Renat Bekturov, the governor of the Astana International Financial Centre, talks to Kimberley Long about how the centre has grown since its launch in 2018, the development of Kazakhstan’s capital markets, and how the centre has benefited from sanctions against Russia.
In terms of the capital market we are at an early stage, but we are pushing it forward with AIX and by creating a jurisdiction that is similar to what fund managers would see elsewhere. We have introduced different flexible structures, allowing the creation of general partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships, for example. Companies in AIFC can have different classes of shares, tailored to different groups of investors.
It has created a small but growing space for private investors. For example, one of the start-ups that operates in Tajikistan has registered in AIFC due to the rule of law. We see foreign investors requiring companies from the region to register here. Singapore’s venture capital firm Quest Ventures requires project start-ups to register with AIFC.
Finally, environmental, social and governance is of course important. We are working with the government to approve the taxonomy of social projects. The next step is to help the country in its aspirations to become carbon neutral by 2060 by creating a carbon units trading system and much more. This is especially important in light of the EU introducing CBAM, the cross-border adjustment mechanism. We believe if we don’t invest in this, we will have to bear the cost in the future.