Banking, finance and capital markets in Kazakhstan

Dentons

Dentons is noted for its work advising local and international financial institutions and large corporations on complex syndicated bank lending, asset finance, capital markets, structured finance and Islamic finance mandates. The practice also has experience in cross-border transactions and regularly acts for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and Citibank. Group head Abai Shaikenov actively advises clients in Kazakhstan and focuses on M&A and general corporate transactions including cross-border acquisitions and disposals, privatisations and corporate financing transactions. Counsel Vassiliy Zenov's expertise encompasses banking and finance, capital markets, financial regulations and PPP work, while Ali Imanalin made senior associate in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Abai Shaikenov

Key clients

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

International Finance Corporation

Asian Development Bank

China Construction Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on the development of a new derivatives legal and regulatory framework in Kazakhstan.
  • Acted for the International Finance Corporation as Kazakh law counsel on the listing and placement of the first KZT denominated notes on the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange and settlement of the notes via Kazakhstan’s Central Securities Depositary.
  • Advised the Asian Development Bank on the listing and placement of two English-law governed notes on the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange, valued at $80m.

Kinstellar LLP

As one of the leading Kazakh firms in banking and finance, Kinstellar LLP regularly handles a broad range of high-profile, complex transactions. Recently, the team has expanded the practice to advise clients in the renewable energy sector, and has advised on all but one of the major international IPOs out of Kazakhstan. Team co-heads Joel Benjamin and Adlet Yerkinbayev have extensive experience in corporate and commercial deals, and associate Yerlan Akhmetov specialises in capital markets, banking and finance, and M&A mandates.

Practice head(s):

Joel Benjamin; Adlet Yerkinbayev

Key clients

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Work highlights

  • Advised European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on the provision of a loan to SES Saran for the development, construction, and operation of a 100MW solar power plant in Saran, Karaganda region, the largest solar facility in Central Asia.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP advises high-profile Kazakh and global corporate and financial institutions on a variety of projects in the banking, finance and capital markets arenas. The team is highly experienced across a range of sectors in Kazakhstan and the broader CIS region including the energy, infrastructure, telecoms, banking and capital markets industries. The practice is also supported by lawyers in London and Moscow. Aset Shyngyssov is managing partner and focuses on banking, finance, and capital markets. Klara Nurgaziyeva handles complex financing matters and securities issues.

Practice head(s):

Aset Shyngyssov

Key clients

EBRD

China Construction Bank

Canon

GE

SABIS Holding S.A.L.

Kazakhstan Ziraat International Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised EBRD on the execution of financing and security documents, a corporate check on the borrower, preparation and review of financing and security documents in a deal valued at $50m.
  • Advised ShalkiyaZinc on the $259m financing of the construction of an enrichment factory in the Kyzylorda region.
  • Advised China Construction Bank on the establishment of a subsidiary bank in Kazakhstan.

White & Case Kazakhstan LLP

White & Case Kazakhstan LLP has market-leading expertise in major transactions across equity and debt capital markets in Kazakhstan, supported by teams in the UK and US. Recent highlights include advising NAC KazAtomProm on its IPO on the London Stock Exchange and the Astana International Exchange, and advising a syndicate of banks on NC KazMunayGas's update to its $10.5bn GMTN programme. Group co-head Maxim Telemtayev advises state bodies, banking institutions and major local and international companies in the energy, mining and oil and gas sectors, while fellow co-head Pavel Kornilov handles capital markets transactions. Karina Sultanaliyeva is now at AGZ / Zan Hub.

Practice head(s):

Maxim Telemtayev; Pavel Kornilov

Key clients

Credit Suisse

Citibank

JP Morgan Securities

Resource Capital Funds

Goldman Sachs Co.

Kazakhtelecom

Work highlights

  • Advised a syndicate of banks including Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, China International Capital Corporation, Mizuho International, and Numis Securities on the $3bn IPO of Kazatomprom, the world’s largest uranium producer.
  • Advised Citigroup, Société Générale and BCC on investments into the update of the Kazakhstani $10bn global medium term note programme and issuance.
  • Acted as transaction counsel on KazAgro National Management Holding’s invitation to holders of its outstanding notes to tender any and all outstanding notes for purchase by the issuer.

AEQUITAS

AEQUITAS assists clients with local business financing transactions, security issues, bank loans and acquisition financing mandates. The team also handles the issuance and placement of shares, depository receipts and bonds on financial markets. AIG is a key client for the practice, which also recently advised Deutsche Bank on a variety of matters. Yelena Pestereva leads the banking and finance team and is experienced in corporate and compliance mandates, including environmental legislation work. Nurlan Sholanov is also a noteworthy practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Yelena Pestereva

Testimonials

AQUITAS is a great team with prompt turnaround.

