Next Generation Partners

Banking, finance and capital markets in Kazakhstan

AGZ / Zan Hub

AGZ / Zan Hub works in the fields of capital markets, asset finance, banking and Islamic finance. It has advised the Kazakh government on matters of legal tender relating to banknotes. Aituar Madin and Almaty-based tax partner Safkhan Shahmammadli handle work for global financial institutions. Semion Issyk has moved to White & Case Kazakhstan LLP.

Practice head(s):

Aituar Madin

Other key lawyers:

Madiyar Bekturganov; Karina Sultanaliyeva; Safkhan Shahmammadli

Key clients

Amazon

Goldman Sachs

Air Liquid

AEON Holdings

Airports of Regions

China Telecom

Promsvyazbank

Da Vinci Capital

ITI Funds

Work highlights

  • Advised both parties the Kazakh Sovereign Wealth Fund and Kazatomprom on Kazakh and AIFC laws regarding an accelerated book-building.
  • Advised the government of Kazakhstan on an update of the country’s global medium term note programme and issuance thereunder of notes.
  • Advised on Kazakh law aspects related to the IPO of Kaspi.kz.

Dentons

Dentons works across a range of financial fields, including PPP, acquisitions and fintech. Maintaining offices in both Almaty and Nur-Sultan, it has been active in the region for over two decades. Recent additions to its client base include AXA France and KazTransGas. Almaty-based partners Abai Shaikenov  and Vassiliy Zenov lead the banking and finance practice, supported by Ali Imanalin and Nargiza Khamrayeva.

Practice head(s):

Abai Shaikenov; Vassiliy Zenov

Other key lawyers:

Ali Imanalin; Nargiza Khamrayeva

Testimonials

‘Dentons probably has the strongest finance practice on the Kazakh market.’

‘Vassiliy Zenov from Dentons, a banking and finance partner, is excellent. He is passionate about the work and a very effective leader and interface with clients. He is supported by an outstanding team of associates.’

‘Great team.’

‘Professional staff.’

‘An excellent, qualified team of specialists who promptly resolve issues. Everything is clear, timely and professional.’

‘Vassiliy Zenov, partner, is qualified and attentive, and has extensive experience in managing and solving tasks. Ali Imanalin, senior associate, is an excellent specialist, doing his job on time and with high quality; very pleasant in communication.’

Key clients

EBRD

National Bank of Kazakhstan

Agency for Regulation and Development of Financial Market

BTS Digital

Astana International Financial Centre

CITIC Envirotech Water (Aktau)

Eurasian Resources Group

Asian Development Bank

Royal Bank of Scotland plc

HSBC Bank plc

Euler Hermes

Barclays

KazTransGas

Kcell

Tengri Capital Partners

Kazahstanskaya Ipotechnaya Kompaniya

Eximbank

AXA France

Work highlights

  • Advised AXA France on the conclusion of reinsurance agreements with insurance company licensed in Kazakhstan.
  • Represented Eurasian Resources Group in connection with amendments aimed to change the bank’s interest rate and certain restrictive covenants as well as amendments related to the accession of an additional guarantor of the $2.15bn facility.
  • Advised Asian Development Bank on the listing and placement on the KASE of KZT 10.09bn English law–governed 10.10% green bonds due in January 2023 and KZT 3.87bn 10.12% green bonds due in October 2022, and on the settlement of trades via Kazakhstan Central Securities Depository.

Kinstellar LLP

Kinstellar LLP’s work in banking, finance and capital markets is distinguished through its advising some of Kazakhstan’s top natural resource and energy companies. Joel Benjamin brings 25 years of experience to the team, having worked in the US and Uzbekistan in addition to the firm's Kazakhstan offices, supported by Yerlan Akhmetov. Almaty-based Adlet Yerkinbayev led the initial public offering by Kaspi.kz JSC, the second-largest IPO of 2020 and the fourth-largest in Europe. In addition, Pavel Kornilov joined the firm from White & Case Kazakhstan LLP.

