Kazakh regulator mulls sanctions for listing abroad

Jan 25. Reuters. ASTANA

Kazakh regulator mulls sanctions for listing abroadKazakhstan, keen to boost its dormant stock market, may oblige local companies seeking a listing abroad to float some of their stock on the domestic market, the local financial regulator said on Tuesday.

Kazakhstan, a vast steppe nation whose economy heavily depends on world prices for its oil and metals, has made little headway in developing its stock market since it put in place key market reforms in the 1990s.

As central Asia’s largest economy recovers from the global financial crisis, Kazakh firms prefer to go public abroad, saying they can raise more capital in countries where, they say, legislation is clearer and more predictable than laws at home.

“We propose setting an obligatory requirement … to float a certain amount of shares on the domestic bourse for those issuers that are listed or intend to be listed on foreign exchanges,” Yelena Bakhmutova, head of the Financial Supervision Agency (FSA), told a government meeting.

She said the FSA was also proposing sanctions on those Kazakh companies that ignored such a requirement. Bakhmutova said Kazakhstan could “amend the tax code to stimulate issuers for floating securities on the domestic market”.

She did not say when such measures could be introduced.