Key clients

Gazprombank JSC

West Hydrocarbons Commerical Investment LLC (UAE)

Work highlights

  • Advises Gazprombank on all its loans to Kazakhstan companies.
  • Assisted West Hydrocarbons Commercial Investment with a project for the construction of a modern refinery in Kazakhstan.

Centil Law

Centil Law handles a number of large projects in the banking, finance, and capital markets arenas in Kazakhstan; the group recently advised on Export-Import Bank of China's financing of an infrastructure project. Dinara Jarmukhanova is head of the Kazakh practice and works on cross-border loans and sovereign guarantees, and advises Kazakhstan-based borrowers on their financings from lending institutions. Ravshan Rakhmanov and Ravshan Adilov have expertise in investment structuring work, establishing new businesses, obtaining necessary accreditations and registrations, and joint venture matters.

Practice head(s):

Dinara Jarmukhanova; Sofia Shakhraziyeva

Key clients

L’Oreal

Diehl

Bacardi-Martini

General Motors Uzbekistan

Coca Cola

KazMunayGas

Molson Coors

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP fields a key finance and international capital markets team in Kazakhstan, which acts for clients including global, regional, and local corporations, state-owned companies, and domestic and international financial institutions. Covering the full spectrum of debt and equity offerings, the team also acts on a number of M&A transactions and financings in the telecoms and chemicals sectors, and has close connections with the firm's London office. Practice head Victor Mokrousov focuses on finance, M&A and regulatory matters, especially in the energy, mining and banking industries.

Practice head(s):

Victor Mokrousov

Testimonials

Dechert boasts a small, elite practice, thereby allowing good quality control.’

Victor Mokrousov has an encyclopedic knowledge of Kazakhstan law coupled with creativity. Both Bolat Utebaliyev and Yevgeniya Nossova can run large transactions independently.

Key clients

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

JSC Development Bank of Kazakhstan

Kazakhtelecom

Stewart Engineers

JSC National Company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy

Work highlights

  • Acted as international and Kazakhstan counsel to JSC National Company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (Kazakhstan’s national railway company) on its recent tap issuance of CHF80m in notes, listed on AIX and SIX Swiss Exchange.
  • Acted for Kazakhtelecom JSC on a series of transactions with Tele2 Sverige relating to a joint venture.
  • Acted for EBRD on an equity investment into Central-Asian Electric Power Corporation.

GRATA International

Based primarily in Almaty and Astana, GRATA International has experience in project finance and PPP deals, and recently advised ADB and the government of Kazakhstan on numerous drafting templates, tender documents, and PPP agreements. Shaimerden Chikanayev is global head of the banking and finance practice and has experience advising clients from the public and private sectors on all aspects of infrastructure, PPP, project finance and cross-border lending transactions. Marina Kahiani specialises in project finance and capital markets matters.

Practice head(s):

Shaimerden Chikanayev

Testimonials

GRATA is still the leading firm to deal with in Kazakhstan. Flexible on fees, responsive, competent, I have complete confidence when engaging them.’

The team is very experienced and has a great knowledge of the market and of the specifics of rather complicated transactions.’

GRATA has provided high quality legal services to regional and multinational companies active in the market for decades and they have huge experience in the respective area.’

GRATA’s banking, finance and capital markets practice in Kazakhstan has unique knowledge and experience in Islamic financing transactions. Therefore, we’ve chosen to work with them.’

GRATA is one of a few teams one can fully rely on during a complex transaction. The team is well equipped to work under pressure and delivers high quality products.’

Marina Kahiani is friendly, fast and impresses with her knowledge of various aspects of the Kazakhstani law.

Marina Kahiani is a highly qualified lawyer. She is reliable and responds always timely.

I personally worked with Marina Kahiani who I found a very hands on person while she partners the firm and handles multiple projects. I certainly recommend working with Marina – she has a great team and is very responsive. The one distinction I like the most is that Marina focuses on finding palatable solutions for all parties involved and fully manages the legal work stream.

Key clients

China Development Bank

Bank of China (Hong Kong)

JSC Gazprombank

Sberbank of Russia

US Export-Import Bank

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Work highlights

  • Acted as local counsel for European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on the review of a loan agreement, valued at $500m.
  • Regularly advises Mastercard on various legal and regulatory issues related to Mastercard’s products offered in Kazakhstan.

Integrites

Integrites advises local and international clients on a wide range of issues including international and domestic lending work, project financings, debt and equity capital markets mandates, IPOs and structured finance matters. Practice head Kurmangazy Talzhanov regularly acts for clients in commercial arbitration courts, while Oleh Zahnitko focuses on corporate finance and international finance matters, and Igor Krasovskiy has experience in financing transactions in emerging economies. Former co-head Rashid Gaissin left for KPMG in Kazakhstan in April 2020.

