Russian stock exchanges RTS and MICEX have finalised their merger, an important step in the government’s plan to develop Moscow as an international financial centre and ease access for foreign institutional investors. The combined exchange will roll out its new brand identity in the first half of 2012.
The merger is intended to create a single stop shop for local and international market participants to trade equities, bonds, derivatives and currencies. MICEX was founded in 1992 and is the largest currency trading market in Russia. It is a centre for liquidity and valuation of Russian assets and the primary market for equities and bonds. RTS, founded in 1995, is considered the leader in derivatives and is one of the top ten markets for futures trading in the world. Together, the total volume of trading on the two markets was US$3.5 trillion in 2010, while the market capitalisation of the combined exchange has been valued at US$4.5 billion. The entity’s IPO is planned for 2013.
The newly-merged exchange plans to launch trading on the stock exchange in T+N in 2012, as well as select a technology platform that will create a single trading account for the spot and derivatives market. A further key goal for 2012 is the merger of Russia’s two main depositories, the National Settlement Depository and the Depository Clearing Company. The exchange’s indices will be brought under one roof with consistent rules and a single calculation platform.
“In addition to creating a single home for the market, the merged exchange will act as a catalyst for continued improvements in Russia’s financial infrastructure, including the creation of a central securities depository and settlement in T+N,” said Ruben Aganbegyan, president and CEO of MICEX-RTS.
In December 2011, MICEX-RTS enlisted the help of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to help strengthen corporate governance in Russia. Together, the two organisations launched an OECD-Russia Corporate Governance Roundtable as a three year program involving dialogue, research and access to international experts.