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Watchdog threatens RTS in fight to reform market


Moscow at night: the city's market regulator is intent
on casting more light on stock exchange transactions

Snapping a new set of teeth, Russia's stock market watchdog threatened last month to close down one of the country's two biggest exchanges unless it complied with new reporting requirements.

The Federal Securities Commission (FSC) is getting tough with investors and exchanges in an effort to civilize the unruly Russian stock market. As part of the continuing reforms to the financial system it has started to exercise new powers granted in the last nine months.

In its first high-profile fight the FSC threatened to withdraw the Russian Trading System's licence in February after the exchange failed to comply with rules that came into effect last July requiring exchanges to report separately direct and indirect deals. The RTS is Russia's second biggest exchange and the FSC gave it until February 26 to comply or be closed down. It was still open at the end of last month, though its 30-year old president, Ivan Tyryshkin, resigned on February 27.

The regulator is trying to shed light on the murky trading conditions of the Russian stock market.

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