Kazakh FinTech Defers London IPO On ‘Unfavorable’ Market Conditions

Kazakh FinTech group Kaspi.kz has decided to postpone its U.K. initial public offering (IPO), which was poised to be the biggest IPO by a central Asian company since the 2008 global financial crisis.

Although the company said there had been “significant interest,” Kaspi.kz still decided to postpone its listing “in light of currently unfavourable and uncertain market conditions, particularly in the technology sector.”

“We are pleased with the very strong interest shown by investors and their very high level of engagement in the process,” said chairman Mikhail Lomtadze, according to The Financial Times. “However, we’ve come to the decision that the timing is not the best at the current moment for an IPO.”

Kaspi.kz, which is part-owned by Baring Vostok and Goldman Sachs, offers online payments and an eCommerce marketplace accessed through an app.

Just last month it was reported that the group was planning to sell existing shares on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), with an anticipated valuation reaching $5 billion valuation, with an offering of at least $500 million worth of GDRs. Net income for the company has increased 54 percent to $203 million in the first six months of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018.

“We are a big innovative company, and we are doing so much for the country, digitizing the country, so we see a lot of growth potential,” Lomtadze said last month. “There is a very strong correlation between GDP growth and digitization. And the country has a good macro story with annual growth of 4.1 percent over three years.”

Despite the uncertainty around Brexit, London was deemed the better choice for Kaspi.kz over New York because “investors in this part of the world are closer to Kazakhstan and understand it better,” Lomtadze said at the time. The listing would have been the first London IPO by a Kazakh company since uranium producer Kazatomprom listed in November 2018.

Instead, the postponement is another loss for the U.K. stock market. Last month, Shore Capital London announced plans to quit its London listing, and more companies have left the LSE’s main market this year than have joined.