Kazakhstan

Islamic Development Bank Group is investing more than US$2 billion into projects in #Kazakhstan

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) is investing more than US$2 billion into innovative projects in Kazakhstan. The three major initiatives are the establishment of an organization on food security of Muslim countries, a project of integration of Islamic infrastructure and the establishment of the Astana International Financial Center. IDB CEO Bandar Bin Mohammed Hajjar said the investment would strengthen the bilateral relationship between the IDB and government of Kazakhstan. The IDB has recently established the Foundation for Development of Science, Technology and Innovation. In addition, the bank undertakes the creation of the cooperation ecosystem, which should unite efforts of governments, businessmen and scholars of Islamic countries, and allow to realize the most advanced ideas into ready-made, commercial products.

Al Hilal Bank opens its first client service branch in Almaty, #Kazakhstan

Al Hilal Bank opened its first client service branch in Almaty, which provides a full range of Shari'ah compliant banking services for corporate and private customers. Bank customers can now use deposit products, debit cards, and cash management services, while the investment deposits are a new and unique product for the market of Kazakhstan. Focusing on the needs of customers, the bank plans on launching a programme to finance individuals in the near future. Speaking at the branch opening, Gordon Haskins, CEO of Al Hilal Bank Kazakhstan, said that Islamic finance had a great potential for development and Al Hilal Bank aimed to bring benefits and establish benchmarking of Islamic financial instruments in the region. Al Hilal was established in 2010 as the first Islamic bank in Kazakhstan and the CIS region. It is a subsidiary bank of Al Hilal Bank PJSC, which is fully owned by the Government of the United Arab Emirates.

Zaman-Bank becomes #Kazakhstan’s second Islamic Bank

Kazakhstan’s previously commercial Zaman-Bank became an official Islamic bank on Aug. 17. The license from the National Bank of Kazakhstan allows the bank to tap into the Islamic banking sector and makes Zaman-Bank the second Islamic bank in the country. Al Hilal Bank, operating since 2010, had been the country’s only Islamic bank so far. Zaman-Bank is planning to focus on retail banking and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The bank already offers a range of deposit options, including wakala and mudaraba. Head of the Islamic Finance Development Unit, Timur Rustemov, said the bank converted to an Islamic bank, because this sector is still open in Kazakhstan, especially consumer banking. He added that the bank plans to offer Islamic auto finance, Islamic mortgage and a range of products and services for SMEs.

#Kazakhstan, #Malaysia plant seeds for green Islamic finance

Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) has gained the support of technology financier Malaysia Debt Ventures (MDV) to develop both green and Islamic finance in Kazakhstan. Under a newly agreed MoU, AIFC and MDV will work closely with each other to share best practices, expertise and knowledge in these two areas. Apart from sharing knowledge, both parties will also explore financing green projects using Islamic financing tools. While not fully operational yet, AIFC is keeping busy by setting the groundwork. Green finance received a huge boost earlier in January when the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development agreed to launch the Green Financial System for Kazakhstan project, financed by Finland. With eyes on a comprehensive green financial system, engaging MDV could culminate in a variety of Islamic financial products for sustainable eco-friendly projects including green Sukuk.

New Islamic bank to appear in #Kazakhstan

Zaman Bank is expected to enter Kazakhstan's Islamic banking services market in near future. The news was announced by Nurlan Abdrakhmanov, director of the financial market methodology department of Kazakh National Bank. He noted that among all the products of Islamic banking, murabaha is in the greatest demand in Kazakhstan.

ICD and TUV SUD to develop private sector in Central Asia

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and TUV SUD signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to foster their joint operations in the countries of Central Asia. ICD's CEO Khaled Al-Aboodi and the managing director of TUV SUD Central Asia, Anar Ahmadov, signed the MoU on behalf of the two corporations in Astana, Kazakhstan. The aim of the MoU is to facilitate cooperation in promoting private sector participation and inform about business opportunities in countries of Central Asia. This partnership will enable the two institutions to work closely on market studies related to the transit and logistic sector in the common member countries.

#MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: #IDBank #Dragon #Capital to Develop Sharia-compliant #Investment “Silk-way Growth Fund” for SMEs in #Kazakhstan

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), a development finance institution of the Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB), and Dragon Capital Partners, the venture capital and private equity arm of Ukraine-based Dragon Capital Group, recently announced the intention to develop the Silk-way Growth Fund, a Sharia-compliant investment fund benefitting “high growth” small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) involved in manufacturing in Kazakhstan. The fund is slated to address the “financing gap created due to difficulty of accessing capital at sustainable market rates and the banking sub-sector’s lack of confidence in SME entrepreneurs.” According to ICD, SMEs make up 96 percent of all businesses in Kazakhstan and 25 percent of the country’s GDP.
ICD will act as fund advisor to Silk-way as part of its SME Platform, an initiative aimed at building Sharia-compliant investment management capacities in ICD’s 52 member countries, and it will consider investing capital in the fund as plans for the fund are finalized.

