Russia’s newly-merged stock exchange group has enlisted the help of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to help strengthen corporate governance in the country.
MICEX-RTS, formed by the amalgamation of Russia’s two main exchanges, and the OECD today launched the OECD-Russia Corporate Governance Roundtable as a three-year program to tackle remaining corporate governance challenges in Russia through dialogue, research and access to international experts.
The program will also aim to improve global understanding of Russian corporate governance practices and on-going reform efforts. MICEX-RTS insisted one of the most important aims of the program was to ensure Russian corporate governance standards were “accurately perceived by the international investment community”.
“The agreement we are marking today will further develop the Russian legal system and strengthen corporate governance practices in line with international standards,” said Ruben Aganbegyan, president of MICEX-RTS, explaining the programme has the support of the Central Bank of Russia, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Service for Financial Markets.
The initiative lays some of the groundwork for the development of an international financial center in Moscow.
“Our goal is to provide the international community with an accurate understanding of Russian corporate governance practices and to make it aware of on-going reform efforts,” said OECD secretary-general Angel Gurría. “We are confident our project will help the Russian financial market realise its potential in full.”
The initiative is not the first time the OECD has shared its expertise on corporate governance in Russia. Earlier cooperation bore results such as the requirement to have independent directors on corporate boards.
“This timely initiative will open new doors for Russian business, said Alexander Ikonnikov, chairman of Russia’s Independent Directors Association. “I believe the program will assist executives and directors in their efforts to introduce the most advanced governance standards.”
The proposed merger of MICEX and RTS was announced in February and approved by the country’s Federal Antimonopoly Service in September.
On 8 December, an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders approved the new version of MICEX’s corporate charter, preparing the way for the merger.
The combined bourse has announced plans to float via IPO in 2013 in a listing expected to be worth around US$300 million.