The Business Year

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Lars Reiding

CEO, HSBC

BIG GROWTH

HSBC always maintains long-term strategies. We adopted an aggressive growth approach for our business, and it resulted in us going from about 120 employees to about 750 in three years.

TRADE IS THE WAY

HSBC believes in the value of trade, and so I clearly believe the Customs Union will increase commerce in the region and that, by itself, will result in net benefits. But exactly who will benefit the most is hard to say.

THE CUSTODIAN

HSBC is the largest custodian for foreign investors in Kazakhstan, with one out of every two dollars invested in Kazakhstan invested through and held by HSBC. That gives us quite a good insight into what happens with international capital flows in terms of directly investing into Kazakhstani securities.

Rudi Geerdink

CEO & Country Executive, RBS

THE REASON WHY

Kazakhstan is a very young nation. If you look at its origins as a part of the Soviet Union, the development it has gone through is extraordinary. There are other nations that have good potential, but Kazakhstan has taken the lead in Central Asia.

THE AMBITION

The ambition to grow and to excel leads to a constant need for the latest financial services, and we apply the knowledge from our network to deliver the best service to our clients in Kazakhstan. This, combined with the ambition to turn Kazakhstan into a nation that can manufacture more products itself using its vast natural resources, adds a new layer to the services that we as a financial service provider can help our clients with.

TAILOR-MADE

We have brought many products to Kazakhstan that are no different to the products we offer elsewhere. However, we have been able to tailor them to specific local requirements or needs.

Asif Zaidi

CEO & Country Executive, Asif Zaidi

YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY

Kazakhstan is a very important market for us. We have been in this country for quite a while now. We opened here in 1994. Then in 1998 we converted into a joint stock company and a fully fledged bank. Since then we have come a long way in terms of building Citibank into a stable, successful, and sizeable business in this country.

MELTING POT

Kazakhstan is at the crossroads. It’s a vast country so it has, like all other vast countries, accumulated a little bit of many different cultures. It has a bit of Europe in it, and it has an Asian touch. Also, of course, it has a very big legacy of Russian culture. That makes it a very fascinating country, and it makes it an adaptable country.

REGIONAL POWERHOUSE

Kazakhstan is an economic colossus compared to other countries in the region. Therefore, I definitely see Kazakhstan playing a more regional role, as well as becoming more assertive on the international stage and carving for itself a more important place among the community of nations.

Oleg Smirnov

Chairman of the Management Board, Sberbank

OLD FRIENDS

The subsidiary bank in Kazakhstan is the first bank outside Russia for the group; this is our first experience internationally. We chose Kazakhstan due to the close relationship between the two countries. Furthermore, there are many Russian companies in Kazakhstan and they are very glad to see Sberbank operating in the country.

HELPING HAND

With the development of the Customs Union, local companies will have to be more competitive. We are trying to help these companies. Our credit portfolio to non-extracting companies amounts to half a billion dollars. Banks are usually pessimistic, but I am optimistic on the prospects of these industries in Kazakhstan.

MANY INDICATORS

Kazakhstan has one of the most efficient systems of non-government pension funds among the CIS, which could be the main source of long-term investment into the economy. These are the main indicators that show it is a good time to start a business in Kazakhstan.

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