Paths of Development for the Stock Market

Friday, April 19th, 10:00-11:15

Russia’s financial markets are in the midst of massive structural changes, shaped by a combination of market forces and regulatory reform. Market forces include greater competition, the impact of technology, differences in tax and cost regimes, global and domestic financial controls and regulations, growth in ETF trading, and the bifurcation of the buy side. The panel will examine such forces and evaluate ways in which the government’s aim to boost Russia’s standing as a principal financial center might best be achieved. The Russian stock market is valued at a little over $800 bln, with a free float of just 28%, well below many comparable markets.

The Russian government is committed to reducing state ownership across many industries, but the objectives remain ambitious and many investors require greater confidence that their interests will be protected. Key issues that the panel will address include the likely direction of future financial regulation and reform in Russia, moves to encourage greater domestic exposure to Russian equities and foreign direct investments, a potential IPO-boom driven by privatizations and the private sector, and the competitive advantages of Moscow for listing purposes. From a global asset-allocation perspective, Russia remains just 0.7% of MSCI World, and many funds retain underweight positions. The panel will examine the reasons for such a risk-averse stance and the ways in which all stakeholders might further develop and expand the Russian stock market.

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