Practice head(s):

Joel Benjamin; Adlet Yerkinbayev

Other key lawyers:

Pavel Kornilov

Key clients

Morgan Stanley Citi

Work highlights

  • Advised Morgan Stanley and Citi as underwriters in connection to the initial public offering by Kaspi.kz JSC on AIX and the London Stock Exchange.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s team represents clients in high-value financial matters, including drafting, negotiating and providing advice to an energy company on a $250m trade deal involving Kazakhstan, Switzerland and the UK. More recent additions to its clientbase include a number of Kazakh and international clients. Managing partner and general director Aset Shyngyssov leads the Kazakhstan corporate and commercial practice, and has led M&A, oil and gas and infrastructure projects, among others, in his 20 years of work.

Practice head(s):

Aset Shyngyssov

Other key lawyers:

Karina Ilyussizova; Zhamilya Bilisbekova

Testimonials

‘Firstly, I would like to note the team’s excellent communication skills. We highly appreciated their attentiveness to our issue. They were able to quickly and comprehensively assess our situation and provide timely advice and assistance, extensive, detailed and responsive counsel.’

‘We have mainly worked with Aset Nakupov and Bakhytzhan Kadyrov. The individuals mentioned provided us with excellent product and legal service and practical advice; their vast knowledge of current legislation and considerable experience deserve special mention. The diligence and care shown by these lawyers in our case were very much appreciated.’

Key clients

Kusto Agro

Alstom Transportation

Compass Group / ESS Kazakhstan

Wabtec Corporation

EBRD

Air Astana JSC

Airbus

Kaznickel LLP

RG Processing LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised Kaznickel LLP (full project support on matters of Hong Kong, Singapore and Kazakhstan laws) on a proposed IPO at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX).
  • Represented EBRD in connection with financing of construction, operation and maintenance of solar photovoltaic power plant with capacity of 30MW located in Zhangiztobe village in the East Kazakhstan region.

SIGNUM Law Firm

SIGNUM Law Firm is heavily involved in the oil and gas sector, which provides a significant proportion of the firm’s workload. In banking and finance, its recent work included project finance, asset finance transactions, debt capital markets transactions and restructuring and insolvency matters. Almaty-based managing partner Sofiya Zhylkaidarova works with Abylkhair Nakipov, Liza Zhumakhmetova and Gaukhar Kudaibergenova.

Practice head(s):

Abylkhair Nakipov; Liza Zhumakhmetova; Sofiya Zhylkaidarova; Gaukhar Kudaibergenova

Key clients

EBRD

MKAT Solar Plant

Work highlights

  • Assisted with releasing the third tranche of the total of $300bn project finance provided by the EBRD to Louis Dreyfus to facilitate the company’s regional expansion in Bulgaria, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkey, Switzerland and Ukraine.
  • Advised on selected transaction execution and government approvals issues.

AEQUITAS

AEQUITAS has operated a banking and finance practice since 1993, in which time it has advised clients on business and security transactions, bank loans and acquisition of assets. Lawyers are also able to advise on Islamic finance and alternative financing instruments. It has recently become a member of the global law network TerraLex. Almaty-based partners Yelena Manayenko and Nurlan Sholanov work with a number of international clients across different areas of the banking sector.

Practice head(s):

Yelena Manayenko

Nurlan Sholanov

Testimonials

‘Deep analysis, practical examples and client management.’

‘Good knowledge of underlying matters, operative feedback and working to strict deadlines.’

Key clients

Syndicate of lenders comprising European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) and Islamic Development Bank (IsDB)

Bank of Montreal

Dolphin Corp

ANZ

Work highlights

  • Acted as a local legal counsel, advised international development banks on the BAKAD project finance and assisted in adapting the international project finance structure to the Kazakhstan legal environment. The lawyers drafted and reviewed from a Kazakhstan legal perspective and assisted in negotiating the project and financing agreement
  • Advised Bank of Montreal on the proposed transactions of precious metals and base metals with certain entities in the context of lending and inventory financing arrangements.
  • Assisted with the transaction on purchase of derivatives by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group from Pension Funds and State Institutions of Kazakhstan.

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited

Noted for its particular focus on aviation finance, Baker & McKenzie – CIS, Limited has worked with the Air Lease Corporation and the Aviation Working Group, an organisation comprised of major players in the aviation industry. Away from the firm’s aerospace expertise, it advised the Eurasian Development Bank on its $3.5bn euro medium-term note programme. Azamat Kuatbekov and Gulnur Bekmukhanbetova have played a key role in most deals.