#Kazakhstan envisions emergence as finance hub for Central Asia

Kazakhstan is currently working on the launch of its new Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) in order to become a financial hub for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), West and Central Asia. It is part of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev's vision entitled 100 Steps to lift Kazakhstan into the world’s 30 most developed nations by 2050. The creation of the AIFC is step 70 in the programme. Its regulatory framework is modelled after the Dubai International Financial Center and will open avenues for investors within the Eurasian Economic Union between Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. Plans are to attract more than $350bn in foreign investment and to issue a total value of $91bn in sovereign bonds, mostly sukuk. The launch of the AIFC is anticipated for 2018 after the country will have had hosted the Astana Expo 2017 in the capital from June 10 to September 10 next year.

ICD, Dragon Capital Partners (DCP) develop Shari'ah-compliant investment #fund in #Kazakhstan

Dragon Capital Partners (DCP) has mandated the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) as a strategic advisor for developing a joint investment fund to raise $100 million for Kazakhstani SMEs. The purpose of the fund will be to co-invest with foreign investors in Kazakhstan and unlock growth potential in key sectors of the country. The Silk-Way Growth Fund initiative aims to attract international equity funds to invest in Kazakhstani SMEs. The Fund will invest in high-growth Kazakhstani industrial and manufacturing SMEs that enjoy competitive advantages and strong export potential and capacity. The Fund will help reviving the Silk Road on Kazakhstani territory.

President of #Kazakhstan commends cooperation with IsDB Group

The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev met with the President of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Dr. Bandar Hajjar, on an official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. President Nazarbayev praised the cooperation between IsDB and his country and congratulated Dr. Hajjar on his recent assumption of duties as the new IsDB Group President. President Nazarbayev plans to launch the program 100 Steps, which is designed to introduce structural and economic reforms to Kazakhstan. The program also envisages the launching of Astana International Financial Center as a center of excellence for financial services at regional and global level. President Nazarbayev called on IsDB to provide technical support in the fields of development and Islamic finance. Dr. Hajjar assured that the IsDB Group would provide the required technical assistance to support President Nazarbayev’s initiatives.

Leasing leader SKL invests in Islamic Finance for strategic growth

#Kazakhstan based SK Leasing (SKL) announced that it has engaged Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) to help the company achieve Shari'a Compliance in its business activities. Managing director Duman Nurbayev said SKL is going to be the first leasing company in Kazakhstan to be fully converted into Sharia compliant activities. Also, they are planning to be the first company in the CIS region which will provide a wide range of Islamic Financial products and services. SKL finances projects in the real economy sector for renovation, modernization and expansion of fixed assets. SKL has 3 domestic offices and approximately 240 clients. Its regional network includes representations in Almaty, Astana and Atyrau.

Kazakhstan studies lower capital requirements for Islamic banks

Kazakhstan's central bank is considering halving the capital requirement for Islamic banks to 5 billion tenge ($16.3 million) from 10 billion tenge, part of a series of initiatives to attract foreign capital to Central Asia's largest economy. The majority Muslim state is keen to develop Islamic finance, according to a Thomson Reuters study released on Tuesday. A proposed reduction in capital requirements for Islamic banks would apply for both local and foreign investors, deputy governor Nurlan Kussainov was quoted as saying in the study. This could encourage new entrants in a market that now has one full-fledged Islamic bank, Al Hilal Islamic Bank.

Latest Thomson Reuters, IRTI And CIBAFI Report Suggests Kazakhstan Well Under Way To Building Islamic Finance Economy

Thomson Reuters, the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) and the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI) have launched a new report analysing the state of Islamic Finance in Kazakhstan titled “a future perspective of Islamic finance”. The report, produced in partnership with the National Bank of Kazakhstan, was launched during a dedicated Roundtable on Islamic finance emerging markets, ahead of the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) in Manama, Bahrain. The report predicts a positive economic outlook for Kazakhstan, with an estimated GDP growth of 2.4% in 2016.

Kazakhstan set for debut sovereign sukuk in early 2016

Kazakhstan's parliament has approved legislative amendments to facilitate Islamic finance, paving the way for Central Asia's largest economy to issue its first sovereign sukuk next year, a government official said.
The amendments, which still require the president's signature, would also allow for the conversion of conventional banks into Islamic ones, said Yerlan Baidaulet, an adviser to the Investments and Development Ministry.

