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Kelimbetov comments on National Bank relocation to Astana

Kairat Kelimbetov. Photo © RIA Novosti Kairat Kelimbetov. Photo © RIA Novosti

Governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan Kairat Kelimbetov has commented on relocation of the major financial institution from Almaty to Astana, Tengrinews reports.

According to Kelimbetov, the National Bank will be relocated step by step by January 1, 2017.

“In two years we are preparing to relocate the infrastructure and the head office to Astana. Nonetheless, Almaty remains a major financial center. I think, two major cities will mutually compliment each other in Kazakhstan's financial development,” Kelimbetov said at the sidelines of the Astana Economic Forum.

The head of the National Bank added that the relocation expenses were budgeted in advance by the financial institution. “As you know, venues being built for the EXPO-2017 will be passed down to the National Bank. It has already been budgeted. The relocation will be planned for 2017. As for IT Centers, the construction will be funded by the National Bank,” Kelimbetov said.

Kairat Kelimbetov did not specify how much had been budgeted for the relocation, but said: “The calculations are still in progress”.

Meanwhile, second-tier banks have a choice to relocate their head offices to Astana to or remain where they are - mostly in Almaty.

“Recently, the President of Kazakhstan signed a decree on creation of a financial center in Astana, which will be established after the EXPO-2017 and headquartered in the venues built for the exhibition. A specialized economic zone will be created around it. As you know, the government and the National Bank have developed the Road Map program that we hope to finalize next week. The part of the plan is to create the infrastructure compliant with the standards of international financial centers. English will be the lingua franca (at the financial center). We also think there will be a special visa regime introduced for participants of the financial center. (…) We have an opportunity to become a financial hub for the region thanks to our location on the crossroads of the West and the East. Kazakhstan is situated in the center of recreation of the Silk Road, it is business center of Central Asia,” Kelimbetov said.

By Gyuzel Kamalova