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Publication date: 2 March 2012
Russian exchange enjoys FX boom
Micex-RTS, Russia’s newly merged stock and derivatives exchange operator, has enjoyed a jump in liquidity since pooling its competing dollar/rouble currency contracts, as Russian banks provide investors exposure to its oil-driven currency.
The exchanges, which announced their intention to merge nearly a year ago, completed their tie-up at the end of December. As of the end of February, total turnover on the combined FX platform had reached RUB1.4 trillion ($47bn), the exchange said today. Otkritie Bank, already the largest cash dealer on Micex and RTS, was the largest currency trading member by volume.
Nine banks now provide direct market access for Russian and international clients trading on the bourse’s FX market. The Russian rouble has strengthened against the dollar since the start of the year, as Russia, Europe’s largest oil exporter, is buoyed by higher energy prices.
The rationale for the merger was focussed on pooling liquidity and creating an exchange greater than the sum of its two constituents, boosting Moscow’s attraction as a global financial centre. The combined bourse is hoping break in to the world’s top 10 exchanges by revenues within five years.
Despite Micex being the more established market, trading in the bourse’s flagship dollar/rouble futures quickly came to be dominated by RTS’s Futures and Options market when the then-rival bourse launched similar contracts. RTS invested heavily in attracting business through Russian banks in London.
RTS’s cash market, which offers trading in Russian listed stocks, has also grown swiftly, with the bourse’s share of trading in central and Eastern Europe rising by 7.5% since 2009, according to Thomson Reuters.