The Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) with AIFC Business Development Team have hosted a panel session “Investing in Emerging Markets – Opportunities Created in the AIFC for Asset Management” during the Astana Finance Days 2023. The session involved AFSA Managing Director and Chief Legal Officer Ishaq Burney, Director of Stakeholder Engagement at Qatar Financial Centre H.E. Sheikh Fahad Jassim Al Thani, Head of Marketing Markets – Corporate at Pictet Asset Management Alain Nsiona Defise, Partner at Latham Watkins LLP Edward R. Kempson, Member of Management Board of SkyBridge Invest-Director of SkyBridge Invest Branch in the AIFC Zamira Sundetova, Chief Executive Officer of White Hill Capital Ltd Aslan Sultanov and Deputy Chief and Investment Officer at Tokio Marine Asset Management International Pte. Ltd. Sudip Biswas.
The geographically advantageous location of the AIFC, its proximity to the markets of Central Asia with a population of 75 million people and a total GDP worth 350 billion US dollars, as well as a special jurisdiction serve as an ideal platform for creating and maintaining a successful business in this sector.
The session was focused on the environment that the AIFC comprehensive regulatory regime provides for global and local private equity, hedge funds and real estate fund managers to diversify their investment strategies.
The number of asset management companies in the AIFC is showing steady growth. Since the beginning of 2022, this number has increased from six to about thirty.
The speakers also explored the challenges and opportunities of investing in frontier and emerging markets, in Central Asia, the EAEU, sectors and strategies for investing and the role financial hubs and regulators play in such markets.
Alain Nsiona Defise, Head of Emerging Markets – Corporate at Pictet Asset Management said “As far as Kazakhstan is concerned, we have been investing for a long time in the country. One of the elements that we believe is the strength of Kazakhstan is the balance sheet and strong credit. It’s a very attractively valued market.”
“Why have we chosen the AIFC? Because of its common law, tax incentives and highly developed infrastructure; flexible regulation of legal entities. The AIFC has its own technologically advanced ecosystem and that really simplifies operating in the AIFC. There are two ways to become an asset manager in the AIFC: if you have a similar licence in an equivalent jurisdiction, you can get a recognition. Alternatively, you can set up a company from scratch and in that case, you should meet all the regulatory requirements. The process is not relatively simply but it is transparent,” said Zamira Sundetova, Member of the Management Board of SkyBridge Invest - Director of the SkyBridge Invest Branch in the AIFC.
The Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) is the independent regulator of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), which is established in accordance with the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On the Astana International Financial Centre” for the purposes of regulating financial services and related activities in the AIFC. AFSA administers the AIFC Regulations and Rules and is responsible for the authorisation, registration, recognition and supervision of financial firms and market institutions in the AIFC.
Over 2,000 firms from 75 countries are registered in the AIFC. These firms provide banking, insurance, investment, professional and other services. The range of financial services offered at the AIFC is comparable to the list of services available in long-established financial centers of the world, such as London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and others. www.afsa.kz
The Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) is an independent jurisdiction with a favourable legal and regulatory environment and a developed infrastructure for starting and doing business, attracting investment, creating jobs and developing Kazakhstan's economy. https://aifc.kz/
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