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Kazakhtelecom Retreats Most Ever as Dividend Date Passes

May 16 (Bloomberg) -- AO Kazakhtelecom plunged the most since it was listed as the shares traded without the right to collect a record dividend.

Kazakhtelecom tumbled 67 percent to 9,999 tenge, the biggest drop since it went public in February 2002. That dragged the seven-stock Kazakhstan Stock Exchange Index KASE down 12 percent to 1,023.91 by 3:33 p.m. in Almaty, making it the worst performer worldwide. Trading in the stock was halted.

“The shares dropped by almost the same amount as the dividend,” Stanislav Yudin, an analyst at Aton LLC in Moscow, said by phone. Investors can “no longer profit from the dividend today, following the cut-off date.”

The Central Asian country’s phone monopoly set its payout for the first quarter at 18,559 tenge ($125.51) per common share and at 1,328 tenge for the full year 2011, according to a statement May 8. The dividend will be made to investors who held shares as of midnight May 15, the company said. Kazakhtelecom may be using all of its earnings from the sale of a 49 percent stake in the Kcell mobile operator last year for the payout, Renaissance Capital analysts wrote in an e-mailed note April 27.

$864 Million

The telecom company accounts for a 5.8 percent weighting in the country’s benchmark index. Stock exchange rules prohibit trading in shares that have fallen 30 percent or more in a session, according to a statement on the exchange’s website.

Kazakhtelecom earned about $864 million from the December sale of the Kcell stake to a subsidiary of TeliaSonera AB, according to Renaissance Capital. The deal contributed more than half of the parent company’s 50 billion tenge in profit last year, Arnur Nurkatov, chief financial director at Kazakhtelecom, told reporters yesterday.

Net income, excluding profit from the Kcell sale, may reach 22 billion tenge this year, Nurkatov said.

Kazakhstan is the second-biggest oil producer in the former Soviet Union after Russia. It has attracted companies including Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, ConocoPhillips, Total SA, Eni SpA and BG Group Plc.

-- Editors: Alex Nicholson, Peter Branton

To contact the reporter on this story: Ksenia Galouchko in Moscow at kgalouchko1@bloomberg.net

Nariman Gizitdinov in Almaty at ngizitdinov@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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