MICEX-RTS, the Russian stock exchange group, has sold a 6.29% stake in its business to the European Bank of Research and Development (EBRD) to help further develop its business and listing standards.
The Russian bourse has also sold a separate 1.25% stake to the Russian Direct Investment Fund, established by the government in June 2011 to help stimulate direct investment into the country’s businesses.
The EBRD investment is its first in a trading exchange, and gives the bank a chair on the bourse’s board of directors, which determines development strategy and agrees listing and reporting standards.
“The turmoil in the world economy gives added urgency to the need to strengthen and deepen Russia’s capital markets so that they can provide the liquidity which the domestic economy needs to access and the creation of a unified exchange represents an important milestone in that process” said Varel Freeman, head of banking operations at EBRD. “Through this investment, the EBRD hopes to contribute to increasing the attractiveness of MICEX-RTS so that it becomes the preferred exchange for Russian issuers and traders, as well as investors with an appetite for Russian stocks and other financial instruments.”
The EBRD is owned by 63 countries and two intergovernmental institutions and was set up to support the development of market economies and democracies.
The RDIF will be capitalised with US$10 billion in Russian government funds over the next five years to make equity investments. The RDIF’s mandate requires co-investment that matches its own commitment.
“This investment proves that the reforms that are being implemented in Russia contribute considerably to creating and promoting a favourable investment climate that attracts high-calibre financial investors. This is a vital factor for building in Moscow an international financial centre,” said MICEX-RTS’s president, Ruben Aganbegyan.
RTS and MICEX completed their merger last year, creating a single-stop shop for local and international market participants to trade equities, bonds, derivatives and currencies. The exchanges are currently integrating their markets and are planning an IPO in 2013.