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Astana International Financial Centre Fully Operational in 2018

Saturday 24 October 2015

ASTANA (Interfax-Kazakhstan) — Astana International Financial Centre will start operating in 2018, the chairman of the National Bank Kairat Kelimbetov said.

“The international financial centre in Astana will officially start operating on 1 January, 2016. The plans for 2016-2017 include building the infrastructure, attracting foreign investors and drafting legislation. Starting from January 1, 2018 this centre should be operating in full”, he told journalists in Astana on Wednesday.

“Over the next two years the National Bank will direct more than 3 bln every year to the Astana financial centre. In the future, when the centre is handed over to the management company, it will pay for itself and bring revenues”, Kelimbetov said.

In May 2015, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a decree ordering to create an Astana International Financial Centre. According to it, the National Bank is to move from Almaty to Astana by January 1, 2017. The Decree also orders the government and the National Bank to submit a bill to create the Astana International Financial Centre to the Kazakh parliament by September 1, 2015. The bill will provide for mechanisms to regulate the relations between the players of the Centre based on the standards of the world’s leading financial centers and on the principles and rules of the English law. The bill will require that the English language be used in all documents of the Centre, also including any legal proceedings.

The Centre will invite foreign judges to hear economic and investment disputes. The players of the Centre will be exempted for ten years from corporate income tax on the revenue generated at the Centre and from individual income tax at source on the revenue from dividends and on the personal revenue of employees working at the Center.

The Astana International Financial Centre will also issue sovereign Islamic securities and will allow its participants to employ foreign labour without having to obtain permission from the Kazakh authorities.

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