«We expect the sovereign sukuk in early spring of next year. Probably in March, it depends on the decision of the Ministry of Finance as it has its own budgetary process», Baidaulet said on the sidelines of an industry conference in Kuwait. The legal amendments to the banking services and securities laws are the latest steps by the majority Muslim state to help develop Islamic finance. A dedicated Islamic banking law is also currently in preparation, Baidaulet said. Lawmakers have also passed a law to establish an offshore centre in the capital Astana, which is partly aimed at attracting Islamic finance business, he added.

Powerhouse partners from across global Islamic financial ecosystem joining World Islamic Banking Conference

More than 1200 distinguished guests from more than 45 countries and 300 organizations participating this December, Bahrain

Key players from the global Islamic finance industry will be participating with the 22nd annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) 2015, taking place on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of December at the Gulf Hotel, Bahrain. Focusing on 'New Realities, New Opportunities', WIBC will play host to more than 1200 leaders including Central bank governors, regulators, C-suite bankers & asset managers, policy makers, Fintech entrepreneurs and contemporary thought leaders.
WIBC 2015 will host 5 central bank Governors and deputy governors and feature speeches and discussions by the Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, H.E. Rasheed Al Maraj, the Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman, H.E. Hamood Sangour Al Zadjali, Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, Riaz Riazuddin and the Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, Nurlan Kussainov.

Kazakhstan set for debut sovereign sukuk in early 2016

Kazakhstan's parliament has approved legislative amendments to facilitate Islamic finance, paving the way for Central Asia's largest economy to issue its first sovereign sukuk next year, a government official said.
The amendments, which still require the president's signature, would also allow for the conversion of conventional banks into Islamic ones, said Yerlan Baidaulet, an adviser to the Investments and Development Ministry.
"We expect the sovereign sukuk in early spring of next year. Probably in March, it depends on the decision of the Ministry of Finance as it has its own budgetary process," Baidaulet said on the sidelines of an industry conference in Kuwait.
The legal amendments to the banking services and securities laws are the latest steps by the majority Muslim state to help develop Islamic finance. A dedicated Islamic banking law is also currently in preparation, Baidaulet said.

Currency devaluation places Kazakhstan central bank under pressure

The central bank had spent $28bn propping up the currency in less than two years; equivalent to more than a quarter of the combined central bank reserves and national oil fund. The immediate result was a 23 per cent plunge in its value. The move was a boost to Kazakhstan's struggling resources sector. Officials argue that relatively few groups in Kazakhstan will suffer as a result of the currency fall: three-quarters of depositors held savings in dollars, while 70 per cent of company borrowings were in tenge before the move.

Kazakhstan introduces changes to obligatory insurance and Islamic finance laws

The Republic of Kazakhstan’s modifications and additions into some acts of the insurance and Islamic financing law came into force on May 9, 2015. The purpose of the law is to introduce a system of obligatory insurance for employees and to create favorable conditions for the appropriate functioning of Islamic banks. The main directions of the law are: legal support of Islamic insurance issues; improvement of legislation on issues regarding the functioning of Islamic banks; ensuring stable functioning of the organisation, which guarantees insurance payments; and solving problems regarding employees obligatory insurance when accidents occur.

ADIF to establish Kazakhstan as Islamic financial hub of Central Asia

The Association for Development of Islamic Finance (ADIF) announced the signing of memorandum on cooperation with Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB). ADIF solely supported by National Bank of Republic of Kazakhstan (NBRK), is responsible for promoting, enhancing and maintaining the Islamic financial sector and cooperation with investors from GCC and South East Asia. The agreement was signed at the 12th IFSB Summit which took place in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Speaking at the Summit, Chairman of the Presidium, Zaratkazy Nurpiisov said, given the magnitude of Muslim population, enormous oil reserves, rich minerals and metal explorations the country has considerable advantages for Islamic finance.

Upcoming IFSB Summit buoyed by encouraging new developments

As Islamic finance regulators and thought leaders converge on the commercial capital of Kazakhstan, Almaty, for the 12th Annual Summit of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the world of Islamic finance is buoyed by a series of encouraging developments in the weeks leading up to the Summit. The Summit is scheduled to be held on 20-21 May 2015. The transformational impact of the Islamic finance industry can only be truly enhanced inter alia if the requisite infrastructure is in place. As such, issues relating to ‘Core Principles for Islamic Finance: Integrating with the Global Regulatory Framework,’ the Summit theme, is pertinent and follows the adoption last month by the IFSB of a new Standard on Core Principles for Islamic Finance Regulation (CPIFR)(Banking Segment) (IFSB-17).

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