Welcome to AIFC
The Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) is a unique hub of the financial world that allows businesses and financial institutions to tap into the markets of EAEU and Central Asia
AIFC in Numbers
Types of Regulated Activities
Leading Financial Centre (GFCI 24)
Looking forward, the Astana International Financial Centre is capable of playing the same role in the development of the region as financial centres in Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland or London do. AIFC will become an “investment beacon” for EAEU countries, Central Asia, the Caucasus and Mongolia.
President of the Republic of Kazakhstan
The AIFC is expected to earn a reputation for being a reliable financial platform and for increasing confidence and trust in Kazakhstan among foreign investors. In turn, being a key part of the AIFC ecosystem, the independent common law judicial system represented by the AIFC Court plays an important role in the functioning of the AIFC and, accordingly, in the effective functioning of Kazakhstan’s investment programme. The AIFC Court provides an opportunity for investors working in Kazakhstan or planning to come to the region to deal with reputable judges, procedures, practices, and standards at the AIFC Court, which are similar to those in other major financial centres around the world. Experienced common law judges, renowned for their vigorous impartiality, integrity, and virtue are also a strong safeguard within a stable judicial system.
Michael Blair QC
Chairman of the AIFC Legal Advisory Council, Leading Counsel in 3 Verulam Buildings
The special legal regime is a free-standing commercial law system, designed to enable an independent international financial centre to operate. In order to ensure the introduction of the best global practice and the transposition of the relevant law of England and Wales, the AIFC established the Legal Advisory Council which I have the honor to chair. Representatives of London law firms such as Baker McKenzie, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells International, Michelmores, Norton Rose Fulbright, and White & Case are members of the Legal Council. This is a unique feature involved in creation of the AIFC.
Dr. Jacob A. Frenkel
Ex-Chairman of JPMorgan Chase International
Historic decision to move the capital of Kazakhstan to Astana 20 years ago confirmed its function as a motor for the economic development of the whole country. I think that then not everyone appreciated the importance and significance of this decision. Currently, Kazakhstan is developing rapidly and is on the trajectory of entry into the top 30 of the most developed countries in the world. Today I am convinced that the creation of the AIFC will also be a similar transformational initiative and decision.
Sir Suma Chakrabarti
Ex-President of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development
AIFC can become one of the main financial hubs of the Belt and Road project. The center will also help attract international investors to finance large-scale infrastructure projects. The AIFC development plays an important role in the overall reform agenda of the country: it will help channel domestic and foreign investments to Kazakhstan thus stimulating growth, setting new standards of corporate governance, skills transfer and green innovation. Also, the center will play a crucial role in the privatisation of large first-class companies, which is one of the key tasks in the country.
Dr. Bandar Hajjar
Ex-President of the Islamic Development Bank Group
I know that Kazakhstan and this region can offer a lot in terms of the development of innovations and entrepreneurship. I hope that today we will hear the voices of talents, we will see existing ideas. I am glad that Kazakhstan is now among the leaders of Islamic finance and is a developing market for this sphere. The country has all the necessary key requirements in order not only to become a successful domestic market of Islamic finance but also to position itself as a hub of Islamic finance in the region.
The Rt. Hon. Lord Woolf CH
Ex-Chief Justice of the AIFC Court
The AIFC Court provides a common law court system for the first time in Eurasia. It operates to the highest international standards to resolve civil and commercial disputes in the AIFC. It has exclusive jurisdiction over disputes arising out of the activities and operations of the AIFC and jurisdiction in the case of other disputes in which all parties agree in writing to give the AIFC Court jurisdiction.
Common Law Jurisdiction
AIFC is the first institution in the region to offer businesses a complete and comprehensive legal platform for attracting, implementing and protecting investments. AIFC jurisdiction is based on the principles, norms and precedents of the law of England and Wales
Independent Financial Regulator
The Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) seeks to facilitate business processes by maintaining the safety and soundness of the AIFC financial system and ensuring that financial markets in the AIFC are fair, efficient, and transparent.
Favorable Tax Regime
Until January 2066 AIFC tax regime grants various tax exemptions for AIFC participants and its investors
Independent Court and Arbitration Centre
Judicial system based on the principles of the English Common Law and the standards of commercial courts in other international centres. AIFC Court is independent in its activities. It operates in accordance with the best international standards for resolving civil and commercial disputes in the AIFC.
AIFC strategically located between the eastern and westwern global financial and business centres with an english being an offical language of communication.
Talented Reserve Pool
12000 AIFC Reserve Pool members possess the essential set of knowledge, skills and abilities required for any profficient work opportunities
The development of an asset management market is integral to any successful financial centre, and the AIFC will leverage its geographic position to provide international investors with access to markets in Central Asia. Furthermore, AIFC opens up opportunities for global as well as local private equity, hedge fund and real estate fund managers to add diversity to their portfolios. Thus, localising leading international asset management companies through efficient use of Sovereign Funds along with strengthening internal expertise in the field can establish Nur-Sultan as the main regional centre for asset management and will help boost the competiveness of the Kazakhstani economy in the global market outlook.
