The IPO Buzz: Kaspi.KZ Prices Upsized IPO at $92.00 – Below Assumed Price – To Raise $1 Billion

Kazakhstan’s “Super App” Kaspi.KZ (KSPI) priced its upsized IPO – 11.3 million ADS – up from 9.0 million in the prospectus – at $92.00 – below its $97.00 assumed IPO price – to raise $1.04 billion ($1,039.6 million) on Thursday night, Jan. 18, 2024. (Editor’s Note: This column, published early Friday, was updated periodically with news after Kaspi’s stock started trading on the NASDAQ at midday and with background information on Kazakhstan and the U.S. stock market.)

Kaspi’s stock jumped just before Friday’s closing bell to end at $95.97 – up $3.97 from its IPO price. The stock gained 4.32 percent on Friday, Jan. 19, its first day of trading on the NASDAQ. Kaspi’s debut was a yo-yo affair. Kaspi’s stock opened at $92.50 – up 50 cents of 0.54 percent – at 12:44 p.m. EST on Friday. By 1:36 p.m. EST, Kaspi’s stock had lost its mojo – dipping below its IPO price to trade at $91.10. Kaspi’s stock spent most of Friday afternoon trading “under water” – or below its IPO price – until that late burst in the last few minutes of trading. 

Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan and Citigroup were the leading joint book-runners. Susquehanna Financial Group and Wolfe / Nomura Alliance also served as book-running managers.

Selling stockholders – co-founders Vyacheslav Kim and Mikheil Lomtadze along with Asia Equity Partners Limited – offered all of the American Depositary Shares (ADS) in the IPO. The company will not receive any proceeds from the initial public offering.

Kaspi.KZ is the first company from Kazakhstan, an oil-rich Central Asian country and a former Soviet republic, to list its stock on a U.S. stock exchange through an IPO. In October 2019, financial services firm Freedom Holding Corp. (FRHC) began trading on the NASDAQ in an uplisting from the OTCQX Best Market. The Kazakhstani mobile banking and payments app’s initial public offering is also the first $1 billion-plus IPO since Birkenstock (BIRK) went public in October 2023. 

The IPO price of $92.00 represents a discount of $5.00 – or about 5 percent – from the assumed IPO price of $97.00 in the prospectus. The $97.00 assumed IPO price was the as-converted closing price (in U.S. dollars) of Kaspi.KZ’s GDRs  (Global Depositary Receipts) on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024, the date on the prospectus (F-1/A) when the IPO’s terms were disclosed. Kaspi.KZ filed its F-1 on Dec. 28, 2023.The SEC filing attracted a flurry of attention – generating headlines in the financial press and talk on the Street that the Kazakhstani FinTech company’s IPO would be a $1 billion deal that could warm up the chilly U.S. IPO market after two slow years.

The IPO gave Kaspi.KZ a valuation –  or a market cap – of $17.6 billion.

In addition to the NASDAQ, Kaspi’s ADS also trade on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange and the Astana International Exchange.  (The GDRs were renamed ADS in connection with the U.S. IPO.)