What Should You Know About Freedom Finance
by Nabamita Sinha Finance 06 October 2023
Have you ever thought about Freedom Finance? Freedom Holding Corp. is a Kazakhstani investment company, one of a few such entities in the CIS, which has successfully expanded its business abroad. In its home market, Freedom is already the key player in the financial sphere. The company has built an ecosystem that includes a bank, insurance companies, and a payment service, which are considered among the biggest in the country.
The company has been listed on NASDAQ since 2019 under the stock ticker FRHC. Since the beginning of this year, the holding’s stock value has risen by 50% or more than six times since its first trading day on the exchange. The market capitalization of the company is valued by investors at more than $5.2 billion. Founder and CEO of the holding Timur Turlov, controls the stake worth roughly $3.8 billion. In terms of wealth, he is one of the richest entrepreneurs under 40 years old in the world.
The performance of Freedom Finance’s stock reflects its operational results. Freedom is doing quite well in all its key focus areas. Even though the company sold its Russian assets and left the Russian market, its rate of growth is still impressive. In the financial year of 2022, the company reported revenue of $689.8 million and $795.7 million in 2023.
Freedom is applying different approaches for different markets. For example, it is focused on the expansion of its ecosystem of financial services for citizens and businesses in Kazakhstan. In the U.S., Freedom is going to become a full-scale investment bank. To achieve this goal, Freedom acquired the American firm Maxim Group in February 2023. Upon the move, Freedom became a member of the New York Stock Exchange and obtained an opportunity to float directly on Wall Street. In March of this year, the holding purchased LD Micro, an independent resource in the microcap space in North America.
To improve mobile internet penetration in Kazakhstan and boost the growth of its ecosystem at the expense of new clients, Freedom is going to launch its new project, Freedom Telecom, a 5G mobile operator.
No challenges, no growth. In August, the fund Hindenburg Research published a report about FRHC’s business, accusing the holding and its founder of wrongdoing. Usually, Wall Street keeps an eye on such investigations as they can cause a target stock to crash. When the value of an attack stock plunges, the fund can make a profit because it usually would have shorted the stock of a targeted company in advance. They wanted to pull this trick with Freedom as well.
However, nothing happened. The stock value of Freedom slightly declined on the day of the publication but then rebounded and even reached a historical record high. Some experts believe that speculators may have lost about $20 million.
Hindenburg Research’s failure is the result of the poor quality of the “report” based on rumors and misinterpretations of facts. Turlov gave an interview to the media on the following day and explained why all those allegations against him and the company were false. Moreover, Freedom published its annual statement confirmed by one of the leading international auditors shortly before Hindenburg Research’s report was released.
Freedom is quite generous when it comes to social projects in Kazakhstan. The company is well-known as one of the biggest sponsors in the sphere of football and chess. Turlov is the president of the Kazakhstan Chess Federation and a member of the executive committee of the Kazakhstan Football Federation. He was the one who stood behind the FIDE Championship 2023 in Astana.
In addition, Freedom provided financial resources for the construction of the water pumping station and water supply lines in the town of Aktau. Thanks to these new facilities, more than 200,000 have received access to clear fresh water. The holding is also financially supporting the restoration of the ecosystem of the dried floor of the Aral Sea.
Another social endeavor of the company is the cultural project Mecenat. kz. Any Kazakhstani writer who wins the award will be the recipient of a lifetime annuity of $500 a month from Freedom.