Kaspi.kz CEO Mikhail LOMTADZE:
KASPI.KZ TO HOLD IPO ON THE LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE IN 4TH QUARTER 2019
On September 16, 2019, Kazakhstan-based Kaspi.kz announced its plan to hold an IPO on The London Stock Exchange (LSE). Kaspi.kz CEO Mikhail LOMTADZE told Interfax-Kazakhstan in an interview about the expected dates of the IPO, the benefits that the company could gain from the offering and the markets of Kaspi.kz’s interest.
- You announced quite recently the plans to hold an IPO on LSE. When will it take place?
- The IPO will be held in the 4th quarter of this year. We plan to tell the international investors and the markets about an innovative company that was created in Kazakhstan. Many of the international investors think of Kazakhstan as a resource economy. However, the new company combines three different platforms: a marketplace, a fintech platform and a payment system, all of them aiming at improving and simplifying the life of people.
Kaspi.kz has one of the most popular mobile applications in the country. As at the end of the first half of 2019, we had 4.5 million active users. We want Kazakhstan to be among the innovative countries of the world; we want to prove that Kazakhstan is capable of creating and exporting innovations.
- How much money do you expect to raise during the IPO?
- It will become clear in the course of preparations for the IPO. We hired international financial coordinators to help us in this process: Morgan Stanley UBS, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Renaissance Capital. During the preparations, we will be working together with еру IPO coordinators on the terms and conditions of the offering. That is how IPO preparations usually work. First comes an announcement, and then all details are worked out.
- Have you decided on the offering size?
- This decision will be made during the preparation process. It is up to the shareholders to decide how many shares (GDR) they will wish to sell. However, it is going to be a large IPO, for the company is very large itself, and we have good expectations, depending on the situation in the international capital markets. From our perspective, the IPO will be a success if it attracts good and high-quality institutional investors. The international capital markets have never seen an innovative technology company from Kazakhstan. There is Amazon in the US, Alibaba in China and Yandex in Russia. We hope that Kaspi.kz will become known internationally, for we are on a par with the leading global companies as far as innovation technology is concerned.
- Will the shareholders reduce their interest in the company after the IPO?
- The decision about the number of shares to be sold in the IPO will be made by the shareholders themselves. In any case, all shareholders will retain an interest in the company after the IPO, for we all believe in the long-term development of the company. We will just have new shareholders, hopefully, including high-quality international investors that will support development of the company in the future.
- When is the road show going to take place?
- We hope that by the preparation process will be completed by the beginning of the 4th quarter and then followed by a road show.
- Kaspi.kz said in a statement that the company will not receive any of the proceeds from the IPO. Then what is the goal of this IPO?
- The company seeks to expand its operations beyond Kazakhstan. An IPO is an important step in the life of any large and fast-growing company. It is quite natural that Kaspi.kz would start working with public markets and would wish to become recognizable in the international markets. The public offering would be a good stimulus and a strong driver for our development strategy, which provides for expansion beyond Kazakhstan. This would benefit the company. Kaspi.kz is one of the well capitalized companies in Kazakhstan and does not need additional capital.
- What markets are you eyeing?
- We have already entered Azerbaijan’s market, where we now have the largest platform for sales of cars, real estate and general goods, both new and used. We have already started exporting Kaspi.kz’s innovations to Azerbaijan.
- Are you interested in any other markets?
- We are also eying Central Asia and the Caucasus with a total population of about 85 million people. We are watching with interest all the markets around us, and waiting for all factors to come together, including both attractiveness of these markets and their growth rate. Kaspi.kz mobile application is our main locomotive. We are determined to develop our technologies, so it is very important for us that the infrastructure must be in reasonable shape. The market of Kazakhstan accounts for 18.5 million people and that of Azerbaijan – 10 million people. When the right moment comes, we will enter other markets as well.
- How will the IPO affect the company?
- The company is developing and growing rapidly. The public offering will allow Kaspi.kz to develop even faster and to strengthen its position even further. We have always been focused on the company’s growth and development. Our success has always been underpinned by our mission, which is to improve the life of people by offering them innovative services.
- Thanks for your time!
© 2020 Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency
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