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Finance and Financial Markets in Russia
2 July 2007
Finance and Financial Markets in Russia

The following resource is meant to overview the subject of finance in Russia to assist those beginning research on the topic. It covers several major areas of finance, but should by no means be construed as exhaustive. It also does not, in any way, constitute investment advice. 

  1. The Russian Trading System, Russia's largest stockmarket.General Market News
  2. Official Government Organs
  3. Stocks and Investing in Russian Companies
  4. Banking and Investment Firms
  5. Currency Exchanges
  6. Securities
  7. Major Depositories and Custodians
  8. Ratings
  9. Venture Capital
  10. International Finance Sources and Assistance

Color Code:   Red links are to sites only in Russian.    Contact the Author
                     Gray links have English available.         What is "The Library?"

1. General Market News     back to top

Interfax News offers English-language financial news about Russia.

Truth and Beauty... between the polemic rants, this news source from the Nikitsky Fund's manager also features highly accessible and informative articles on Russian finance.

The Central Bank helps regulate and monitor securities trading and IMF reporting. The website has financial news, some analytical material, and current facts and figures.

The Hermitage Report gives general information on the Hermitage Fund (Russia's largest) as well as information on the financial markets.

The Institute for the Economy in Transition provides in-depth reports on the economy including the state budget, industries and economic sectors.

RBK Daily is one of Russia's most popular business news sources now, with a paper, magazine, and television channel.

Vedomosti is one of Russia's most respected business news sources and is a partner with the Wall Street Journal.

2. Official Government Organs     back to top

The Ministry of Finance reports on economic indicators, advises on reform issues concerning banking, the budget, regional tax collection, and the pension fund. Also in charge of managing the state budget and national debt. 

The Central Bank controls the money supply and interest rates and sets standards for banking activities. It also helps regulate and monitor securities trading and IMF reporting. Website has financial news and the current exchange rate.

The Federal Financial Markets Service (FFMS) is the federal executive body that controls and supervises activity in the financial markets, including the activity of exchanges, and issues the relevant regulations.

3. Stocks and Investing in Russian Companies     back to top

a. News and Information

RUSTOCKS.com collects original corporate materials, company profiles, market professionals' opinions and forecasts, brokers research, as well as news line and press clippings of major Russian market events.

Corporate Information offers short descriptions for 86 listed companies in Russia.

Logo of the Nizhney Novgorod Stock Exchangeb. Stock Markets

Russian Trading System (RTS) is Russia's major trading platform for stocks and currency.

The Moscow Stock Exchange (MFB) holds the number two slot for activity in Russian stock exchanges.

The St-Petersburg Stock Exchange (SPBEX) is number three in Russia in terms of activity.

The Nizhney Novgorod Currency and Stock Exchange is one of the few regional exchanges to provide considerable information about itself in English.

c. Russian Stocks on Foreign Markets

NYSE - Now lists several major Russian companies and provides a dedicated page to them.

The London Stock Exchange is by far the most popular foreign exchange for Russian companies to list with. Note the links at the top to info on those listed on AIM and links to Russian Market News.

4. Banking and Investment Firms     back to top

The Association of Russian Banks is a nongovernmental and noncommercial organization that unites commercial banks and other credit organizations. It provides for arbitration between them and attempts to raise the standards of banking in Russia.

Wikipedia gives a general overview of banking regulation in Russia.

Some of Russia's largest banks and investment institutions include:
     Hermitage Capital Management (famous for campaigning for improved corp. governance)
     Troika Dialogue (Russia's largest and oldest investment bank)
     Renaissance Capital (also a major research firm, oft quoted in the media) 
     Sberbank (Russia's largest savings bank - also handles most government transactions)
     AlfaBank (one of Russia's leaders in brokering IPOs)

The Moscow Business Telephone Guide lists banks active in Moscow as well as representative offices of foreign banks.

MICEX, the largest currency exchnage in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.5. Currency Exchanges     back to top

The Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange (MICEX) is the largest universal exchange in Russia, the CIS and Eastern Europe.

The National Foreign Currency Association is an industry association seeking to advance exchange and money markets within Russia.

