NUR-SULTAN – The Astana International Exchange (AIX) is seeing positive trends in its activities as monthly trading in November has increased up to $3.7 million compared with $659,000 in the same month last year, which translates to a six-fold increase, the press service of the organization reported.
Despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic negatively influenced the stock markets globally, the appetite of international investors for Kazakhstan and Central Asia remained high due to the decline in interest rates and the emergence of promising private companies ready to raise capital in foreign currency, according to the organization.
CEO of AIX Tim Bennett noted that AIX’s position has strengthened over the past months. “We’ve seen interest rates decline globally and therefore there is a lot more interest in investing in equities. So, while the privatization program has understandably been deferred, there is still a high level of interest in investing in Kazakhstan,” he said.
As of December 2020, the AIX has registered almost 80 securities, including shares and global depositary receipts, bonds, exchange-traded funds and notes. Since 2018, the AIX Issuers raised more than $321 million of equity capital.
The AIX boasts 26 trading members, including brokers operating in Kazakhstan, China, Russia and Europe. This year, AIX expanded its ecosystem with U.K.-based Sova Capital brokerage firm and ITI Capital international financial services company and Russia’s international investment bank VTB Capital, which have become its trading members.
Also, the AIX launched four new exchange-traded notes (ETNs) to provide local retail investors with a broad range of investment options. Now small retail investors are able to trade on the stock market and invest via the Tabys mobile app in high yield U.S. corporate bonds and high dividend companies.
For bringing innovations to the market the AIX has become the world’s first exchange to transfer its trading infrastructure, the Nasdaq matching engine, to Amazon Web Services in order “to bring agility and scalability to its investor community.”
The exchange also launched the Regional Equity Market Segment to provide access to equity financing for medium-sized businesses in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.
The AIX was established in 2017 within the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) development framework. The AIX’s list eholders include the AIFC, Goldman Sachs, the Shanghai stock exchange, the Silk Road Fund, and NASDAQ, which also provides the AIX trading platform.