Regional Financial Centre of Almaty City
(RFCA) - business and financial centre in Almaty
. Chairman - Arken Arystanov
The Regional Financial Centre of Almaty acts as a financial hub, attracting international investment funds as well as listed companies. The RFCA is a logical step to further diversify the Kazakh economy and decrease dependence on natural resources.
The Almaty Financial Centre is managed by the Agency for RFCA development, which is a state body reporting directly to the President of the country.
Agency also operates
- Kazakhstan Stock Exchange
- National Rating Agency of Kazakhstan (RFCA Rating Agency)
- RFCA Academy (Securities Market Academy)
- Special Financial Court (independent, but forms an integral part of the Almaty Financial Centre)
International Advisory Board
, ex-president of the World Bank
was invited to advise on the RFCA development and to chair the International Advisory Board of the RFCA.
The creation of the RFCA was first mooted in the mid of 1990s but it was in 2003-2004 that President Nazarbayev
formally proposed the project to Kazakhstan’s financiers. The RFCA was thus created in February 2006, as part of an initiative by the government to create a stock market operating to international standards of market regulation and best practice.
"Boston Consulting Group", which has directly participated in the creation and development of financial centers in Singapore and Thailand, was chosen and assigned by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, to implement the project of development Almaty as the leading financial centre in the region. This Company's main task was to study the advantages and disadvantages of the development of the Kazakhstan's financial market as well as the development of the recommendations for the legal infrastructure and management positions of the newly created regional financial center.
Three models – Dublin, Dubai and Singapore – were chosen as exemplars: the RFCA has absorbed their common features – namely, Accessibility, Transparency, Reliability, Incentives and State Support for all participants.
To ensure a competitive centre, the Kazakh Government has introduced a number of unprecedented measures: a highly favourable tax regime and a special body under the direction of Kazakhstan’s President to register and administrate players. The RFCA will be a special zone with unique legal governance. A major principle will be to provide equal conditions for both Kazakhstan and foreign participants.
The package of mid-term measures will include…
- running of IPOs of national companies and banking institutions on the trading floor
- introduction of new financial instruments such as index funds (ETFs), securitised
assets (SPVs), futures, options, instruments of Islamic banking (Sukuk etc.) which will
be accessible to institutional investors and individuals and ensure effective
development of the Kazakh securities market;
- creation of a new technology-intensive infrastructure in line with other international
- involvement of the Bank for Kazakhstan Development into all RFCA activities
- annual issuance of treasury notes by the Finance Ministry;
- establishment of a Kazakh clearing house;
- optimum utilisation of internal investment opportunities through involvement of internal
investors looking for long-term investments
- implementation of large-scale investment projects to upgrade living standards, through
Government project-related bonds
- provision of tax incentives in cases of insuring against risks
- permission to the accumulation pension funds to establish associated organisations to
be registered as participants of the centre’s operations.