Through its legislative and regulatory regime, AIFC has created a favourable atmosphere in order to support domestic and international investors who are in need of local based specialists that are able to assess the emerging pools of wealth in Central Asia. The centre offers fund management services that acknowledge intricate issues required for the successful management and distribution of funds.
AIFC welcomes new entities, as well as existing bank representatives, from all around the globe including the regions of Asia, Africa, Europe, Middle East and the Americas, to take advantage of the positive economic change in Central Asia. The market growth and globalisation of economic development demand a full range of commercial and wholesale banking services, which in turn create opportunities for expanding wealth, providing trade and export finance, as well as funding for long-term bankable projects.
The AIFC supports the development of the Private banking sector in conjunction with the development of the asset management market and expertise. The AIFC with its dynamic and sound course of actions opens investment opportunities for High Net-Worth Individuals in the region and invites international Private Banking firms and External Asset Managers to set up their offices within the Centre.
As private wealth management is globally experiencing a shift towards Asia, and as emerging economies are drawing more investments and fueling further wealth generation, AIFC aims at positioning Nur-Sultan as an important regional wealth management hub in Central Asia for selected customer base from CIS/EAEU and other parts of Asia by creating a new platform for private banking.
In recognizing the importance of effective regulation and supervision to develop sustainable insurance markets in the AIFC, AFSA has developed world-class regulation on Insurance Business.
AIFC allows foreign institutions to use its financial services and take advantage of the privileges offered within its territory. These incentives are able to attract investors and business development of the region. In order to retain AIFC participants, the Centre provides insurance coverage on different aspects such as: monetary, legal, transport, physical and materialistic..
Also, our goal is to facilitate growth in the reinsurance and captive insurance markets to increase the effectiveness of the transfer of risk.
The Astana Financial Services Authority is accepted as member to the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).
AIFC is the first platform in the region to provide businesses with systemic access to Islamic finance, a rapidly growing and promising investment segment. By various estimates, this segment now totals over $2.5 trillion globally and is expected to reach $3.8 trillion by 2023, which accounts for 1% of the world’s total financial markets assets. Islamic banking represents the largest segment (estimated at $1.7 trillion or 70% of total Islamic finance assets). The Islamic insurance industry (takaful) and capital markets have shown strong growth as well.
Kazakhstan plans to develop Islamic finance industry in order to create alternative sources of financing for state and municipal projects, as well as for private ones. For this purpose, a special regulatory and legal regime has been set up in the AIFC that is consistent with international best practices and standards. AIFC’s Islamic finance industry includes a range of participants, including Islamic banks, asset management companies, investment funds, takaful and retakaful companies and other Islamic financial organizations, as well as leading international Islamic financial institutions.
Our mission is to develop a deep and liquid capital market in Kazakhstan and in the Central Asian region by providing clear and favorable conditions for attracting local and foreign investors as well as creating a platform to finance the growth of private businesses and the economy as a whole.
The Kazakh capital market is of great interest to international investors searching for new opportunities at emerging markets.
AIX offers investors and issuers all of the main instruments of capital market: initial and secondary public offerings, stock trading, sovereign and corporate bonds, sovereign and corporate Eurobonds, depositary receipts, exchange traded funds and notes, as well as Islamic financing instruments and bonds in yuan. A major advantage of the AIFC is its willingness to work with mid level capitalization companies.
Astana International Exchange (AIX) is functioning in the AIFC jurisdiction. Its technological platform was designed jointly with NASDAQ and complies with the high requirements and expectations of global market participants. To implement this technological potential, a regulatory framework, unique for the region, based on English common law, has been created.
The AIFC Tech Hub is a meeting point for global startups, entrepreneurs, investors, industry’s top experts and great talent pool.
Our role is to help develop a more diverse and knowledgeable fintech space in Kazakhstan and the region with a pipeline of opportunities for venture capital funds and financial institutions.
Our modern infrastructure, flexible regulations, easy communication environment and legal transparency are aimed to attract tech companies and become one of the leading fintech hubs.
AIFC and Tech Hub are determined to increase the expansion of domestic technology companies and startups. Growing Globally will help to enhance the number of Kazakhstani companies contracting with international businesses, improve and level up their competencies and increase their income. In the long-term perspective, it may pay off in tight transnational cooperation, magnifying Kazakhstan as a regional hub for techpreneurship.
In order to let financial business be successfully conducted and efficiently realised, it is important for AIFC to support such core business with professional services companies.
AIFC supports the registration of Ancillary Service Providers by granting license through one of its bodies, the Astana Financial Services Authority.
Firms who choose to obtain such license must successfully complete a series of requirements during their application and fit the standard criteria of principles required. Once the process is finished, these firms officially become AIFC participants. In order to obtain the AFSA license, there are 5 types of ancillary services that firms can provide: legal, audit, accountancy, consulting, credit rating.
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