Moscow Exchange Forum puts spotlight on sustainability, growth of retail investing
Moscow Exchange held its annual MOEX Forum online on 16-17 November 2021. Over the two days, 40 speakers and moderators discussed regulation of financial markets, the outlook for key sectors of the Russian economy, Russian macroeconomic policy, the role of traditional energy and green industries, and the impact that Russia’s growing retail investor base is having on financial markets.
Opening the forum, Yuri Denisov, CEO of Moscow Exchange, said:
"This year has been a very successful year for investors in Russia. The MOEX Russia Index has returned 26% and more than 30% in dollar terms since the beginning of the year, and that's not taking into account dividend yields. There have been a total of 14 IPOs and SPOs that have raised almost 400 billion roubles, while companies have raised 2.6 trillion roubles to finance their businesses in the debt market.
"International investors remain our key client base, accounting for 48% of equity turnover. At the same time, the importance of retail investors to our business is growing, as their number has doubled this year and now stands at over 15 million people.
"We are constantly streamlining our instrument offering and making our markets more accessible for investors. Today, many Moscow Exchange markets operate 17 hours a day. From 6 December, with the launch of the morning session, the trading day on the Equity Market will also increase to 17 hours. This year we have admitted almost 400 international stocks to trading, and next year there will be more than 2,000 international stocks available in total."
Responsible investing was a central topic of the forum's agenda. Participants discussed the development of the ESG toolkit, the impact of the international climate agenda on government support programmes and the possible impact of the new European Green Deal on the capital allocation and investment plans of Russian companies.
Another important factor in the development of Russian financial markets is the retail investing boom, which featured in many discussions. During the panel session "Retail Investor: Impact on the Market", heads of brokerage and asset management companies spoke about private investor activity on the on-exchange market, retail investors’ participation in IPOs, growth of investments on the trust management market and what measures are needed to make individuals a source of long-term money for the market.
During the plenary session on regulatory initiatives in the capital market, representatives of the State Duma, Bank of Russia and Finance Ministry discussed the development of tax incentives for retail investors, as well as the boom in IPOs of Russian companies on Moscow Exchange and measures to stimulate new IPO candidates. Capital markets were also in the focus at the panel "Capital Markets: Optimism and Momentum", which saw participation from global investment funds and investment banks acting as IPO bookrunners.
Participants in the macroeconomic panel assessed inflation risks in Russia for the coming year and factors influencing the growth of inflation.
The Forum program featured discussions with members of the State Duma, Finance Ministry, Bank of Russia and Energy Energy, as well as senior business leaders and members of the investment community.
With support from Sova Capital, one-on-one meetings between 67 Russian corporates and investment funds took place as part of the forum, including some meetings held as open sessions for the first time.
Videos of the Moscow Exchange International Forum are available on the forum website.
MOEX strives to promote the Russian financial market and its investment potential worldwide and holds annual forums in key global financial centres. They have been held entirely online for the past two years. The events are intended to provide the global investment community with insights into the Russian economy as well as opportunities in Russia’s capital market.