Central Bank of Kazakhstan launches securities trading app

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A woman holds a tablet with the Central Bank of Kazakhstan installed, a blockchain-based securities trading mobile app ‘Invest Online’ in this illustrative photo taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov/Illustration

ALMATY (Reuters) – Kazakhstan’s central bank has launched a mobile blockchain-based securities trading app that it hopes will allow residents to become more involved in capital markets by making it easier to access. .

Stock and bond markets in the oil-rich Central Asian nation are dominated by a handful of institutional investors, with just 109,000 retail investor accounts in the nation of 18 million people.

The Astana government hopes to change that by selling stakes in some of the biggest state-controlled companies in the local market, and the central bank said in a statement this week that its “Invest Online” app could be used to buy such shares.

At the moment, however, app users can only buy the central bank’s own one-year discount notes denominated in the local tenge currency and yielding 8.5%. Tenge deposits in local banks offer yields of 10-14%.

A day after the launch, the central bank sold about $2,300 worth of notes, it said Wednesday, and some 200 people signed up as users of the app.

Reporting by Mariya Gordeyeva; Written by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Peter Graff and Louise Heavens

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