Moscow Exchange Continues to See Decline in FX Trading Revenues

FX commissions drop despite increase in trading volume due to low volatility and general risk environment.

Moscow Exchange (MOEX), Russia’s largest institutional trading exchange, has just released its trading revenues for the second quarter ending June 30, 2017, which shows a decline in FX revenues despite an increase in trading volumes.

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The writing was on the wall when the monthly results were announced for July and these results are basically an extension of those. FX market fees and commissions came in at 964.8 million rubles ($16.08 million), down 6.4% year on year. This was despite the fact that total trading volumes increased by 13.5% during the same period.

Spot trading volumes declined by 21.2% which could be one of the main reasons for the decline in fees and commissions as most of fees are generated through spot trading, as with any exchange.

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Most FX volumes at an exchange are generated by prop trading by large companies who are exposed to FX rate risk and hence would look for hedging and liquidity management solutions. As a reflection of that, the swap and forward segment showed growth of 29.4% during Q2, which is reflective of the increased risk environment that companies operate in.

Looking at the derivatives market, fees and commissions were down 4.2% year on year as it came in at 481.1 million rubles ($8.02 million). Trading volumes also declined by 25.5% year on year, which was mainly in the FX and index futures segment due to the lack of volatility in the markets during this time of the year.

Volumes in commodity futures increased by 9.3% YoY and options volumes increased by 38.5% YoY, showing increased interest in trading in index options.

With an eye on the growing fintech sector, MOEX also announced the creation of a separate subsidiary that will focus on developing innovative projects and working with fintech startups with potential investments of up to RUB 1.2 billion ($600 million) over the next four years.

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