The fund, created in 2008, said it sold the shares at $13 per global depositary receipt, a type of bank certificate that represents shares in a foreign company. The price represents a discount of about 6% to the market price. The fund said in a statement it still holds a 75% stake in Kazatomprom.
The sale, Samruk-Kaznya’s second since the uranium miner’s IPO, is part of an ambitious privatisation plan set by Kazakhstan aimed at shoring up finances.
According to analysts, the state has been targeting long-term ownership levels in line with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) recommendations of about 15%.
Kazatomprom recently cut its 2020 output estimates because of the coronavirus pandemic. It now expects to produce about 4,000 tonnes of uranium, or 17.5% less this year. Previous estimates were between 22,750 and 22,800 tonnes.
Last year, Kazakhstan accounted for more than 42% of the world’s uranium output.
Uranium prices have been on the rise since late March as investors worry about disruption to supply, which is divided between a handful of major companies.
Prices hit $34.25 per pound this week, about 38% higher than at the beginning of March. The last time uranium traded above $30 was in February 2016. During the year to date, prices have climbed almost 40%.