World Investor Week finishes in Kazakh capital
The World Investor Week taken place on 30 September to 6 October in 6 Kazakh cities aimed at increasing awareness of the protection of financial services’ consumers, the basics of investment and terms of doing business in the AIFC. The last conference was held in the confines of the AIFC in Nur-Sultan, Strategy2050.kz correspondent reports.
The World Investor Week is an initiative of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) that unites 120 securities regulators of different countries. It is held to attach attention to issues associated with securities investment, risks, and protection mechanisms. The World Investor Week took place in 6 Kazakh cities, including Petropavlovsk, Aktau, Karaganda, Turkestan, Almaty and Nur-Sultan.
The Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) joined the International Organization of Securities Commissions in 2018.
“The AIFC has a legislative framework for all financial services in the banking, insurance sectors and the securities market in, allowing for Islamic financing, participation in its financial technology. The legislative framework is built on the certain principles, that is, it is the fittest and turns the AIFC into the platform that interests both investors and those seeking funds. The AIFC has 260 participants from 26 countries by now”, Mukhtar Bubeyev, Acting Director-General, the Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA), said.
The conference accentuated the role of supervision in and measures for the protection of investors’ rights.
As a first-time visitor to Nur-Sultan, Natalie Dürr, Commissioner for Western Australia, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission stressed the AIFC’s tremendous location.
“Nur-Sultan is very well positioned for an emerging market being so centrally located between Europe and Asia and the Middle East. As a regulator myself for a quarter of a century, I fully appreciate the challenging role the AFSA will play in the financial center”, she said.
The Authorisations Division functioning within the AFSA is responsible for processing all the applications for financial activities in the AIFC, according to Ainur Kasyrbayeva, Senior Associate.
“A smart investor, first of all, needs to verify that the professional serving your needs is licensed, duly authorized, and has a list of permitted activities. Also, a smart investor needs to conduct research on what is the product he/she is going to invest in, be cautious about the risks, recognize the terms such as compound interest, diversification, long-term diversification, and, of course, he/she needs to invest in accordance with their needs, goals. In this regard, it is important to mention that the AFSA’s main mission is to establish such an environment where we deliver capital and financial markets, where all actors, individuals and firms act with integrity”, she said.
The Authorisation’s function can be used to ensure that the regulator is able to identify and prevent significant misconduct or harm beforehand. The Division’s requirements mean that firms and individuals meet the threshold conditions from the very beginning, according to Ainur Kasyrbayeva.
Nathalie Gallant, who is serving as the Head of the Capital Markets Divisions at the AFSA, said that they focus on the trading activities that are occurring within the AIFC.
“We do have exchanges called the Astana International Exchange (AIX), and it has its own clearing and settlement facility. This exchange is also recognized as a self-regulatory organization, which means that its needs to monitor and enforce its own trading rules”, she said.
She went on to say that it is important to have a good relationship between the regulator and the exchange.
“Once an exchange is licensed to operate as an exchange so it has market activities, the first thing we need to do is to approve the business rules. The regulator is actually responsible to make sure that those business rules comply with all the framework of the regulator that surrounds the activities. Being a regulator it is very important that we maintain a great relationship with the exchange so we fully understand as a business where they are going so we make sure that the regulation is relevant to what they are doing, and ensuring that they are also enforced within their jurisdiction to make sure that the market preserves its integrity”, she said.
According to her, the events such as the World Investor Week may be useful as they allow for discussions on what’s in the pipeline, what’s coming, what’s in progress and what the expectations are.
“As a regulator we need to make sure that we convey the message of what is the expectation in terms of regulation. And investor protection is always at the core of what we look at. So, essentially it does allow us to prioritize any types of files that are in the pipeline, and we put that in market context. As a regulator we cannot be a barrier to business, but we also need to make sure that that business evolves and develops within the proper guidelines”, she said.
Michael Howard, Head of the Enforcement Division at the AFSA, outlined that role of enforcement. He told that enforcement is necessary because it enables an appropriate action to be taken when breaches of laws, regulations or rules of financial centers occur.
“The action will be taken swiftly, decisively and in a manner consistent with publicly stated policies. We have successfully established an effective principles-based regime, which offers firms, customers and investors a financial environment which has enough confidence”, he said.
The previous year’s conference gathered over 3500 people in 7 Kazakh cities.
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