A grand opening ceremony of the AIFC Court and the International Arbitration Center (IAC) building took place with the participation of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
The AIFC Governor Kairat Kelimbetov, the Chairman of the AIFC Court Lord Harry Kenneth Woolf, IAC Chairman Barbara Domann QC, the Chairman of the AIC and Registrar and the Chief of Staff of the Court of the AIFC and IAC Christopher Campbell-Holt also took part in the ceremony.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev officially declared the building of the Court and the IAC open and symbolically struck a special judicial hammer.
The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan highlighted all that has been achieved at the AIFC within a year of the activities of financial centre.
“Just a year ago, the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Elbasy, officially launched the AIFC, and today we are opening the building of the Court and the International Arbitration Center, acting on the basis of common law, trusted by investors all over the world. The close attention to the AIFC paid by business circles of the world once again confirmed the verity of the decision of Elbasy to create a financial centre in the capital of Kazakhstan. The AIFC was created by the example and experience of the leading international financial centres and should become the flagship of the region,” said Tokayev.
The Governor of the AIFC noted that common law, on the basis of which the AIFC acts are created, was chosen because of its flexibility.
“Most of the world’s most successful financial centres operate in common law jurisdictions. This is due to the fact that it quickly adapts to the requirements of the market and at the same time guarantees investors fairness and impartiality in making court decisions. Thus, we want to create the best financial platform in the region and a unique investment climate,” said Kelimbetov.
The Chairman of the Court of the AIFC noted that the official opening of the building of the Court and the IAC of the AIFC is a historic event for the whole of Kazakhstan.
“The creation of the first court of common law and the first arbitration centre of an international level is a promising achievement for the whole of Kazakhstan. Both bodies will be located in a modern administrative building, equipped with the latest technologies, expanding access to justice and affirming the AIFC as one of the flagships of the rule of law in the region and beyond,” said Lord Woolf.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Board of the AIFC Stock Exchange (AIX) Tim Bennett held a presentation for president Tokayev and reported on the results of the activities since the first IPO of NAC Kazatomprom JSC held in November 2018 at the site.
“Kazatomprom shares are currently the second most actively traded security in Kazakhstan, with a turnover rate of 2-3 times higher than in most emerging markets. The listing of Polymetal’s shares demonstrated the relevance of AIX by international issuers, as well as the ability to mobilize regional investment demand. This week we will present a new global standard model for custodial agreements for securities; a borrowing program for securities and short sales for market makers; more effective conversion of GDRs and stocks, as well as establishing a direct link with Euroclear. All these initiatives, most of which are the first in the Central Asian region, will contribute to the development of a more active capital market for business in Kazakhstan and in the region.
“In the six months since the IPO of the first company at the AIX site, we were able not only to build infrastructure that is understandable to global investors, but also to launch multicurrency trading, prepare a platform for attracting investment by mining companies, conclude several agreements with potential issuers in the “Belt and Way” segment, and launch a mobile application for retail investors. AIX continues to develop a deep and highly liquid capital market in the country and the region,” said Tim Bennett.