ACRA is the AIFC’s first rating agency
ACRA’s branch in the AIFC (Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan) was officially opened and began operating in 2019. ACRA is the first rating agency to receive a license from the Astana Financial Services Authority. The Agency assigns credit ratings to all categories of issuers. Today ACRA’s AIFC office is a regional rating and analytical hub which strives to provide high quality rating and research products to a wide range of investors across Eurasia. The office is headed by Askar Elemessov, who has extensive experience working in executive positions at investment firms and Kazakhstan’s largest banks. Previously he was Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan and the country’s Deputy Finance Ministry.
ACRA's Ratings


ACRA assigns credit ratings to all categories of issuers on the international scale and the national scale for the Russian Federation. For financial and non-financial organizations, an ACRA credit rating on the international scale and, on its basis, a credit rating on the national scale for the Russian Federation, will significantly broaden the methods of attracting financing as it will be possible to enter the Russian market and borrow in ruble.


ACRA assigns credit ratings to Islamic finance instruments — sukuk — on national and international rating scales. The corresponding methodology allows ACRA to assess a wide range of sukuk issues exposed to different sources of credit risk.


ACRA assigns ESG assessments to financial and non-financial companies, as well as to sovereign and sub-sovereign entities. This involves a comprehensive assessment of sustainable development based on analysis of environmental and social indicators, as well as an evaluation of corporate governance quality. In addition, ACRA provides services for assessing green, social, and sustainable development bonds and loans. More details (зашита ссылка на страницу устойчивого развития)
In 2020, the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) included ACRA in its list of independent verifiers of green, social, and sustainable development bonds and confirmed the compliance of the Agency’s methodologies and approaches with ICMA guidelines and international industry standards.

Financial Stress Index

ACRA Financial Stress Index ACRA for Kazakhstan
ACRA Financial Stress Index ACRA for Russia


Askar Yelemessov
Head of ACRA’s branch office at AIFC, Kazakhstan
Askar Yelemessov heads ACRA’s branch office in AIFC since 2019. He possesses extensive experience of working in management positions at major Kazakh banks such as Kazkommertsbank and Halyk Savings Bank of Kazakhstan. He was also Head of the Kazakh units of Deutsche Bank and Russian investment company Troika Dialog. Mr. Yelemessov served as Deputy Chairman of the National Bank of Kazakhstan and the country’s Deputy Minister of Finance. His public work has included heading the Association of Financiers of Kazakhstan and the Financial Sector Committee of the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs. Currently Mr. Yelemessov is also an independent director, a member of the board of directors of the KASE stock exchangeHe graduated from the economics faculty of Lomonosov Moscow State University and holds an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis (US).
Zhannur Ashigali
Associate Director, Sovereign and Regional Ratings Group
Zhannur joined ACRA in 2017. Since 2019, he has worked at ACRA’s branch in the AIFC (Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan). Zhannur assigns sovereign ratings, prepares macroeconomic research papers, and develops ACRA’s Structural Financial Stress Index for Kazakhstan (ACRA SFSI KZ). Before joining ACRA, Zhannur worked as an analyst at INEC-CA, the Eurasian Bank, and IPRA since 2007. Zhannur has analytical and operational expertise from his work at the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Eurasian Development Bank. He graduated with a degree in economics and mathematics from Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (KazNU). He has a master’s degree in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the State University of New York.
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