* Moscow Exchange sees number of retail investors growing
* Declining interest rates in Russia support this trend
* Number of retail investors seen reaching 10 mln in 2021
* 3-5 new names mull listing on Moscow Exchange in coming
* Moscow Exchange will trade 300 foreign shares by end-2021
MOSCOW, Oct 14 (Reuters) - The Moscow Exchange
banks on a growing number of retail investors when foreign
investors cut their exposure to Russia, and stands ready to host
more listings in the near future, the exchange's chief executive
Russia's largest exchange, the Moscow Exchange, saw its
business booming this year as amateur investors turned to
trading amid coronavirus lockdowns and record-low interest
The Moscow Exchange expects the number of retail investors
to reach 10 million in 2021, a target deemed reachable in three
to five years less than a year ago, CEO Yuri Denisov said in an
In September, 610,000 people opened accounts to trade on
the Moscow Exchange, in which the central bank owns a 17.8%
"This shows high interest in the stock market; people are
looking for alternatives to deposits. The main factor here is
the declining deposit rates, that's why alternative sources of
incomes are so interesting," Denisov said.
Russia slashed rates to record lows this year to make
lending cheaper and help the economy recover from a crash in
prices for oil, its key export, as well as the COVID-19
Denisov, who became MOEX's CEO in May 2019, said individual
investors proved to be "an effective stabiliser" for the market.
They bought 335.4 billion roubles ($4.36 billion) worth of
shares this year, often replacing foreign investors who were
selling Russian assets.
Foreigners accounted for about half of stock trading in
Moscow and held roughly a third of OFZ government bonds as of
Three to five new companies are planning to issue shares on
the Moscow Exchange in the next few quarters, Denisov said. He
did not disclose the names but predicted the number of listings
In recent years, the Moscow Exchange has implemented
infrastructure reforms, including new settlement systems and a
central securities depository, making local listings more
attractive and easing access for individuals amid globally
increased market volatility.
To attract more clients, the exchange plans to offer early-
hours trading on its currency markets in 2021 and will expand
the range of foreign blue chips on its stock market.
In November, it will offer rouble-denominated shares in
several U.S. companies, such as Coca-Cola and Tesla
, taking the overall number of foreign shares it trades
to 300 by the end of 2021, Denisov said.
($1 = 76.9374 roubles)
(Writing by Andrey Ostroukh; editing by Katya Golubkova, Gerry
Doyle, Larry King)