Practice head(s):

Kurmangazy Talzhanov

Testimonials

The team is expert at the local practices and very responsive to clients.’

AGZ / Zan Hub

AGZ / Zan Hub fields a strong project financing and capital markets practice, which has recently handled the IPO of Kazatomprom, one of the largest Kazakhstan IPOs on the London Stock Exchange and first-ever IPO on the newly-established Astana International Exchange (AIX). Team co-head Aituar Madin focuses on banking, project finance, capital markets, corporate and M&A work; and co-head Semion Issyk assists with derivatives, securitisation, banking and project finance mandates, and has experience in the issuance of Eurobonds on the AIX. Senior associate Karina Sultanaliyeva joined from White & Case Kazakhstan LLP in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Aituar Madin; Semion Issyk

Key clients

Kazatomprom

Samruk Kazyna

TransMashHolding

Ministry of Finance of the RK

Lokomotie Kurastyaru Zauaty

Alibaba

KMG Drilling

Natixis

Raiffeisbank

Citi

Work highlights

  • Advised Samruk-Kazyna as selling shareholder and Kazatomprom as issuer on its IPO including the Kazakh and AIFC law aspects.
  • Advised the government of Kazakhstan on updating its $10bn global medium term note programme and related issuance.
  • Advised EBRD on the financing, modernisation and trust management of a PPP project.

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited has a diverse capital markets practice, which covers securitisation, debt capital markets and equity capital markets transactions. The department also advises on traditional forms of secured and unsecured lending, and has a small but growing Islamic financing practice; it recently advised on the only instance in Kazakhstan where an existing regular commercial bank became an Islamic bank. Curtis Masters, a US-qualified practitioner, is director of the Kazakhstan office and specialises in cross-border financial transactions, M&A, privatisations, leasings and labour and bankruptcy work, and mandates in the aviation, insurance and real estate sectors. Senior associate Gulnur Bekmukhanbetova advises clients on tax matters and also handles complex bankruptcy and insolvency issues; she is also a recognised expert in aircraft leasing and financing work.

Practice head(s):

Curtis Masters

Key clients

Citibank

Harbour Litigation Funding

Work highlights

  • Advised Citibank on global depositary receipts issued in the $451m IPO of Kazatomprom.
  • Advised Harbour Litigation Funding on the financing of fraud claims, leading to the largest non-financial sector bankruptcies in Kazakhstan.

Deloitte TCF, LLP

Deloitte TCF, LLP provides banking and finance advice to clients operating in the financial services sector including assisting with loan transactions, financing deals, loan restructurings and reorganisation matters. The group's client roster includes oil and gas companies, food manufacturing conglomerates, railway businesses and car manufacturing plants. Practice head Agaisha Ibrasheva focuses on M&A, corporate law, project finance, HR and subsoil use mandates. Olessya Kirilovskaya has experience spanning legislation issues, oil and gas work, environmental legislation matters and tax disputes.

Practice head(s):

Agaisha Ibrasheva

Haller Lomax

Haller Lomax counts major Kazakh and international mining and metallurgy industrial groups, state companies and authorities, chemical industry client, investment companies, and banks on its client roster. The practice routinely advises on domestic and cross-border mandates, public and private finance work, and corporate transactions relating to the energy, natural resources and banking industries. Team leader Vilen Adjivefaev is an expert in corporate and finance law and M&A transactions across the banking, energy and natural resources arenas.

Practice head(s):

Vilen Adjivefayev

Testimonials

When we first encountered Haller Lomax LLP it was almost a newly formed company. Despite that, we were positively impressed with its team composition. The team almost exclusively consisted of senior professionals from leading local legal practices with strong domain expertise. Simply put, our choice was based on the quality people behind the company.

Haller Lomax stands out for their deep knowledge of local laws and international background. They are trusted by clients with important and complicated tasks. They are ambitious and fast-growing law firm capable of handling complex projects.’

Vilen Adjivefayev is a proactive professional who has both a broad knowledge of legal aspects relevant for the financial industry and hands-on experience necessary for structuring difficult deals. Vilen is someone who can find answers to difficult questions, participate on your behalf in negotiations and not screw them up and structure what is necessary afterwards.

Work highlights

  • Advised on the structured sale of 99.5% of shares in Tsesnabank to First Heartland Bank Joint Stock Company.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP has notable experience providing legal and commercial advice in the Kazakhstan market. Based in London, Belinda L. Paisley specialises in international arbitration proceedings and state and investor disputes. Askar Zhansagimov is the key contact in Kazakhstan.