Questions and answers

  • Can an AIFC Participant and its employees choose a currency other than Kazakhstani Tenge in Contracts of Employment?

  • Are AIFC Participants and banks operating in the AIFC subject to requirements of legislation of Kazakhstan in terms of currency control?

  • How does the AIFC regulation of financial technology actually work?

  • If the AFSA and other AIFC bodies have no criminal prosecution powers, how does Anti-Money Laundering oversight work in the AIFC?

  • How are the jurisdictions of the AIFC bodies and national state authorities of the Republic of Kazakhstan delimited? In case of contradictions, how are they resolved?

  • Can I assure my clients that their interests are adequately protected, in relation to, for instance, market abuse by others and my own insolvency?

  • Does an AIFC Participant need to be audited by the end of each financial year and are there any exceptions, for instance, if the AIFC Participant’s annual turnover has not exceeded U.S. $5,000?

  • Will the Republic of Kazakhstan [Arbitration Law] (including requirements to obtain prior consent of a superior authority under Article 8 thereof) apply to the proceedings in the IAC?

  • What would be correct interpretation of subparagraph 3) of paragraph 1 of Article 4 of Constitutional Statute? Does there need to be any specific act of the Governor or other AIFC authority in order to apply Kazakhstan law?

  • How can a partnership of lawyers come into the AIFC to practise law there, if the partnership is not an entity in its home state?

  • What are the main requirements to legal entities to be listed on AIX?

  • What legal form is acceptable for an issuer which wishes to list on AIX?

  • If we intend to list our securities on AIX, is it mandatory to establish an entity in AIFC or to become an AIFC Participant?

  • What are the main advantages of listing shares and or debt on AIX?

  • Where can I find the requirements of AIX for the content of the prospectus?

  • How can I predict a demand for a security and fix its pricing/yield?

  • If an issuer has been more recently established how can it comply with the 3-year requirement?

  • Which audit companies are acceptable for listed companies?

  • What kind of investors operate on AIX?

  • How to become an AIX trading member?

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The AIFC and associated institutions

What is being established at the AIFC site?

The AIFC Bodies are headquartered here, including the Astana International Financial Centre Authority (AIFCA), the Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA), the AIFC Court, the Astana International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) and AIFC Bodies’ Organisations (subsidiaries), such as the AIFC Expat Centre, the Bureau for Continuing Professional Development (BCPD), the Fintech Hub, the Astana International Exchange (AIX).

Additionally, the site is home to brand-new, state-of-the-art business, commercial and conference facilities in which AIFC Participants can maintain premises and carry on their business activities.

What is the AIFC?

Geographically, it is a large defined zone within the City of Nur-Sultan wherein AIFC Participants may be located and carry on their business activities. Conceptually, the AIFC is a financial hub for Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Middle East, West China, Mongolia and Europe.

What is the objective of the AIFC?

Objectives of the AIFC are as follows: 
  • to attract investment into the economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan by creating an attractive environment for investment in the financial services sphere; 
  • to develop a securities market in the Republic of Kazakhstan and integrate it with international capital markets; 
  • to develop insurance markets, banking services, Islamic finance, financial technologies, electronic commerce and innovative projects in the Republic of Kazakhstan; 
  • to develop financial and professional services based on international best practice; 
  • to achieve international recognition as a financial centre. 

What will be the initial principal activities to be carried out at the AIFC?

Our current regulatory framework provides for the conduct and regulation of several defined regulated financial services activities, including banking, insurance intermediation, dealing in securities, managing and advising on investments and managing collective investment schemes, providing and arranging custody services, providing trust and fund administration services and Islamic banking and financing, among several others.  
Insurance intermediation is a current permitted activity, and the AFSA is now building out the framework for the conduct and regulation of insurance and reinsurance activities as well as the framework for conventional banking. 
The current framework also provides for market infrastructure activities such as operating an exchange and operating a clearing house. 
Additionally, a range of professional services ancillary to financial markets and services can be carried on, including legal, audit, accountancy, consulting and credit rating services. 
The general legal framework of the AIFC also provides for the incorporation and registration of entities carrying on a wide range of other corporate and commercial activities, which can thereby also become AIFC Participants. 

What is the role of the AIX?

AIX is a market institution in the AIFC providing domestic and international issuers (both private and government-controlled) and investors a modern well-regulated exchange platform to access the capital markets.

What is the role of the AIFC Court?

To adjudicate (a) claims arising out of disputes between AIFC Participants, AIFC Participants and AIFC Bodies and an AIFC Participant or AIFC Body and its expatriate Employees; (b) claims arising out of disputes relating to activities conducted in the AIFC and governed by the Acting Law of the AIFC; and (c) claims arising out of the disputes in which all parties to the dispute agree in writing to the jurisdiction of the AIFC Court.

What is the role of the IAC at the AIFC?

To provide world class services for settling national and international commercial disputes through arbitration, mediation and other methods of alternative dispute resolution, in accordance with the IAC Arbitration and Mediation Rules 2018 or the rules agreed upon between the parties to a dispute submitted to the IAC.

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