Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) will be the driver of the Islamic finance development in Kazakhstan. Experts highlighted the growing interest of businessmen from Arab countries in the Kazakh projects. In order to be competitive with other international financial centers, the AIFC is strengthening its capacity building by establishing the Bureau for Continuing Professional Development last year. Specialists have the opportunity to be trained in the field of risk management in Islamic banking.

YERNUR RYSMAGAMBETOV, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ASTANA INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTER AUTHORITY:

- An ecosystem should be established for the successful launch. We have launched two programs. One of them is aimed at the training of specialists for the banking sector. The second program is focused on literacy of the end users on Islamic finance.

In the first quarter of this year, the total capital of two large Islamic banks operating in Kazakhstan was recorded at 42 billion Tenge. Today, there are leasing companies in Kazakhstan that provides service, which comply with the laws and rules of Islamic finance. The values are currently low but according to experts, there are vast opportunities for growth in Kazakhstan.

YELTAY MUKHAMEDZHANOV, DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF ISLAMIC BANK:

- Risk sharing and partnership with the borrowers are priorities in the Islamic banking. The lack of speculations is also very important. Murabaha and Ijara are the main products that are currently in demand. They are the equivalents of leasing.

The corporate sector is the main customer of the Islamic banks in Kazakhstan. Attraction of the retail customers in the Islamic finance is another trend of the past years. 

SHAIMERDEN CHEKANOV, EXPERT IN ISLAMIC FINANCE:

- As far as I know, people can open deposits by the principles of the Islamic finance. They can also apply for mortgage based on the principles of the Islamic finance.

Kazakhstan is the only country in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) that has successful operation of the Islamic finance instruments for 10 years.

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