcell are Kazakhtelecom (51 p.c), Pioneer Applied sciences (14.87 p.c), Jusan Financial institution (9.08 p.c), and Kazakhstan’s Single Pension Fund (7.07 p.c).
Kazakhtelecom offered a 24 p.c stake to Jusan and Pioneer in September 2021. Pioneer, which is registered in Luxembourg, is related to Jusan as a result of each possession constructions hyperlink again to the Nazarbayev Basis, an establishment established by former President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The deal was later criticized by lobbyist engaged on behalf of minority shareholders in Kazakhstan, because the announcement of the sale led to a big drop in worth within the weeks earlier than the transaction happened.
Kcell was once the native model identify of Nordic telecoms big TeliaSonera, which infamously owned a number of cellular suppliers throughout Central Asia that had been embroiled in corruption scandals. By way of Rodnik, an funding automobile, TeliaSonera additionally owned KazTransCom, a big telecoms service supplier. In 2018, Telia offered its shares to a gaggle of firms mentioned to be near Timur Kulibayev, one of many nation’s wealthiest businessmen and Nazarbayev’s son-in-law.
In early 2021, Jysan Ventures, an organization affiliated with the financial institution, acquired KazTransCom, in a transfer to speculate into cellular monetary companies. (Observe: Jusan Financial institution and its affiliated events additionally use the spelling Jysan and Jýsan).
In Could 2022, Jusan paid out round 200 million tenge ($410,000) on account of a lawsuit by the Single Pension Fund, which had accused the financial institution of paying lower than market worth for the shares on the time of the cope with KazTranscom.
On September 12, nonetheless, Jusan Financial institution introduced its plan to promote its 9.08 p.c stake in Kcell.
Nurdaulet Aidosov, the financial institution’s chairman, mentioned that the nation’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna was amongst a couple of events to make a proposal.
“We give [Samruk-Kazyna] our desire, as a result of we admire their company governance, inside politics, improvement technique and reforms,” Aidosov mentioned at a press convention. Whereas he declined to touch upon the monetary particulars of the transaction, he assured that “the deal will likely be mutually useful to the 2 events.”
Samruk-Kazyna already owns 51 p.c in Kazakhtelecom, Kcell’s majority shareholder. Between 2018 and March 2022, Nazarbayev’s nephew Kairat Satybaldy owned a 24 p.c stake in Kazakhtelecom via a Luxembourg-registered firm.
In explaining Satybaldy’s detention in March, the anti-corruption company said that his arrest was linked to alleged embezzlement on the expense of Kazakhtelecom. In April, Satybaldy renounced his Kazakhtelecom property, which returned to the fingers of the state.
Talking at Jusan’s press convention in September, Aidosov additionally transparently admitted that Kcell is the financial institution’s largest borrower, after it took out a three-year, 60.5 billion tenge ($130 million) mortgage in late 2021. The credit score line amounted to round 29 p.c of Kcell’s property.
Days earlier, a Bloomberg report quoted sources near the deal saying that the sale transaction would “reverse the controversial privatization of Kcell that was marred by suspected share worth manipulation.”
Although younger on paper, the historical past of Jusan goes again a number of a long time.
Backed by the Nazarbayev Basis, in February 2019 a monetary firm often called First Heartland Securities purchased Tsesnabank, then the third-largest lender within the nation. The financial institution’s identify was later become Jusan.
After rising in dimension whereas being helped by the federal government within the clean-up of its poisonous property, Jusan appeared poised to enterprise into a variety of revolutionary companies in Kazakhstan’s monetary sector. The divestment from Kcell appears to be a step again, though the financial institution’s indicators say it continues to penetrate the market.