ALMATY, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan has signed an agreement with Euroclear to enable clearing of Kazakh securities through the European platform, officials said on Tuesday.
If successful, the move is likely to attract more foreign investors into Kazakh treasuries and corporate paper and boost their liquidity while allowing the Central Asian nation to borrow at more competitive rates.
Kazakhstan’s central bank said in November that the country planned to launch settlements via Euroclear, possibly in 2019.
On Tuesday, Kazakhstan’s Finance Ministry and its stock exchange Astana International Exchange (AIX) signed a memorandum with Euroclear to proceed and develop an “international link” for Kazakh securities, the three parties said in a joint statement, but gave no timeframe for its implementation.
Brussels-based Euroclear is Europe’s biggest settlement house for securities.
Kazakhstan’s central bank also said last year that it was close to a deal with another securities depository, Germany’s Clearstream, to start clearing government bonds and central bank notes.
AIX is a new stock exchange being set up in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, as part of the government’s plan to create a regional financial hub. The Shanghai Stock Exchange has said it would hold a 25.1 percent stake in AIX. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Susan Fenton)