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By Ben Aris of bne
The management of Russia’s MICEX exchange arrived in London on Tuesday on a roadshow ahead of its IPO on Feburary 15. What they are selling is not just a stock exchange but a diversified business that is in many ways unique.
Widely seen as Russia’s leading stock exchange, MICEX is actually a unusually diversified business for an exchange, which means it has managed to earn steadily increasing profits that have been largely unaffected by the 2008 crisis, let alone the notorious volatility that plagues portfolio investors into Russian stocks.
Moscow’s stock exchange on Monday published the terms of its planned stock market flotation: it proposes to raise around $500m for the company and for the selling shareholders, putting a total value on the business of up to $4.6bn.
One striking point is the dividend pledge – “no less than” 30 per cent of the net profits for the year to December 2012, 40 per cent for 2013, and 50 per cent for 2014. Clearly the Russian authorities’ pressure for bigger payouts is yielding results.
By Ben Aris of bne
Russian President Vladimir Putin has started his second stint of two possible terms as president by launching a sweeping programme of reforms. Changes to the financial system are the most advanced and possibly the most important.
Putin met with senior officials to discus the development of the financial markets on Friday January 25. Two things came out of the meeting: changes to the market regulator, and a renewed privatisation effort.
Boosted by an improvement in global sentiment, the Micex index rose 2.7 per cent in its its biggest one-day gain since mid-September. The rouble appreciated 0.3 per cent against the dollar-euro basket.
Life for international bond investors in Russia is expected to get a lot easier from January, when newly-created links between the Moscow market and European-wide settlement and clearing systems are finally switched on.
Russia’s Central Securities Depository will next month start opening client accounts with direct access to Euroclear and Clearstream, the west European-based clearing networks. Officials at Micex, the Russian financial exchange, say the accounts will become fully operational for bond investors at the beginning of 2013.