Practice head(s):

Azamat Kuatbekov

Other key lawyers:

Gulnur Bekmukhanbetova

Testimonials

‘They are very responsive, even working with us in a different time zone. They are proactive and have gone above and beyond for us. The work products they produce are not over-engineered. The advice is clear and commercial.’

‘Gulnur Bekmukhanbetova is very impressive. She is extremely knowledgeable, and presents advice in a clear and succinct way. She is proactive and understands our motivations and how she can assist us with our litigation strategy.’

Key clients

World’s leading aircraft leasing company

KazTransGas JSC

Eurasian Development Bank

UK’s largest litigation fund

Work highlights

  • Advised a leading aircraft leasing company in connection with the long-term lease placements of two Airbus A320-200 aircraft with an Uzbek start-up airline.
  • Advised KazTransGas JSC on buyback of the issuer’s Euronotes worth $270m guaranteed by Intergas Central Asia JSC.
  • Advised Eurasian Development Bank on the update of its $3.5bn euro medium-term note programme and the issue of €300m 1% notes due 2026 under the programme.

Centil Law

Centil Law’s work in banking and finance has included advising several major international banks. It has established the Young Leaders management programme to delegate responsibilities to senior associates who may wish to become partners, so they can receive training in that direction. Its work has demonstrated an international outlook, as evidenced by its client base and many lawyers’ overseas education. The team is headed by Dinara Jarmukhanova.

Practice head(s):

Dinara Jarmukhanova

Key clients

Linklaters

Simmons & Simmons

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

Work highlights

  • Advised on matters related to bankruptcy and debt restructuring in connection with facility agreement and guarantees between the bank and Kazakh parties.
  • Advised on operations in Kazakhstan in connection with loan agreements.
  • Advised on their first sovereign loan facility to finance an infrastructure project in Kazakhstan. This will allow the government to modernize customs checkpoints with modern day customs technology.

Deloitte TCF, LLP

Deloitte TCF, LLP is an international firm, connecting the Kazakhstan branch with a network of lawyers and other professional services across the region. In the field of banking, finance and capital markets, it has worked with banks across multiple jurisdictions. Almaty-based partner Agaisha Ibrasheva brings over 20 years of experience, supported by Olessya Kirilovskaya and Nur-Sultan-based Dariga Tokpayeva .

Practice head(s):

Agaisha Ibrasheva

Other key lawyers:

Olessya Kirilovskaya; Dariga Tokpayeva

GRATA International

GRATA International has over 20 years of experience in banking and finance. Its work in this practice has involved advising a private partner on the construction of an international airport in South Kazakhstan, as well as other PPP experience and cross-border lending. Almaty-based Shaimerden Chikanayev and Marina Kahiani lead the practice.

Practice head(s):

Shaimerden Chikanayev; Marina Kahiani

Testimonials

‘Very responsive and know what they are doing.’

‘Marina Kahiani in particular stands out. She is always available and doesn’t just spot issues, but proposes solutions.’

‘The firm built up a convenient one-window interface to work with all jurisdictions it supports’

‘The strong team that does its job perfectly.’

‘Good work experience, sociability, responsiveness.’

Key clients

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

China Development Bank

Bank of China (Hong Kong)

International Finance Corporation

Mastercard

Sucres & Denrées

China CITIC Bank Corporation Limited

Bloomberg

Islamic Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised DEG – Deutsche Investitions und Entwicklungsgesellschaft, international development finance institution, subsidiary of KfW Group, on its very first finance transaction in Kazakhstan – financing of Eastcomtrans LLP, one of the largest transportation companies in Kazakhstan. The transaction is the first and so far only transaction of DEG in Central Asia.
  • Advising Mastercard on various legal and regulatory issues related to Mastercard’s products offered in Kazakhstan and relationships of Mastercard with its customers in Kazakhstan. Such issues include, inter alia, regulation of Mastercard’s and its clients’ activity under payment systems regulation, data protection, tax, antimonopoly and others.
  • Advised MicroVest Capital Management on the sale of its stake in one of the largest microfinance organisations in Kazakhstan, MFO ArnurCredit LLP.

Haller Lomax

Haller Lomax’s banking and finance team has expertise relating to many key industries, but with a strategic focus on the energy and natural resources and financial services sectors. The practice is led by Vilen Adjivefayev. It handles the financing aspects of investments and private equity transactions, as well as fund finance, project finance and acquisition finance matters.

