Moscow Exchange (Russian: ОАО Московская Биржа) is the largest stock exchange in Russia, located in Moscow, trading equities, bonds, derivatives, precious metals and currencies. It was officially established on 19 December 2011 through the merger of the two largest Moscow-based stock exchanges, the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange and the Russian Trading System. Both organisations were formed in the 1990s and for two decades were the leading exchanges in Russia, with the MICEX Index and the RTS Index being among the world's top stock indices. The merger created a single entity that is expected to become a leading stock exchange globally for trading across asset classes and to advance Russia's plans to turn Moscow into an international financial centre.
The goals of the merger include the optimisation of the Russian stock market, the reduction of the number of organisations with overlapping functions, the creation of a single platform for issuers, traders and investors, the reduction of transaction costs, and easier trading.
Ahead of the merger, the capitalisation of the MICEX-RTS company was estimated the equivalent of $4.5 billion. The exchange is targeting an IPO in 2013, in preparation of which the exchange took on the legal form of open joint-stock company on 19 December 2011. In 2012 the company plans to launch the trading in T+N and to create a single trading account for the spot and derivatives markets. Russia's main depositories, the National Settlement Depository and the Depository Clearing Company, are also expected to merge in 2012, and the MICEX and RTS Indices are expected to be unified in the same year.
The full merger of the organisational structure is not yet completed. Problems in merging the infrastructure resulted in computer error in trades, something that had not happened on the merged exchanges for a decade: on the first day of trades, there was a short period of computer glitches when the clearing system malfunctioned, which resulted in registering multiple unsanctioned deals, with some traders suffering losses.
The united exchange went through a rebranding, with the new brand identity was unveiled in early July 2012.
On 21 October 2013 Moscow Exchange launched trading in precious metals: gold and silver. The exchange will launch trading in platinum and palladium in the first half of 2014 if there is interest from investors.