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The Russian government’s desire to build an international financial centre in Moscow is genuine. However, the government’s market infrastructure reforms are also driven by other short-term and long-term motivations. Short-term concerns centre on a reluctance to lose out to rival markets in central and eastern Europe. “Other CEE countries are competing hard for foreign investment and investors,” says Alex Krunic, head of product sales for direct custody and clearing at JPMorgan. “Poland clearly has positive momentum: it is number one for IPOs in Europe in 2012, number four by value of IPOs and number nine by cash equity value.”