Kazakh Firm Plans to Spin Off Gas Shipping and Trading Unit

ALMATY (Reuters) - Kazakh state oil and gas firm KazMunayGaz plans to spin off its natural gas shipping and trading subsidiary Kaztransgas and will seek creditors' consent for the move, it said on Friday.

KazMunayGaz owns both upstream and downstream assets as well as subsidiaries operating the Central Asian nation's oil and gas pipelines, Kaztransoil and Kaztransgas.

Under the plan, which requires approval by state bodies and creditors, KazMunayGaz will hand over Kaztransgas to sovereign wealth fund Samruk Kazyna, it said in a statement.

In addition to shipping gas from Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries to China and Russia, Kaztransgas acts as a trader. It signed a contract to supply 5 billion cubic meters of gas a year to China in 2018 and has since agreed to double that volume.

The spin-off will allow KazMunayGaz to focus on exploration, production and refining and keep the infrastructure in the hands of the state when the firm presses ahead with its listing plans, KazMunayGaz said.

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