Russia Exchange MOEX Has Well Over 9 Million Retail Investors

MOEX added an average of 350,000 retail accounts each month in 2020 compared with a monthly average of 159,000 in

More than 626,000 retail investors flocked to Russia’s largest institutional trading venue in the first month of 2021, 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 9.4 million milestone. The exchange added an average of 350,000 individual accounts each month during 2020 compared with a monthly average increase of 159,000 in 2019. In October, it posted a monthly record with more than 736,000 people opening brokerage accounts.

The number of retail investors holding so-called Individual Investment Accounts (IIA) reached 3.6 million. They have pumped RUB 149.5 billion or nearly $2 billion into January’s volatile trading, of which equities accounted for 83.5%, while bonds and ETFs accounted for %16.4 percent.

However, the exchange 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, which attracted a rush of business as investors scrambled to protect portfolios.

Moex Responded to Covid-19 with Worrying Volatility

Since 2015, Moex allowed private investors either to open an IIA with a broker (brokerage account) or asset management company (through trust management).

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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 December to RUB 31.3 trillion ($424 billion). This figure was up 15 percent month-over-month from the RUB 27.3 trillion ($362 billion) that exchanged hands in November 2020. Moreover, this is higher compared with volumes from the same month a year earlier, having gained 33 percent when weighed against RUB 23.5 trillion in December 2019.

Alongside other asset classes, the FX market has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with worrying volatility.

MOEX, in particular, continues to develop its infrastructure. The exchange has recently unveiled a new FX algorithmic trading service, which comes amid Kremlin-backed efforts to make MOEX one of the world’s leading financial hubs.

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