Practice head(s):

Vilen Adjivefayev

Testimonials

‘Haller Lomax team members are very responsive and coming back with a feedback to our questions, unlike what other companies might do.

‘Really 1st class service from a team with good strong international experience and modes of work; they know how to operate in a manner consistent with best UK practice. Partner Vilen Adjivefayev is my main point of contact and he is an excellent all-rounder: pragmatic, commercial and always delivers, no matter what else he is handing or even if on vacation. A joy to work with. His specialty is corporate.’

‘Vilen Adjivefayev is a very experienced and diligent lawyer who really knows how capital market and banking works in Kazakhstan!’

‘The lawyers of Haller Lomax clearly do excel in understanding the local context of the specific transaction at hand and putting it simultaneously into an international perspective so that neither cross-border transactions nor participants from several countries face any difficulties in their arranging and executing. As for innovation, the legal environment in Kazakhstan is still relatively young and thus rapidly developing so that any legal practice requires the latest know-how of the legislation and its application by both courts and legal practitioners. Haller Lomax has mastered this challenge beyond any doubt.’

‘I have been working mostly with Vilen Adjivefayev, a co-founding partner of Haller Lomax LLP, who has been providing legal advice professionally for more than 15 years in Kazakhstan and abroad. His knowledge of both the legal and cultural aspects of the participants in recent transactions on which we cooperated secured their smooth execution and successful closing.’

‘The team consists mostly 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. It is also a young company that is willing to be flexible and go the extra mile for a client. High quality of service due to smaller size, attention to detail, high level of involvement of partners in cases.’

‘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.’

‘What I like about Haller Lomax is their team. Each partner of the firm has prominent background and expertise and all worked for global law firms. We get quality of work equal to that of top law firms for a much reasonable price. Vilen Adjivefayev completely stands out from the cohort of local lawyers.’

Key clients

Eurasian Resources Group LLP

Paladigm Holdings Pte. Ltd.

Punjab National Bank International Limited

Discovery Ventures Kazakhstan

Bank CenterCredit

ALS KazLabs

Tabys Operating LLP

Andrey Samokhvalov

Central Asia Metals plc

Wattum Management Inc

Reed Smith

Tranco

BatysNefteTrade LLP

Transoil Insurance Organisation JSC

Work highlights

  • Advised Eurasian Resources Group LLP on a large restructuring.
  • Advised Paladigm Holdings Pte. Ltd on currency regulations and tax aspects of a transaction.
  • Advised Punjab National Bank on the liquidation process and remedies available to them to return the $8m funds deposited into Tengri Bank JSC, a Kazakhstan bank undergoing compulsory liquidation process following the withdrawal of its banking license by the national financial regulator.

Integrites

Integrites is based in three offices across the country, in Almaty, Nu-Sultan and Atyrau. It has a small team in the area of banking, finance and capital markets, with clients including Hydratight, Nomad Invest and Swiss Capital. Almaty-based Kurmangazy Talzhanov leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Kurmangazy Talzhanov

Testimonials

‘Integrites’s banking team integrates broad experience across industries and practices which allows them to capably support complex cross-border transactional projects.’

‘The managing partner Kurmangazy Talzhanov is the key go-to contact in Kazakhstan, especially for banking and finance matters.’

Key clients

Hydratight

Nomad Invest Pte Ltd

Peratera Pte Ltd

Swiss Capital LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised the client on intercompany loans and Kazakhstani regulations. Structuring the transactions under such loans.
  • Advised the client on finance, corporate and banking matters.

White & Case Kazakhstan LLP

White & Case Kazakhstan LLP works across the CIS region to provide multilayered experience, pulling from a network of over 200 energy, project finance and mining lawyers globally. Recent work involved advising on the IPOs of discount store chain Fix Price and Kaspi.kz, Kazakhstan’s largest payments and fintech company. Nur-Sultan-based partner Maxim Telemtayev has worked in extensively in the area of equity capital markets. Semion Issyk has joined from AGZ / Zan Hub.

Practice head(s):

Maxim Telemtayev

Key clients

Alsim Alarko

Mak-yol İnsaat

Sat & Company JSC

SK Engineering

Korea Expressway Corporation

Nostrum Oil & Gas pls

Kaspi.kz

JSC NC “KazMunayGas”

Fortebank

Citibank

Societe Generale

ING

MUFG

JP Morgan