1.8 million retail investors opened accounts with Moscow Exchange (MOEX) in the past seven months in 2020, ploughing more than $16 billion into shares during a volatile month’s trading.
That brings the total number of retail brokerage accounts in Russia’s largest trading venue up to 5.65 million. The exchange added an average of 257,000 individual accounts each month during the January-July period, compared with a monthly average increase of 159,000 in the same interval for 2019.
Money may be invested into MOEX’s securities market instruments, such as forex, shares, government and corporate bonds, as well as ETFs and mutual funds.
According to the MOEX’s monthly report, private investors that made at least one trade in July reached a record 821,500, well above the 2019 monthly average of 244,900. They pumped RUB 1.2 trillion into shares during the month of July.
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Moex also noted that local investors poured billions of roubles into exchange-traded funds, with a record 3 million trades in ETFs executed for the total of RUB 22.6 billion in July. Like most investment funds, Russian ETFs are a basket of securities like stocks, bonds and commodities, which can all be traded in a single transaction.
The exchange, however, did not explain why there had been a jump in retail activity throughout 2020. But amid concerns over the economic impact from the coronavirus outbreak, there was a brighter side for all trading platforms. This attracted a rush of business as investors scrambled to protect their portfolios.
Since 2015, Moex has allowed private investors either to open an IIA with a broker (brokerage account) or asset management company (through trust management). The latest metrics showed that the number of Individual Investment Accounts (IIA) accounts exceeded 2.5 million with 887,000 accounts that have been opened year to date, compared to 1.05 million accounts opened during the entirety of 2019.
MOEX, in particular, continues to develop its infrastructure as part of a state-backed drive to make Russia’s largest institutional trading venue one of the world’s leading financial hubs. Most recently, the exchange acquired a minority stake in BierbaumPro, which owns proprietary OTC FX platform NTPro.