MONDAY 21 JAN 2013 3:02 PM


The Moscow Exchange may not be going back the USSR, but it is selling shares in itself back to the Russian public. The move will position the Russian bourse more competitively against the London Stock Exchange for Russian companies and may improve the Moscow Exchange’s transparency to investors.

The Russian central bank, which owns 24.3% of the Exchange, will be releasing the other 75.7% of the equity in the stock market to retail and industrial investors to drive Russian capital back into Moscow. It hopes to raise between $300 and $500 million in the process.

London’s stock exchange plays host to 65 Russian companies, which the Moscow Exchange hopes will exchange their British listing for a presence in the Russian market.

"The exchange's own listing is a key element of our strategy to promote the development of the local capital markets as well as to broaden the regional and international appeal of Moscow as a financial center. As a public company, Moscow Exchange will be committed to demonstrating leadership in corporate governance practices and transparency,” Sergei Shvetsov, chairman of the Moscow Exchange supervisory board, says.

The Moscow Exchange, since it’s creation two year’s ago from Russia’s two stock markets, has sought to become more attractive to investors by increasing its transparency. It has already instituted a central securities deposit and made trading more efficient.

Despite the apparent openness to new investment and a laudable nod to its investors, the Russian central bank will not be releasing its own shares in the public sale.