Russia keeps investors from so-called ‘hostile’ countries away

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(Reuters) – Russia’s central bank (BCR) on Monday announced measures to prevent investors from countries labeled as “hostile” from taking advantage of projects allowing investors from “friendly” countries to resume trading in the market Moscow scholarship holder.

The Moscow Stock Exchange said on Friday it would allow clients from “friendly” jurisdictions — or those that did not impose sanctions on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine — to begin trading after a hiatus of nearly six months.

However, it clarified that this measure would only apply to the derivatives market, not the main stock market, and did not say when the expanded access would be allowed.

Analysts said the delay was partly due to concerns that investors from the European Union, United States and Britain — currently banned from trading in Moscow — could use the countries’ resumed trading “friends” as a back door to get rid of the Russian stocks they still hold.

The BCR said on Monday it was barring custodians and registrars from transacting securities received from foreign counterparts, including “friendly” countries, for six months.

Western sanctions have severely restricted Russians’ access to global stock markets, while Moscow’s countermeasures have also prevented most foreigners from buying and selling Russian stocks.

(Reporting Reuters; French version Dina Kartit, editing by Kate Entringer)

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