Cross-border Islamic financing in focus for Kazakhstan
In 2009, Kazakhstan was the first county of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to introduce Islamic banking and Islamic securities. Still, however, little progress has been made in terms of the development of the Islamic finance industry, apparently because of inherent deficiencies in the Kazakh law which has civil law jurisdiction and does not recognize many international legal concepts.
Kazakhstan is the largest economy in Central Asia and home to more than 18 million people. As a country rich in coal, oil, natural gas and uranium, Kazakhstan’s economic focus remains firmly on its industrial sector and the extraction and processing of its natural resources.
Capital market in Kazakhstan – is there a positive outlook?
The recent outbreak of COVID-19 pandemia has not created any new issues for Kazakhstan’s economy, it has just uncovered the existing ones. Long before the pandemia it was already clear to the Kazakh Government that “oil era” is coming to an end and new instruments shall be developed to attract money to the country. As a response to the challenging reality, the Kazakh Government has to apply non - resource based means to boost the economy. Creating a strong capital market that will attract regional and foreign investors to Kazakhstan is one of such non - resource based measures.
The Kazakh gas market continues to be organized on the basis of central command and control, and quasi-monopolistic principles, with KazMunayGas (KMG) as the state owned and vertically integrated oil and gas company dominating gas production, supply and transportation through its direct and indirect subsidiaries.
E-wallet. Emission of electronic money in Uzbekistan
The development of FinTech has leapfrogged for the recent two years in Uzbekistan. Concretely, emission and sale of electronic money ("E-money ") was not regulated by the Uzbek legislation in the past. Herewith the very idea of creating a special electronic payment system was not feasible until 2020.
Kazakhstan: First steps to becoming a regional hub for Islamic finance
Despite the attempts of the government of Kazakhstan to make its Islamic finance market more attractive, Islamic products are still rarely used in Kazakhstan. Currently, according to the National Bank of Kazakhstan, the share of Islamic banking assets in Kazakhstan represents an insignificant part of the total assets of the banking sector: 0.21% (a year earlier the share was 0.16%). According to the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC), the target to achieve by 2025 is 5–7%
In 2020, Kazakhstan faces a hurricane in the form of the impact consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the plunge in the price of oil to a 20-year low, including, among others, decreased economic activities, devaluation of the local currency (tenge), reduced foreign direct investments in risky markets and shrinking state budgets.
Kazakhstan: Corporate M&A 2020
M&A market in Kazakhstan remained strong in 2019, as it was in 2018. Activity was largely driven by ongoing consolidation of Kazakh banks because of the increased capitalisation requirements of the financial regulator, consolidation in the telecommunications sector and acquisitions in the IT sector.
Enactment of the new rules on issue of accompanying notes was postponed
The Order of the First deputy of the Prime-Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan – the Minister of finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated 13 April 2020 No. 379 “On amendment of the order of the First deputy of the Prime-Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan – the Minister of finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated 26 December 2019 No. 1424 “On approval of the List of goods subject to accompanying notes issue as well as the Rules on their issue and circulation” (hereinafter – the ‘Order’) was published on 15 March 2020.
Uzbek banking sector COVID-19
In light of the spread of coronavirus infection Covid-19 and in addition to quarantine regime, Uzbekistan has undertaken a number of other measures aimed at mitigating risks and maintaining the normal functioning of business activities, including the banking sector.
Provisional measures and decisions of the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic in connection with the spread of COVID-19
COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the associated restrictions and economic consequences of the fight against the virus, set new tasks for the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic (the “NBKR”). In this connection, the regulator took a number of measures aimed at maintaining stability in the banking system of the Kyrgyz Republic and protecting the rights of consumers of banking services.