Business news in brief

Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), the Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) signed a cooperation agreement to boost FinTech ties between Kazakhstan and Singapore, reported the AIFC press service. Cooperation will allow for joint participation in and sharing information on innovative projects in the two markets. The agreement was signed by AFSA CEO Mukhtar Bubeyev, AIFCA CEO Nurlan Kussainov and MAS chief FinTech officer Sopnendu Mohanty. Initiated by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, AIFC aims to attract investment into Kazakhstan’s economy by establishing a business-friendly environment for financial services and capital markets in the country.

Standard & Poor’s upgraded Eurasia Insurance Company’s financial reliability rating to BBB- with a stable outlook and the national rating to kzAAA. The assigned rating is indicative of Kazakhstan’s stable economy and its positive reform outcomes, said CEO and chairperson Boris Umanov. The Kazakh-based company, established in 1995, occupies top positions in the country in terms of assets, insurance reserves, equity, authorised capital and volume of insurance premiums.

Kazakhstan will apply to host the 24th World Petroleum Congress in 2023, reported Kapital.kz. The congress is the premier global oil and gas forum, attracting high-level industry and government leaders from more than 100 countries. The 23rd congress will be held Dec. 6-10, 2020 in Houston, Texas. Atameken and KazEnergy chairperson Timur Kulibayev noted the timeliness of the announcement, given that the upcoming year is forecasted to be favourable for Kazakhstan’s energy sector. Atameken and KazEnergy jointly contributed to the new environmental code and the recent adoption of the code on subsoil and subsoil use and the law On Standardisation will further facilitate energy sector development in the country.

Kaspi Bank chairperson Mikhail Lomtadze presented new Kaspi.kz services and announced IPO plans at a Nov. 9 presentation in London. In December, transfers among Kaspi clients with Kaspi Gold cards will become faster and more convenient. Transfers by Kaspi QR, by simply scanning a QR code, will be available in addition to transfers by card and mobile number. Customers will be able to open Kaspi Gold and Kaspi Deposit Online cards through the mobile app, which those with a positive credit history will also be able to use to receive a cash loan. Shopping at partner stores without a card will also become a possibility by scanning a QR code with a mobile phone. Kaspi.kz hopes to put Kazakhstan on the global innovation map, said Lomtadze, by holding an IPO at the London Stock Exchange in 2019.

The Kazakh National Bank will conduct the second phase of its programme on enhancing bank financial sustainability, reported its website. The programme aims to minimise systematic risks, find solutions for the sector’s long-standing challenges and facilitate the country’s economic development through increased bank loans. The first stage involved a prompt restructuring of banks and the second phase focuses on enhancing the banking system as a whole. Significant legislative changes on preventing, not simply mitigating, banking sector problems will enter into force on Jan. 1, for instance. The legislative basis for bank resolution has been revised for greater efficiency and minimising government spending. The programme’s preliminary results have proved efficient, with the positive changes reflected in updated forecasts on Kazakhstan’s economic growth. The Asian Development Bank’s forecast on the country’s gross domestic product growth improved from 3.2 percent to 3.7 percent in 2018 and 3.5 percent to 3.9 percent in 2019.

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