RUSSIA - Moscow-based RTS Stock Exchange (RTS) and Standard & Poor's have joined forces to develop a new generation of Russian equities indices.
All of the joint index products, including the existing headline RTS Index – the main indicator of the Russian stock market – will be promoted under the umbrella trade name S&P/RTS.
Under the agreement, for which they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, the partners will develop, calculate, license and promote Russian equity indices worldwide.
Standard & Poor’s said launch of the new indices is expected in the first half of 2005.
“While foreign listings have traditionally been an opportunity for Russian companies to raise funds and get international recognition, the increasing strength of Russian domestic investment, as well as regulation requiring Russian companies to first list domestically and float no more than 40% of their shares abroad, make locally managed Russian indices and domestic trading indispensable for investors seeking effective exposure to Russia,” S&P said in a statement.
S&P global managing director of index services, Robert Shakotko, said: “Our internationally adopted index standards will enhance local liquidity in an environment where competition is high between Russian exchanges and foreign markets for turnover in Russian equities.”
RTS president Oleg Safonov added: “Domestic pension funds and unit investment funds are only just being created, and foreign investors are looking to Russia for diversification opportunities. The S&P/RTS indices will capture the growing interest in both institutional portfolios and structured product vehicles.”
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