October 12th, 2011

Micex and RTS exchanges to merge in hopes of attracting more investors

MarketWatch reports that Moscow’s RTS and Micex exchanges are planning to merge – in hopes of attracting more investors and boosting liquidity. Reporter Polya Lesova writes that for the merger to work,

Moscow and Russia must overcome a reputation for widespread corruption, poor infrastructure and a murky legal system. And that will mean implementing institutional reforms and improving the business environment – measures the government has long discussed but never carried out.
Though the economy is growing now, investors remain concerned about the big fluctuations in the Russian markets, as were seen after the 2008 financial meltdown. That ebb and flow – and its projected budget deficits in the near future – underscores the need for more foreign capital and for new policies that promote stability. According to IHS Global Insight analyst Lilit Gevorgyan,
The plan of turning Moscow into a financial center will remain a dream unless the fundamental issues are addressed. Russia has to work on its image. This is being reinforced by the scandals. Over the last decade, that’s the image that has developed – of the strong state that comes in and crushes business when it is in its interest.
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