WASHINGTON, D.C., May 20—The International
Finance Corporation (IFC) today signed an investment agreement with ABN
Amro NV and Global Kazkommerts Securities to create ABN Amro Registrars,
the first share registry company in Kazakstan. ABN Amro Registrars will
provide independent share registration and transfer services that meet
Kazakstan's nascent capital markets are facing an increasing demand for
more reliable and transparent share registration services. ABN Amro Registrars
will eliminate some of the uncertainties that shareholders face in recording
ownership rights, thereby facilitating the inflow of foreign portfolio
investment as well as the development of a local retail market.
In well functioning markets, share registries are maintained by trust banks
totally independent from the companies for which they maintain registries.
Their fiduciary obligation is to preserve the integrity of the share registry
and to expeditiously record changes in share ownership on receipt of properly
executed transfer instructions. ABN Amro Registrars will provide companies
with registry services which meet this standard.
"The Kazak Government has requested IFC assistance in developing their
equity market and attracting portfolio investment," said Mr. Michael
Essex, IFC's Regional Representative at a signing ceremony in Almaty earlier
today. "The establishment of an independent, reliable registry service
is IFC's first response to that request."
With a capital base of US$100,000, ABN Amro Registrars will be owned 51
percent by ABN Amro NV, which will provide management; 29 percent by Global
Kazkommerts Securities, one of the leading investment banks in the Republic;
and 20 percent by IFC. The company will be headquartered in Almaty and
will use the same offices as ABN Amro Bank Kazakstan, a financial institution
in which IFC was a founding shareholder. Kazakstan is one of the countries
chosen for the "Extending IFC's Reach Initiative," a new program
designed to help IFC be more effective in countries that have challenging
investment environments, limited FDI flows, and other constraints to private
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral source
of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing
and emerging economies.