Moscow Exchange reports higher FX volumes for March

The Moscow Exchange, Russia’s largest exchange group, has resumed publishing its monthly operational metrics  after a nearly one-month halt following the nation’s invasion of Ukraine.

Moscow Exchange (MOEX)

MOEX reopened trading for certain stocks in late March after the bourse shutdown since February after the US and its Western allies unleashed a barrage of sanctions against Russia that crippled its economy and tanked the value of its national currency.

In particular, FX volumes were again firmly entrenched in the month-over-month uptrend.

Average daily volumes reached RUB 1.95 trillion ($23.45 billion) last month, up from RUB 1.72 trillion in February, Moex said in a statement. Year-over-year, the ADV figure was up from RUB 1.44 trillion ($19.5 billion) in March 2021.

However, MOEX’s total FX market turnover also rose to RUB 41.0 trillion ($492 billion) in March 2022, up 29 percent from the RUB 31.9 trillion ($424 billion) exchanged hands in March 2021. Compared with volumes from the prior month, this figure was up 19 percent when weighed against RUB 34.5 trillion in February.

The metrics show that spot volumes, in particular, continue to surge, and the momentum seen throughout February had continued into March. On the other side, the drop in MOEX’s FX turnover is primarily caused by the fall in FX swaps, used mostly for liquidity management and hedging of foreign currency portfolios. In 2020, the foreign exchange swaps accounted for nearly 50 percent of the total FX market turnover, according to the BIS triennial survey.

Russia’s largest bourse attributed the growth to its new products and upcoming regulatory changes, which helped increase the share of interest swaps in total market turnover to 40 percent. Moscow Exchange’s derivatives are offering lines up swaps, FX swaps, cross-currency swaps, FX forwards and options with maturities from 3 days to 5 years.

MOEX, in particular, continues to develop its infrastructure as part of a state-backed drive to make Russia’s largest institutional trading venue one of the world’s leading financial hubs.