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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kazakhstan Bank to Sell Phone Stake

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazkommertsbank said Tuesday it might sell the 30 percent stake it holds in Kazakhstan's telecoms monopoly Kazakhtelekom by the year-end but made clear that the buyer had to be experienced in the industry.

"The talk is about selling a significant package of shares," Nikolai Varenko, head of the corporate financing department at Kazkommerts Securities, the investment arm of Kazkommertsbank, said.

"I believe that if everything goes smoothly we will be able to do this by the year-end."

Varenko said despite plans to sell its shares in the telecoms utility, Kazkommerts was still interested in developing Kazakhtelekom.

"We have only one condition. We believe this sale can be made only to an investor experienced in operating telecoms," he said.

"This can be neither an investment fund nor a bank" he said.

Varenko said that negotiations with potential bidders would start once Kazkommerts had completed an information memorandum with U.S. bank Chase Manhattan.

Kazakhtelekom President Serik Burkitbayev said Monday that Kazkommerts Securities and Chase Manhattan had bought a 40-percent stake in the telecoms monopoly held by South Korean Daewoo Corp.

"This is the first time Kazakh investors have acquired a major shareholding in a Kazakh company from a foreign entity," a Kazkommerts Securities statement said earlier Tuesday.

Varenko, who said that the purchase of Daewoo's stake in February had been financed by Chase Manhattan, said some 10 percent of Kazakhtelekom had already been sold to banks and investment funds, mostly from the United States.

He said the remaining 30 percent were now held "by an entity affiliated to Kazkommertsbank."