ALMATY, May 15 (Reuters) - Kazakhtelecom, the largest fixed-line operator in Kazakhstan, aims to borrow about $200 million to fund expansion this year after paying shareholders $1.4 billion in dividends from the sale of mobile unit Kcell.
Chief Financial Director Arnur Nurkatov told a news conference on Tuesday that it would pay out a first-quarter dividend of $125.5 per share, compared with a full-year dividend of $9 per share on its 2011 results.
The company’s largest shareholder is Kazakh sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna, with a 46 percent stake.
“We will start payments tomorrow,” said Nurkatov.
Kazakhtelecom sold its 49 percent stake in mobile operator Kcell to Nordic telecoms firm TeliaSonera for $1.52 billion in February. An initial public offering for 25 percent plus one share in Kcell is planned for this year.
Kazakhtelecom, which made a net profit of 50.2 billion tenge ($339 million) last year, was considering acquiring new assets both in Kazakhstan and abroad, including Russia, said Tleu Aitzhanov, director of the company’s project finance department.
“We are also looking at other CIS countries. We’re looking at Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan,” he said.
“We have plans to borrow. If our investment programme for 2012 is around 60 billion tenge ($405 million), then we plan to borrow around half,” Aitzhanov said. (Writing by Robin Paxton; Editing by Will Waterman)