By Narmina Mammadova
The promotion of an IPO (initial public offering of shares) in Azerbaijan began in 2011 with the signing of a decree on the development of the securities market in 2011-2020 by President Ilham Aliyev, the deputy director of InvestAZ investment company Orhan Bagirov told Trend.
Subsequently, these points were reflected in the 2016 Strategic Financial Services Roadmap in order to give an additional impetus.
In this regard, the director went on to say that, to date, measures have been taken on legal regulation and the creation of technical infrastructure.
"As a result of this, today we already see a desire in the private sector to hold an IPO, and the government also plans to privatize five large state organizations in coming years by listing," he added.
Those who wish to list the companies should have the correct corporate governance structure, transparent reporting and profitable activities. Listing of companies on the stock exchange is prestigious and reliable, but this can be done when professionalism and transparency are available, he said.
Deputy Director of InvestAZ noted that not only readiness, but also desire is important for holding the IPO.
"Conducting the IPO in Azerbaijan can be incorrectly assessed. The IPO is not the only way to raise funds. Moreover, this is a way to keep assets constantly liquid and reflect the results of the company's activities in the market, for shareholders who are afraid to fully sell their part of the shares," he said.
In addition, Bagirov stressed that the tax and customs reforms initiated in Azerbaijan in 2016-2017 and continuing to this day have greatly helped to ensure transparency in the private sector.
"As a result of these reforms, we hope to see successful IPOs in the coming years," the director added.
To date, the IPO in Azerbaijan has not yet been carried out. However, local banks and companies spoke about such plans at various times. For example, the chief executive officer of Azersun Holding, Savash Uzan, previously reported Trend on negotiating with foreign consultants for an initial public offering of shares of the Azerbaijan Production Sugar Association, which is part of the holding.
Also one of the country's largest banks, Unibank, is showing interest in IPO. The chairman of the board of the structure, Faig Huseynov, earlier told Trend that in the long term, the bank plans to hold an IPO.
Public placement of shares in Azerbaijan at different times was discussed by companies such as Embawood and GoldenPay. Recently, Azersun Holding reported about such plans.
An IPO is the first time that the stock of a private company is offered to the public. IPOs are often issued by smaller, younger companies seeking capital to expand, but they can also be done by large privately owned companies looking to become publicly traded.
Today shares of almost 950 companies are traded at the Baku Stock Exchange (BSE).
Turnover at the Baku Stock Exchange (BSE) exceeded 303.9 million manats last week (Oct. 29-Nov. 4), according to the statistics published on the exchange’s website.
The biggest volume accounted for the placement of bonds of Azerbaijan’s Finance Ministry worth a total of 298.2 million manats. Transactions on these bonds were concluded at a price of 99.4004 manats each.
In the secondary market of the BSE, transactions were concluded on the bonds of Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR, Finance Ministry and Azerbaijan Mortgage and Credit Guarantee Fund totaling 5.7 million manats.
Some 542,700 manats ($318,776) of this amount accounted for SOCAR US dollar bonds, slightly more than 3 million manats accounted for the mortgage bonds of the Azerbaijan Mortgage and Credit Guarantee Fund, and the remaining part accounted for the Finance Ministry’s bonds.
Last week, 4,886 transactions on shares worth 8,561.5 manats were concluded in the BSE secondary market.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz