On 31 January 2019, Moscow Exchange registered its two-millionth retail investors. More than 700 thousand Russians gained access to on-exchange trading in 2018.
Individual Investment Accounts (IIA) account for a substantial portion of retail accounts registered with Moscow Exchange, with 636,600 as of 31 January 2019. IIAs were introduced to stimulate investments in Russian securities by offering tax incentives to individuals.
The banks that were most active in opening retail investment accounts in 2018 were Tinkoff Bank (285,852 accounts), Sberbank (284,343), BCS (61,413), Otkritie (60,040), and VTB Bank (46,066).
Interest in investment services among Russian retail investors is being driven by tax incentives as well as increasingly sophisticated digital technologies and remote authentication services designed to allow brokerage accounts to be opened remotely. MOEX’s online client registration facility means new account holders can begin trading just a few minutes after opening an account via a bank or brokerage.
Retail investors are active traders on the markets operated by the Exchange. In 2018, individuals accounted for 35% of total turnover in equities, 7% in bonds and 43% in derivatives. Retail investors were also active participants of bond offerings, buying RUB 251 billion of new corporate bond offerings (more than 10.9% of the total volume placed) and RUB 74.2 billion of government bonds (7.2% of the total) in 2018.