Russian newspaper publishes estimates of the local forex industry – research has never been as misleading

I was actually going to ignore this 'research' but since just about everybody who speaks Russian sent it to me

I was actually going to ignore this ‘research’ but since just about everybody who speaks Russian sent it to me I decided to highlight it here. The research was conducted by a pretty known and respectable (until now) Russian newspaper called Interfax. The research itself is impressive in volume (91 pages) and is presented in an easy to read format. It is also the first survey of the Russian forex market made in the Russian language which may explain some of its errors. Methodology used to conduct the research was mostly sending out questionnaires to brokers (epic fail), interviews with traders (no comment), interviews with market participants and gathering of information from internet resources. Some of the information was gathered from brokers’ promotional materials (no kidding). About half of the research is basically a description of all brokers operating in Russia along with their spreads, number of offices, whether they offer webinars/seminars, etc. Another quarter is summary of traders survey with pie charts of their satisfaction of trading conditions, spreads, etc.

The result is nothing shy of outrageous and is a prime example of how research should not be conducted.

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Summary of results:

  • Total Russian client deposits are over $1.5 billion
  • Monthly volume of Russian brokers is $500 Billion
  • There are about 600,000 active forex traders in Russia
  • Alpari, Teletrade and Forex Club own 32% (or 42%) of the market

According to the research these are the top 10 Russian brokers:

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active clientsmonthly volume $ B
Forex Club74,30041.7
Admiral Markets21,10014.6


Obviously those numbers are completely inflated, at times by more than 10 fold. In comparison, latest Forex Magnates industry report put the total number of active Russian traders at 102,700 and average monthly volume at about $70 billion monthly. Not to say that Forex Magnates is absolutely spot on its estimates as the forex market and especially the Russian one are completely nontransparent but it just shows that Interfax’s numbers are more than x6-7 higher in both clients and volumes.

This blatant mistake alone is enough to show you the accuracy of this research: FxPro is shown to have 20,400 accounts in Russia by this research while on its own homepage FxPro discloses a total of 14,639 accounts worldwide.

I couldn’t put it better than one respectable local forex broker who commented on this numbers after seeing them:

“Russian brokers never really disclosed the number of their clients or volumes. In this research the numbers are considerably inflated – about x10 in our case and I’m sure it applies to all others as well. Obviously those numbers were simply invented as the researcher posses no knowledge of the Russian forex market whatsoever.”

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