The AIFC and associated institutions
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 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.
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 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 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 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 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.
Do I need to have full time employees based in the AIFC, if so, what are the requirements for this?
Subject to limited exceptions, a Company/Partnership must at all times, have a registered office registered in the AIFC to which all communications and notices may be addressed. There is no requirement for a minimum number of persons to be employed in the AIFC.
Additionally, residency requirements may apply to persons carrying out certain key functions. For example, if your firm is required under Acting Law of the AIFC to appoint a Money Laundering Reporting Officer, that individual generally must be resident in Kazakhstan. As another example, if you are operating as a Representative Office, you must appoint a Principal Representative who is resident in the country.
However, AIFC law requires that an AIFC Participant must carry on its primary business activities in the Centre – to this extent, it would generally be necessary to have adequate resources, including personnel, located in the AIFC.