GRATA International's Banking & Finance Group is a leading legal counsel in the area of capital markets, project finance and infrastructure projects development, and financial transactions in Central Asia and in Kazakhstan in particular.

GRATA's rapidly growing Banking & Finance Group currently comprises over 10 local lawyers, almost all with second law degrees from the UK, USA, or other leading western universities. The majority are based in Kazakhstan (Almaty) with others based in our Azerbaijan (Baku), Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek), Russia (Moscow) and  Uzbekistan (Tashkent).

Our aim is to become a leading finance practice in the legal market of Central Asia. This means that GRATA's Banking & Finance Group aims to set the standard for legal support in capital markets, and in general for the finance sector, to monitor the needs of our clients online and to provide them with individualized legal solutions in order to help them carve out a leading market niche.

The ability to provide legal services at the best value and our understanding of the local cultures of Central Asia are some of our strengths.

We are proud that our clients, some of the largest local and international banks and companies from different industry sectors, have trusted GRATA’s knowledge and expertise for more than 20 years now.

GRATA's Banking & Finance Department has established effective cooperation with financial regulators across Central Asia and the Caucasus and with local and international stock exchanges, investment banks, international law firms, and consultants. This allows us to provide our clients with best-in-class solutions for their needs.

Our services:

  • Aircraft, Maritime and Railcar Finance & Leasing;
  • Bank and Corporate Lending;
  • Banking & Insurance Disputes;
  • Bond Offerings;
  • Derivatives;
  • Financial Services Regulation;
  • Foreign Direct Investments;
  • Mergers & Acquisitions;
  • Debt Restructuring & Insolvency;
  • Initial and Secondary Public Offerings;
  • Insurance;
  • Islamic Finance;
  • Project Finance & PPP;
  • Securitization



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Listed, Chambers Asia-Pacific: Asia-Pacific's Leading Lawyers for Business (2013, 2014,2015)
Listed, Chambers Global: Leading Lawyers for Business (2013, 2014, 2015)

Below we list some of the recent projects handled by our Banking & Finance lawyers:

advising Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited on a USD 7.5 billion syndicated secured loan facility to Asia Gas Pipeline LLP to finance a gas pipeline project in Kazakhstan;

advised European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on  USD 15 million financing of two Kazakh gold-mining companies wishing to acquire new mining machinery;

advising China Development Bank on a USD 1.8 billion syndicated secured loan facility to Beineu - Shymkent Gas Pipeline LLP (controlled 50-50 by KazTransGas and CNPC) to finance a gas pipeline project in Kazakhstan;

advising China Development Bank on a USD 4.7 billion syndicated secured loan facility to Asia Gas Pipeline LLP to finance a gas pipeline project in Kazakhstan;

advised RBS and Sberbank CIB as Arrangers and Dealers on the USD 500 million drawdown under USD 680 million Global Medium Term Note Programme of JSC Samruk-Energo;

advised BNP Paribas, Citigroup Global Markets Limited, HSBC Bank, VTB Capital as Managers on USD 3,5 billion Euro Medium Term Note Programme of Eurasian Development Bank;

advised Sberbank, the largest Russian bank, on its USD 2 billion debt facility to Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation plc, secured by guarantees issued by Kazakh subsidiaries of ENRC;

advised US Export-Import Bank on secured loan to Lokomotiv JSC, a subsidiary of Kazakh national rail company, to renew locomotives park;

advised BNP Paribas on a secured USD 100 million syndicated facility to Eastcomtrans LLP, a large Kazakh transport company, to purchase rolling stock;

advised Samsung C&T and KEPCO on their investments in the Balkhash Power Plant (debut Independent Power Producer project in Kazakhstan with total value USD 4 bn.) where GRATA, among other things, drafted and negotiated with the Government of Kazakhstan an unprecedented international treaty between Kazakhstan and South Korea (signed in 2011);

advised EuroChem, Russia’s largest mineral fertilizer producer, on its investment in the Chemical Producing Plant in South Kazakhstan (USD 2 bn. total value infrastructure project) where GRATA, among other things, drafted and negotiated with the Government of Kazakhstan unprecedented host government agreement between the Republic of Kazakhstan and a foreign investor (signed in January 2012);

advised Credit Suisse, UBS Investment Bank and Visor Capital as Joint Global Coordinators and Joint Bookrunners, Renaissance Capital as Joint Bookrunner and Halyk Finance as Co-Manager on the public offering of JSC KCell, the largest cellular service provider in Kazakhstan, including on the listing of GDRs on LSE and shares on Kazakh stock exchange;

advised International Finance Corporation on its investment on USD 25 million in the Eurasia Real Estate Development Company (Eurasia RED) to build a premium-class retail center in Almaty;

advising Astana Finance, a large Kazakh financial services company, on USD 2 billion debt restructuring.

Name Position Contacts
Shaimerden Chikanayev Partner, Director of Banking & Finance Department Inquire
Marina Kahiani Partner Inquire
Nurlan Kyshtobaev Partner, Head of Banking & Finance Practice in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan offices Inquire
Atabek Sharipov Partner, Head of Turkmenistan Practice, Head of Banking & Secured Transactions in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan Inquire
Yana Dianova Director of Corporate and Commercial Law Department, GRATA International (Moscow) Inquire
Andrew Gamble Senior Counsel, Representative in London Inquire
Mirzaaziz Ruziev Senior Associate Inquire
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Uncontrolled growth of ‘fake’ PPPs in Kazakhstan — what to expect?

