While the West keeps talking of "costs" for Russia - whether they be economic or social-freedom - it appears one company is benefiting from the post-sanctions period. OAO Moscow Exchange, the Russian stock exchange, is up 40% from Match 13th lows just before voters in Crimea voted to join Russia. As Bloomberg reports, daily equity trading volumes at the exchange surged to a record 72 billion rubles ($2 billion) in the first three weeks of March, compared with an average of 35 billion in February, the bourse said yesterday, as the exchange is "clearly benefiting from the current volatile environment."
As one analyst noted,
“There is nothing negative for their business in the short term, from all that is going on on a geopolitical level. Revenues will be correlated with volume increases.”
“We’re seeing different types of behavior of the customers,” Alexander Afanasiev, the chief executive officer of the Moscow Exchange, said in a Bloomberg Television interview yesterday. “Some of them are exiting the market, some of them are using the volatility, some are seeking new opportunities because they think that the Russian assets are currently definitely undervalued.”
The Moscow Exchange posted a 41 percent profit gain to 11.6 billion rubles in 2013 as revenue increased 14 percent to 24.6 billion rubles, the bourse said in a March 14 statement. The bourse, which raised 15 billion rubles in a February 2013 initial public offering, has been revamping its operations and is set to make equities available through Euroclear Bank SA in July to lure trading from offshore platforms.
Moscow Exchange’s revenue is expected to increase to a record 25.6 billion rubles in 2014, according to the mean estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
“We see a strong trend for trading more in Russia and more original shares,” Afanasiev said.