NUR-SULTAN – Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) Governor Kairat Kelimbetov and an AIFC delegation met in June with the executives of Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and more than 30 Chinese investment funds and brokers in Shanghai to present investment opportunities in Kazakhstan.
“The AIFC was created as a regional financial hub, to connect investors with promising projects that require financing to realise their full potential. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a clear and important priority for us. Another, equally promising opportunity lay with mid-cap companies in Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Georgia and other countries in the region that are eager to engage with Chinese investors, and we are helping to bring them together,” AIFC governor added.
The SSE is one of the primary shareholders of the Astana International Exchange (AIX) and was involved in the development of the AIFC as the regional financial services hub of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The presentation was focused on investment opportunities with projects within the BRI, as well as with fast-growing mid-cap companies in countries of Central Eurasia.
Executive Vice President of the SSE Shaotong Liu congratulated the Kazakh party on its progress since the opening of the AIX.
More Chinese brokers have begun conducting business in Kazakhstan. The SSE management highlighted that it will build even closer cooperation with the AIFC and continue to work with the relevant parties.
AIFC and AIX seek to provide market-oriented, diversified and sustainable investment and financing solutions as well as comprehensive investment protection for BRI projects in Kazakhstan, Central Asia and Eurasia.
In 2018-2019, AIFC has held road shows targeting fast-growing mid-size companies in the region. Presentations were conducted in more than 10 cities of Russia, Belarus and Georgia. Representatives of more than 450 companies attended the events. During the road shows, the AIFC and its stock exchange provided the companies how-to information on listing requirements and procedures, and more than 40 of them signed letters of intent to pursue investment opportunities at the financial centre.
Meanwhile, The Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) is opening competence centres at Kazakhstan’s major universities to improve investment literacy. The initiative also intends to help develop the key competencies and practical skills of new experts in finance, investment and other industries.
Eight platforms have already been established at Almaty universities including the SDU Fin Lab, ALMAU FinTech Lab, KBTU Knowledge Centre, Narxoz Training Centre, Centre of Case Law Institute Sorbonne-Kazakhstan, Al-Farabi KazNU Islamic Finance Centre, Maksut Narikbayev KazGUU Financial Risk Management Centre and Lev Gumilyev ENU Digital Finance Centre.
Users of the centres get access to the software of the Eikon terminal, the largest macroeconomic database, the analytical information and real-time data exchange operations of which are used by the professional financial and technical community around the world. The software significantly expands opportunities for the development of research activities and innovation in the educational process.
AIFC is going to expand the list of partner universities. By the end of the year, nine more competence centres will be launched in Nur-Sultan and Almaty. The goal is to bring local competencies up to international standards; the centres will foster training, professional development and knowledge exchange in hopes of drawing more young people to finance.
The centres also take into account the specialisation of each university. SDU Fin Lab’s competence centre has a financial laboratory for the development of practical skills and innovative ideas in global markets and investment. It will serve as a platform for financial market research.
Author is Senior Editor with Media Hub International, Dubai