Financial and Professional Services Sector

An Expert's View about Banking, Finance and Insurance in Kazakhstan

Posted on: 25 Nov 2011

The financial and professional services sector is a developing young sector in Kazakhstan. Despite the global crises the Government of Kazakhstan (GoK) was able to stabilize the banking sector. The GoK is aiming to turn Kazakhstan (Almaty city) into a regional financial centre, on the model of Singapore or Dubai.

Financial and Professional Services Sector in Kazakhstan The financial and professional services sector is a developing young sector in Kazakhstan. Despite the global crises the Government of Kazakhstan (GoK) was able to stabilize the banking sector. The GoK is aiming to turn Kazakhstan (Almaty city) into a regional financial centre, on the model of Singapore or Dubai. The rise in commodity prices guarantees stable GDP growth at 6.5-7%. Market overview Kazakhstan?s economy is recovering at a confident pace propelled by favourable oil prices and a rebound in agricultural output after last year?s drought. As part of the Kazakh government's crisis response plan Samruk-Kazyna acquired holdings in the largest banks of the republic: BTA Bank, Kazkommertsbank and Halyk Bank. Currently the Government is looking for qualified investors to sell back shares of these banks. Lending to the real sector of the economy is positively increasing. Corporate and household deposits are growing at solid pace to shore up bank?s bad loans. The National Fund assets have doubled to stand above $40 billion. The insurance market, especially car, medical and employer?s liability insurance has increased (the growth of 10-15% is forecasted for the current year). Key opportunities ? Provision of UK expertise in business education and professional skills development to address Kazakhstan?s acute shortage of financial service professionals. ? Investing, advising and insuring the development of Kazakhstan?s hydrocarbons and other mineral resources. ? Supporting development of Kazakhstan's commitment to improve its infrastructure for the export of its commodities and transport. ? Further listing by Kazakh firms on LSE ? Provision of professional services for the development of banking sector (indigenous banks are not strong on raising finance internationally) and for Almaty Regional Financial Centre. ? Fulfil demand for British non-executive directors for Kazakhstani companies (to support Kazakhstan?s drive for improved corporate governance). ? Private-Public-Partnership (especially in medical and pharmaceuticals sector). ? Islamic finance. Latest export opportunities ? Financial & Professional Services Latest export opportunities - Kazakhstan Getting into the market The banking industry is regulated by the Law on Banks & Banking Activities and the Law on the National Bank among others. All banking activities, including the acceptance of deposits, maintenance of correspondent accounts, cash operations, money transfers, discounting operations and lending are subject to licensing by the Financial Supervision Agency. The GoK has taken certain measures to strengthen the banking system by increasing minimum share capital (for a newly established bank KZT 10 billion starting from July 2011 in Almaty and Astana, KZT 4bn outside of two cities) and reserve requirements, plus increased interest rates for foreign currency lending loans to discourage foreign currency lending. The insurance industry is regulated by the Insurance Law, among others. Non-resident insurance companies may open representative offices without having to obtain approval from the Financial Supervision Agency (FSA). It is prohibited to establish branch offices of non-resident insurance companies in KZ. Resident and non resident legal entities may act as founders of local insurance companies. However this rule does not apply to some of offshore companies determined by the Government. The Regional Financial Centre of Almaty acts as a financial hub, attracting international investment funds. Most of the international legal firms are based in Almaty; their main sector of interest is energy. In general, the Government looks for qualified investors with a rating of no less than "BBB". More about doing business in Kazakhstan Contacts Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS). To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country - or contact your local international trade team. ? Fiona Kushvid, UKTI, British Embassy, Astana. Tel: +7 7172 556 214 ? Sholpan Tursynbayeva, UKTI, British Embassy, Astana. Tel: +7 7172 556237 Contact your local international trade team Major Events The Silk Road Summit, 30 November ? 1 December 2011, Almaty, Kazakhstan. Lord Mayor?s visit to Kazakhstan, 26-30 June 2012. UKTI Events UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows. Latest events ? Financial & Professional Services Latest events ? Kazakhstan Useful links More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters
Posted: 25 November 2011

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