The St. Petersburg Interbank Currency Exchange (SPCEX) is another of Russia's largest exchanges and handles a large percentage of exchange activity with Russia's close economic partner Finland.

Other major exchanges in Russia include The Siberian Interbank Currency Exchange (SISEX), The Urals Regional Currency Exchange (UREX), Nizhney Novgord Currency and Stock Exchange (NCSEX), and the Samara Currency Interbank Exchange (SCIEX).

6. Securities     back to top

a. News and Information

Rynok Tsennykh Bumag is a Russian-language new source focused on Russian securities. They have archives and some articles online.

CBonds is a major new source for those issuing or investing in bonds from the CIS.

MSCI provides indices for equity markets around the globe, including in Russia.

b. Regulatory Agencies 

National Securities Market Association is an industry self-regulatory structure, apparently most focused on banks and state structures which issue securities.

National Association of Securities Market Participants (NAUFOR) is a Russian self-regulatory organization that unites professional securities market participants: brokers, dealers, trust managers and depositories.

The Professional Association of Registrars, Transfer Agents and Depositories (PARTAD) is a regulatory agency for registrars, depositories, and clearing organizations.

7. Major Depositories and Custodians     back to top

ING bank, with over 102 billion in custody, is Russia's largest custodian, holding securities and funds from mutual funds in safekeeping. They also offer banking, pension, and leasing services.

Depository Clearing Company is the settlement depository for RTS and SPBEX stock exchanges and the largest OTC market depository in Russia DCC.

National Depository Center settles 100% of trades in treasury bills (GKO), federal bonds (OFZ), and Bank of Russia’s bonds, 95% trades in corporate and regional bonds, more than 90% of on-exchange trades in corporate stocks.

The Bank of New York handles depositary receipts for many Russian companies and lists these on a database on its site.

Other depository banks that handle depository receipts for Russian companies include JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Deutsche Bank (but they have no databases available).

Russian Depository Receipts have also now been developed (as of Jan, 2007) but have yet to be issued. See this USRCCNE article for more info. 

8. Ratings     back to top

RusRating is an independent rating agency that rates banks, leasing companies, and bonds.

ExpertRA rates insurance companies, bonds, as well as company's social responsibility and market influence.

Standard and Poor's gives credit ratings to major Russian corporations and government structures. In addition, it provides corporate governance scores.

Moody's Interfax Rating Agency give credit ratings to banks, corporations, and government structures.

Fitch's issues credit ratings to sovereign governments, such as Russia.

9. Venture CapitalReport on Venture Capital Markets in Nizhney Novgorod. Click to download a copy.      back to top

The Russian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association is an industry association that lobbies government and commercial structures and facilitates communication and information sharing.

The Russian Venture Fair is an annual event that brings investing institutions and persons together with entrepreneurs in Russia.

Marchmont, a USRCCNE member, specializes in venture capital in the Russian regions and is also now one of the rare sources of authoritative information about venture capital in those regions.

The Russian Technology Fund is focused on technology related venture capital investment opportunities in Russia.

The Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (FASIE) is a non-commercial state organisation set up to help grow small business in Russia.

10. International Finance Sources and Assistance     back to top

BISNIS is the U.S. Government's primary market information center for U.S. companies exploring export and investment opportunities in Russia and Eurasia. BISNIS provides U.S. companies with the latest market reports and tips on developments, export and investment leads, and strategies for doing business in Russia and Eurasia. Since opening in 1992, BISNIS has facilitated more than $4.0 billion worth of U.S. exports and overseas investments.  "Eurasia" includes much of Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Russia. 

Export-Import Bank of the United States supports the financing of U.S. goods and services, turning export opportunities into real transactions, maintaining and creating more U.S. jobs. They assume credit and country risks the private sector is unable or unwilling to accept.

USAID - Europe and Eurasia provides information on Russian economic growth resources including economic organizations, funding, and legislation.

EcoLinks is an initiative of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) that seeks practical, market-based solutions to industrial and urban environmental problems in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Grants available.

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is the largest single investor in the FSU and mobilises significant foreign direct investment beyond its own financing.

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USRCCNE's Internet resources is compiled in partnership with member firm The School of Russian and Asian Studies as part of a larger project entitled "The Library," which seeks to bring students Internet resources to research topics about Russia.

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