Sunday, 26, May, 2024

Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Company (NMMC), Uzbekistan's largest company changed equity ownership in August 2023, the first year-half financial report said.

Previously, the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) held the government stake in NMMC until March 1, 2023, when the shareholder function was transferred to the Agency for Strategic Reforms, managed by the UzAssets company. Further, in August, 98% stake reverted to the MEF, while the remaining 2% were transferred to the State Asset Management Agency (SAMA).

Deputy PM Jamshid Kuchkarov outlined plans for NMMC, stating that while full privatization was not planned, a partial IPO was on the table. It was projected that approximately 10-15% of shares would be offered for initial public offering by 2024

NMMC was added in the list of 40 enterprises earmarked for IPO in Uzbekistan in March 2022, reflecting government’s push towards privatization. The IPO initiative aimed to democratize ownership by offering a portion of shares to the population.

Despite initial financial projections forecasting a decrease in profits and an increase in expenses, NMMC introduced a "saving mode" to manage costs and maintain profitability.

However, net profit for the first half of 2023 experienced a decline from $841 mn to $774 mn, accompanied by a reduction in dividend payments. Additionally, the value of mine and mineral rights witnessed a decrease from $4 bn to $3.86 bn.

To support operational activities and strategic initiatives, NMMC secured loan agreements with both local and international banks, with some loans backed by government guarantees and cash proceeds from gold sales. Nevertheless, the average loan rate increased, reflecting the company's prudent approach to managing debt.

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