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Building diversified financial markets

Azamat Joldasbekov, president and chief executive officer of the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange, spoke to Euromoney's Nick Kochan about the market's limitations and changes being made to extend the scope of its operations

How is the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange structured and what is the scope of its operations?

The Kazakhstan market is heavily skewed towards bonds but it has nevertheless been very successful. Kazakhstan now has the most developed corporate bond market in the Commonwealth of Independent States, perhaps even in the whole of eastern Europe. It compares with Hungry, Poland, the Baltic states and Russia.

The stock exchange has a turnover of some $33.8 billion. Although the exchange trades stocks, currency, bonds, treasury bills, money and derivatives, the greatest part is in money, currency and bonds. Repos account for 60% of the turnover. The market will start placing treasury bills in 2005 and this will help to increase turnover. The total turnover of the exchange is 113% of GDP but this is expected to grow in 2004 to between 120% and 130%.

Why are so few stocks listed?

This is a legacy of a privatization which was designed rather badly. Large stakes in government companies were sold to strategic investors rather than being placed on the equity market.

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