A study on Islamic finance in Kazakhstan was presented with the support of the International Financial Center Astana (AIFC). An analysis of the feasibility of developing this subject was carried out by a consortium of Malaysian companies Amanie Advisors and CSQ Law with the support of the Government of Malaysia. The main goal of the study is to attract Malaysian financial companies and investors to Kazakhstan.
Representatives of the quasi-governmental sector, participants in the Islamic finance market, lawyers and economists took part in the presentation and the subsequent panel discussion. The special guest of the event was the Ambassador of Malaysia to Kazakhstan, Sayed Mohamad Bakri Sayed Abd Rahman.
Nurlan Kussainov, Chairman of the Board of the AIFC Administration JSC, made a welcoming speech to the participants. He noted that Islamic finance is one of the priorities of the AIFC.
“Islamic finance has great potential for development in the region. Currently, Islamic finance accounts for less than 1% of the country's total banking assets. We hope that by 2025 this figure will increase to 3-5%, including with the help of the AIFC. Together with the Asian Development Bank, we have developed a favourable legal and regulatory environment, products and tools to attract Islamic banking and non-banking financial services and will be happy to welcome financial organizations in the field of Islamic finance at the AIFC site,” - said Kusainov.
Datuk Dr. Moh Daud Bakar, founder and chairman of the Amanie Group, stressed: “We believe that this seminar, which is held for the first time in Kazakhstan with the support of the AIFC, will give impetus to the development of Islamic finance. It is still a young industry, which has real prospects. For its part, Amanie Advisors and CSQ Law are ready to provide the necessary assistance to make Kazakhstan an attractive platform in this field.”
The study was conducted by interviewing regulators and financial players in Astana and Almaty. A national survey of Islamic finance awareness was also conducted with more than 1,000 correspondents across Kazakhstan. A full data analysis, which is scheduled to be completed by mid-April 2019, will identify areas in which participants in the financial markets of Kazakhstan and Malaysia can cooperate and learn from each other to stimulate the development of the industry.
During the presentation of the preliminary results of the study, Malaysian experts spoke about the current state of Islamic finance in Kazakhstan, the role of regulators in the development of the industry and shared various models and structures for doing business in this area.
Earlier, on October 30, 2018, within the framework of the Kazakhstan-Malaysian Business Forum in Almaty, the AIFC and the Consortium signed a memorandum of cooperation aimed at developing cooperation in the field of Islamic finance.