Three local level public–private-partnership (PPP) projects are on the brink of collapse due to the relevant local state body of the Mangistau region failing to meet its obligations under the PPP agreements and to
pay on time to the respective private partners for constructed and operating kindergartens. It was alleged that the money needed for these PPP projects did not appear on the books of the local government in time, even though the respective PPP agreements, evidently, were duly executed and registered.


GRATA International advised EBRD

Micro, small and medium-sized companies in Kazakhstan will benefit from a syndicated loan of up to US$ 50 million arranged by the EBRD for the country’s largest micro-finance organisation, KMF.


GRATA International in Legal 500 EMEA 2019

Legal 500 has recently released its annual rankings of international law firms – Legal 500 EMEA 2019.


Is Kazakhstan finally ready to attract investments into its electricity sector?

The capacity market was finally launched on the 1st January 2019 in Kazakhstan to encourage investment for the renovation of old, as well as construction of new, power infrastructure facilities.


Shaimerden Chikanayev Participated in the PPP in Healthcare System seminar

On 28 February 2019, the seminar on Public Private Partnership in Healthcare System was held in Astana, Kazakhstan. Shaimerden Chikanayev, Partner, GRATA International spoke at the seminar with a presentation: "PPP in Healthcare System: Kazakh law perspective".


Kazakh government should concentrate on attracting cross-border Islamic financing

Though Kazakhstan adopted relevant legislation for domestic (such as the governed Kazakh law) Islamic banking transactions more than seven years ago and has a Muslim population of over 11 million, Islamic finance is still in the early stages of its development and Islamic products are rarely used. According to the National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK), as of 2018, the share of Islamic banking assets account for only 0.16% of total banking sector assets in Kazakhstan. 


Almaty Light Rail Transit project in Kazakhstan

On the 29th November 2018, Almaty, the former capital and the largest city in Kazakhstan, received responses from nine international consortia, consisting of companies from Japan, France, Russia, Turkey, Spain, China and Kazakhstan, to participate in the first stage of the open tender of the Almaty Light Rail Transit (LRT) public-private partnership (PPP) project. 


Kazakh privatisation: a fresh start

Although the Kazakhstan securities market is the most developed in Central Asia, its development has been slow compared to the country’s banking sector.


China’s Belt and Road initiative in Kazakhstan and opportunities for Islamic finance

Kazakhstan has high ambitions in China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI) as it is geographically an ideal junction between China and the west.


Shaimerden Chikanayev was a speaker at the International PPP Finance Summit in London

On 3-4 July 2018, an International PPP Finance Summit 2018 took place in London, UK.


Astana International Financial Centre's Law - what is it about?

Modeled on the Dubai International Financial Centre, the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) was officially launched on the 5th July this year, established with the aim of bridging the gap between the world’s major fi nancial centers and a regional gateway for capital and investments.


GRATA International won China Business Law Journal's ‘Deals of the year 2017’ award

GRATA International has been recognised for its Deal of the Year 2017 by China Business Law Journal.


Was 2017 another difficult year for Kazakhstan?

In this article, SHAIMERDEN CHIKANAYEV outlines some of the key legal developments and challenges faced by the Islamic finance market in Kazakhstan in 2017 and provides an overview of some of the major factors that will shape the Islamic finance industry's growth and trends in Kazakhstan in 2018. 


Asialaw Profiles 2017 ranked GRATA International among the best law firms in Kazakhstan

Asialaw Profiles – the guide to Asia-Pacific’s leading lawyers  and law firms has identified key legal practitioners in Kazakhstan


Review of main changes in the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan related to the accession to the World Trade Organization

We would like to draw your attention to some important changes in the laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan regarding the country's accession to the World Trade Organization.


PPP in Kazakhstan

Since 1991, Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s largest economy and oil producer, has had to rely on the deteriorating infrastructure it inherited from the Soviet Union. As a result, nearly every piece of public infrastructure (e.g., roads, hospitals, power plants, kindergartens, sewerages) in Kazakhstan requires a different degree of upgrading or expansion.


Major Kazakhstan legislation changes for 2015

Kazakhstan in 2015 at a glance


GRATA International received China Business Law Awards 2015

China Business Law Journal released winners of “China Business Law Awards 2015” in its second issue for 2016


Activity of Chinese companies in Kazakhstan, Central Asia, Azerbaijan and Eastern Europe

We note that the views expressed below are preliminary and may require further research and analysis. We also note that below information shall not be considered as a legal advice, and is provided as a general overview of business activity from the standpoint of legal consultant.


GRATA international’s Finance & Securities Group legal alert

We draw your attention to the following recent changes in Kazakhstani legislation that occurred during the period of January – December 2015.


Commercial code review

On 29 October 2015, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan signed the Commercial Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan (hereinafter – the 'Code'), which comes into force from 1 January 2016 (except for certain provisions being effective from 6 February 2016, 1 March 2016, 1 January 2017, at the date of other laws enactment) and entails a range of significant changes in the common legal framework of the Republic of Kazakhstan (hereinafter – 'Kazakhstan').

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Key contacts

Shaimerden Chikanayev

Partner, Director of Banking & Finance Department


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