ASTANA — The launch of the International Trading System (ITS) will contribute to the growth of retail investing in Kazakhstan, said Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) Governor Renat Bekturov during a press conference dedicated to the opening of the international trading platform as part of the Astana Finance Days (AFD) on June 7.
According to Bekturov, ITS was the first company to receive a license from the AIFC Financial Services Regulatory Committee to operate a multilateral trading platform through which retail investors can access the global securities market.
“A key feature of the ITS trading platform is that it allows investors worldwide to trade securities listed on the world’s leading stock exchanges and covers Asian, European, and American trading hours. We expect that under the jurisdiction of the AIFC, the ITS platform will emerge as the first global pre-market of the world’s leading bourses,” Bekturov said.
He highlighted that the difference between an exchange platform and a multilateral trading platform is that the initial offering of the securities is possible on the exchange, whether it is an equity through an initial public offering (IPO) or a bond offering.
“New capital can be raised only on the Astana International Exchange (AIX). There is special regulation and a special license. The multilateral trading platform is intended for the secondary market, so that people can trade and add liquidity to the already listed securities,” he said.
As a novelty in the Kazakh financial market, the ITS during its first stage will allow investors access to 1,570 shares and depositary receipts listed on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.
The securities trading takes place in the currency of their initial listing, the U.S. dollar. Brokers accredited on the ITS trading platform will convert Kazakh tenge into the U.S. currency.
The ITS business model is focused on best execution and smart order routing, allowing investors to transact in securities on the ITS at the best prices and in any volume on the global financial market.
According to the ITS Chairman, Chingiz Kanapyanov, the main strategic goal of the ITS is to provide investors with the maximum investment opportunities through access to a wide range of internationally traded securities, using trading and liquidity provision technologies that are fundamentally new to Kazakhstan.
“We expect that the start of trading on the ITS will boost investor interest in securities of local companies, including on the part of the international investors from Asian countries,” Kanapyanov said.
International equity securities listed on the ITS are included in leading global indices, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq 100, the S&P 500, and the Hang Seng Index and cover 69 sectors of the global economy.
On the sidelines of the ADF, the AIX and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) signed an agreement on access to the Tabadul digital exchange hub, allowing investors to trade directly through licensed brokers in both markets.
“Without dual listing, investors from Abu Dhabi can invest in the securities on the AIX and vice versa. Kazakh AIX investors can invest in the securities that are listed on ADX. At the same time, trading happens on the whole market,” Bekturov said.
The AIFC Governor noted that this deal is a significant step forward, allowing Kazakh enterprises to raise large amounts of capital while maintaining a high valuation.
The AFD conference brought together 3,000 participants from over 70 countries, including government officials, financial industry and economic experts, investors, business owners, and managers representing major international banks, foreign stock markets, oil and gas companies, crypto exchanges, and more.
The AIFC is an independent jurisdiction with a favorable legal and regulatory environment and a developed infrastructure for starting and doing business, attracting investment, creating jobs, and developing Kazakhstan’s economy.