Questions and answers

  • How can an investor buy or sell AIX-traded securities?

  • If a Kazakhstan company is seeking a non-Kazakhstan listing for its shares, can the requirement for a dual listing in Kazakhstan be satisfied by an AIX listing?

  • Do I need to have full time employees based in the AIFC, if so, what are the requirements for this?

  • If I want to sell units in funds in the rest of Kazakhstan from my office in the AIFC, as an AIFC Participant, do I have to establish the funds in the AIFC, or can I market the securities of funds established outside AIFC?

  • If I get the exemption, does that mean that anything I do in the AIFC is then tax exempt?

  • What tax exemption do I get as an AIFC Participant?

  • If I have to use AIFC employment law for hiring staff, how far can I adapt it for my own purposes?

  • Does an AIFC Participant have to comply with the requirements of the Labour Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan on matters not governed by the AIFC Employment Regulations 2017?

  • Can I choose to make my AIFC contracts subject to a law other than the Acting Law of the AIFC?

  • Can parties to a dispute arising in Kazakhstan outside the AIFC agree to litigate their case in the AIFC Court? Or to submit to arbitration in the AIFC?

  • Are judgments of the AIFC Court enforceable in greater Kazakhstan? And elsewhere? What about AIFC arbitral awards?

  • If I am an AIFC Participant and my clients are in the rest of Kazakhstan, what do I have to do to ensure that my contracts with, and transactions for, my clients are governed by Acting Law of the AIFC?

  • If I want to trade securities in the AIFC, do I have to be a member of the AIFC Exchange as well as an AIFC Participant? If so, are the processes designed to prevent duplication?

  • Can an AIFC Participant provide investment services for which it has AIFC authorisation to clients elsewhere in Kazakhstan without the need for any other authorisation and without being subject to regulation by the Central Bank or any other body?

  • If I am an AIFC Participant and have a branch in Almaty, can I do business through the branch under the Acting Law of the AIFC?

  • Under AIFC Rules can an AIFC Participant service clients in “mainland” Kazakhstan or outside Kazakhstan from their office in the AIFC?

  • Do I need to have an office in the AIFC to be a participant?

  • Do I have to form an AIFC company to be an AIFC Participant, or can I establish a branch which is an AIFC Participant?

  • How do I become a participant?

  • Why become a participant in the AIFC?

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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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