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Central Bank Governor on Islamic financial industry in Kazakhstan

19 march 2012, 13:11
0
Gregory Marchenko. ©Vladimir Dmitriyev
Gregory Marchenko. ©Vladimir Dmitriyev
In an online conference arranged by Profinance.kz March 15 Kazakhstan’s Central Bank Governor Gregory Marchenko talked about Islamic financial products in Kazakhstan.

According to Mr. Marchenko, when it comes to prospects for Islamic banking in Kazakhstan, there is a legal framework for Islamic banks, Islamic investments funds and Islamic securities market.

Kazakhstan is already home to Al Hilal Islamic Bank. The Bank is a 100% subsidiary of Al Hilal Bank, UAE, and the first Islamic bank in Kazakhstan and CIS countries. First Islamic banking license was obtained on 17th of March, 2010. The Bank has its subsidiaries based in Astana, Almaty and Shymkent.

Besides, a Sharia-compliant Islamic Hajj Fund has been launched to facilitate savings schemes for those willing to administer Hajj (a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, performed from the 8th to 12th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and last month of the Islamic calendar) and Umrah (a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year).

Apart from that, Takaful Insurance Company offers Sharia-compliant insurance services for individuals.

Back in 2011 the Spiritual Muslim Authority launched a new vehicle – Zakat Foundation – to manage donations. Zakāt is giving of a fixed portion of one's wealth to charity, generally to the poor and needy.

To encourage Islamic securities, the Kazakh Stock Exchange accommodates a special Islamic securities section.

To further develop Islamic financial products, the Government is developing an Islamic Finance Development Roadmap before 2020. The Finance Ministry is expected to issue sovereign sukuk, an Islamic financial certificate, similar to a bond in Western finance, that complies with Sharia, to set a benchmark for corporate sukuk. The Program seeks to enhance taxation and accounting-related legislation with regards to Islamic products and to introduce a legal framework for Islamic insurance companies. Besides, efforts are being taken to attract investors (Islamic banks, takaful companies, investment funds).

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