In 2014, in cooperation with the regulator, Moscow Exchange pushed ahead with simplifying the debt issue process and expanding opportunities for issuers to raise debt capital on the domestic market. In particular, companies can now register bond programmes, which allows placement of bonds within the programme limits with no further registration, thus reducing issuers’ timelines and administrative expenses.
In June, the Exchange introduced an intraday clearing session to allow settlement in the middle of the trading day in order to accelerate delivery to end-customers. As such, there are now two clearing sessions on the Equity & Bond Market.
To improve order book structure and boost liquidity, the Exchange changed the price tick for the most popular shares in December. Now, to determine the price tick, a security’s liquidity is taken into account in addition to its price. This allows the spread between the best bid and best ask to be narrowed and the time for orders to be filled at the best price reduced; it also encourages investors to enter limit orders in the Exchange order book. Improvement of the order book quality broadens the range of securities available for use with algorithmic strategies, thus boosting their liquidity. The Exchange plans to introduce quarterly price tick reviews beginning in the second quarter of 2015.
In late 2014, the Exchange expanded its information service offering by launching the MOEX Board indicative quotation system. The system operates like a notice board, allowing traders and investors to enter and view quotes for more than 1 020 stocks that are not traded on the Russian regulated market.
A key project in 2015 will be the launch of individual investment accounts (IIA), which will allow private investors to receive tax credits. The Exchange achieved much in this area in 2014 together with market participants, including the establishment of a marketing pool aimed at informing prospective investors about opportunities provided by accounts and the launch of a website to promote IIAs. Some 11 000 accounts were registered by private customers via brokerage firms and investment companies in January-February 2015.
The initiative to divide securities into those eligible as collateral and those admitted to trading without full prefunding will also be a focus in 2015. It will expand the list of securities to be traded without full prefunding, thus not increasing risks for the NCC Clearing Bank as the central counterparty.
A move from T0 to T+1 settlement cycle for Russian federal government bonds (OFZs) will be a major technical advance in 2015. Settlement of trades in OFZs on T+1 will allow market participants to reduce the cost of funding operations on the sovereign debt market, increase trading volumes due to the absence of full prefunding requirements and concentrate liquidity within a single order book. In parallel to the central T+1 order book, the Exchange will offer auctions in large blocks of OFZs; these auctions will run twice per day.
The Equity Market will begin conducting opening auctions instead of the pre-trading period. To set the opening auction price, the Exchange will use the same algorithm that was successfully used for the closing auction. Brokers will thus be able to enter market orders at the opening auction, the opening price will be a true market price and the market price will be protected from manipulation.
In addition, the Exchange plans to launch trading in bonds denominated in CNY, HKD, GBP and CHF with settlement in the respective currencies.
The Exchange will work with the Bank of Russia to establish a legal framework for Russia’s structured products market, and allow favourable Level 1 listings for infrastructure and project bonds.