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Banking

Kazakhstan: Specialist bank created as equity market booms

In a sign that Kazakhstan is set to become increasingly visible on investors’ radar screens, a new investment bank has been set up there to offer a full range of corporate finance and brokerage services.

Visor Capital, which intends to compete with local securities houses including Kazkommerts Securities and TuranAlem Securities, has been established this year to meet the growing demand for Kazakh products. The bank received its registration from the Kazakh authorities in March.

Its co-founder and chief executive officer, Michael Sauer, previously worked for Swiss Banking Corporation in London and Brunswick UBS in Moscow, and has a total of more than 11 years’ emerging market experience.

Visor Capital has grown from Visor Investment Solutions, which was set up in 2001 to provide both financial advisory and investment banking services. Visor Investment Solutions will continue to focus on a range of financial services, including private equity, venture capital and asset management, while Visor Capital takes on the investment banking capacity, including corporate finance, research and brokerage.

Although Kazakhstan is smaller than Russia and so will not provide the same volume of international listings, a number of deals are in the pipeline, mainly, though not exclusively, involving commodities companies.

Deals

Kazakhmys, the world’s 10th-largest copper mining firm, and the first Kazakh company to list on the London Stock Exchange, floated last October, raising £760 million ($1.33 billion), through Credit Suisse and JPMorgan Cazenove, and increasing investors’ awareness of the country’s potential.

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