By Simon Jessop and Abhinav Ramnarayan
LONDON (Reuters) – Kazakh financial group Kaspi.kz <KSPI.KZ> said on Monday it was postponing a London listing due to market conditions, reviving concerns about initial public offerings (IPOs) in Europe.
The group, which controls Kaspi Bank, the third largest bank in Kazakhstan where it is a leader in payment systems and e-commerce, said in September it planned to sell existing shares in the form of global depository receipts (GDRs).
But the group said on Monday it was postponing the listing because of “unfavourable and uncertain market conditions, particularly in the technology sector”.
“We’ve come to the decision that the timing is not the best at the current moment for an IPO,” Mikheil Lomtadze, chairman of Kaspi.kz’s management board, said in a statement.
A source familiar with the matter the pulling of the IPO in serviced-office operator WeWork, backed by technology investor Softbank, did not offer an encouraging backdrop.
“That had an impact on tech stocks last week, and investors are looking at tech stocks with a bit more circumspection as a result,” the source said.
It has been a tough year for IPOs globally, and in Europe in particular where volumes are at their lowest in seven years, despite a recent rise in activity with offerings in Germany’s TeamViewer, Sweden’s EQT and France’s Varallia.
Kaspi.kz would have been the first London listing since the summer. Market participants were watching it to see if uncertainty about the Oct. 31 deadline for Britain’s departure from the European Union would deter deals.
A second source familiar with the matter said of the Kaspi.kr cancellation that It was “very disappointing but I wouldn’t blame Brexit or market volatility.”
“This is obviously a disagreement on price. There were intensive discussions over the weekend between the global coordinators and the vendor, and the vendor decided they were not happy with the price,” he said.
Another IPO hopeful, Africa’s Helios Towers, is in the market for a London listing.
Shareholders who had planned to sell down stakes in Kaspi.kz’s listing included Baring Vostok funds, Goldman Sachs, Kaspi.kz Chairman Vyacheslav Kim and Lomtadze.
Morgan Stanley, UBS, Citigroup and Credit Suisse were acting as joint global coordinators on the offering, along with Renaissance Capital as joint bookrunner.
(Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Edmund Blair)