More than 1 million retail investors flocked to Russia’s largest institutional trading venue in the first four months of 2020, opening twice as many accounts as the monthly average in the previous year.
Moscow Exchange (MOEX) said in its monthly report that the number of retail investor accounts hit a five million milestone, up 25 percent from the year-ago levels. The exchange added an average of 258,000 individual accounts each month during the January-April period compared with a monthly average increase of 159,000 in the same interval of 2019.
The number of retail investors who made at least one trade in April came to 597,000, well above the 2019 monthly average of 244,900. They have pumped RUB 34.6 billion or nearly $470 billion into shares during April’s volatile trading, twice as much as the maximum volume of purchases for any month in 2019.
The exchange, however, didn’t 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, which attracted a rush of business as investors scrambled to protect portfolios.
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Since 2015, Moex allowed private investors either to open an IIA with a broker (brokerage account) or asset management company (through trust management). The latest metrics show that the number of Individual Investment Accounts (IIA) accounts exceeded 2.2 million with 583,000 accounts have been opened year to date.
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.
The meltdown in financial markets over the virus has sparked a jump in MOEX’s FX trading volumes in March to RUB 36.30 trillion ($486 billion). This figure was up 50 percent month-over-month from the RUB 24.1 trillion ($366 billion) that exchanged hands in February 2020.
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.