Vietnamese investor acquires Qazaq Air

Business news correspondent
Vietnamese SOVICO Group is going to purchase Qazaq Air / Collage by, photo editor: Denis Andreev

SOVICO Group, an investment company from Vietnam, is going to acquire Qazaq Air, according to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. He made this statement while speaking at the closing ceremony of the Kazakhstan-Singapore Business Forum in Singapore.

«I am hailing the privatization of our Qazaq Air by the Vietnamese SOVICO Group as it will be a real booster for air travel between Kazakhstan and the ASEAN countries,» Tokayev stated. 

The current owner of the airline Samruk Kazyna had tried to sell Qazaq Air for a while. In August 2023, the holding announced its first bidding in an attempt to sell the airline; in early October, it reported the presence of several investors interested in the deal. However, the deadline for applications to the bidding was extended several times.

As a result, in November, the bidding was pronounced failed due to the absence of applications. The same happened again in January 2024, as no one had applied to participate in the bidding.

Interestingly enough, foreign investors weren’t allowed to claim more than 49% of the company’s shares during both bidding opportunities.

Qazaq Air was established in 2015. According to the latest publicly available financial statement, in 2022, the airline reported $14.8 million in losses, which is a 2.1% increase over 2021. The company also owes $85.7 million to its parent holding. This debt was supposed to be paid back before the end of 2023.

On March 1, the former CEO of Qazaq Air Yerkin Nauryzbayev was replaced by the acting executive Nurlan Zhakupov, who also left the company recently.

SOVICO Group already runs an airline called VietJet Air. According to the company’s website, Vietjet Air managed to conquer the lion’s share of the local market and has steadily expanded its international network over the past five years.

In addition, SOVICO Group invests in the banking, real estate, energy and hospitality industries.  

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