Moscow Exchange extends stock trading hours to attract more investors

abdelaziz Fathi

Russia’s largest institutional trading venue plans to extend the hours during which stocks can be traded from this winter in a move aimed at attracting a greater number of investors, the Moscow Exchange (MOEX) said on Wednesday.

Effective December 6, MOEX will open the equity market three hours earlier, namely at 6:50am Moscow time. This extends the daily session to run for 17 hours. Currently, the trading hours on the market are from 9:50am to 23:50.

“Clients in Siberia and the Russian Far East as well as the Asia-Pacific region will benefit from more convenient trading hours. Market participants will be able to respond more quickly to changing global market dynamics and implement additional trading and arbitrage opportunities in the morning hours,” the exchange said in a statement.

MOEX has seen a flurry of IPOs and secondary offerings as the regulators continue to simplify the investment environment and remove obstacles to new listings. The exchange launched trading in international equities in August 2020.  Since then, the total number of foreign securities available for trading on Moscow Exchange has risen to 282.

MOEX also said it would open the FX auction from December to be held from 6:50am to 7:00am for all spot instruments. The exchange already started trading foreign currency, gold and derivatives three hours earlier from March 1.

MOEX, which runs one of the largest FX trading platforms, revealed that its total FX turnover hit RUB 25.3 trillion ($350 billion) in September 2021. That compares to RUB 23.0 trillion ($315 billion), which exchanged hands in August 2021.

“The opening auction will help to generate a more representative opening price and reduce the risk of artificially inflating or undervaluing the market price. Since 2015, an opening auction has also been in place in the Equity & Bond Market,” it further explains.

The Moscow Exchange has recently launched trading on foreign securities priced in US dollars in a major upgrade to its infrastructure. MOEX plans to make more international securities available for trading in the future based on demand from market participants. Trades are settled in both Russian rubles and the stock’s native currency.

MOEX has also extended trading hours in a move aimed at attracting a greater number of foreign investors and to drive more liquidity. Overall, there has been a jump in retail activity throughout 2020 and 2021. 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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