“Russia’s size and the rudimentary telecommunications system contribute further to the markets’ fragmentation. For the immediate future, stock exchanges and other market institutions are likely to continue operating at the regional level without clear adherence to Federation-wide guidelines and regulations. This is largely because the privatization process will cause exchanges, transfer, and registration facilities to be developed at the oblast level.It will take time to ensure consistent application and enforcement of national standards in the long term.
While Russia has an overabundance of exchanges and banks, it lacks other needed market institutions, such as merchant banks, pension funds, mutual funds, insurance companies, and brokerage firms. These institutions help mobilize long-term savings and serve as the backbone of developed securities markets. Some investment funds, insurance companies, and brokerage firms exist in Russia, but they are generally rudimentary and will need to be significantly developed over time. Existing investment funds, for example, are very small and few funds have more than 10 percent of their assets in securities; most of their investments are in real estate, foreign currencies, and cash deposits. The level of investor protection in these funds is very low, with inadequate disclosure and financial reporting. Similarly, existing brokerage firms are poorly developed and generally unregulated. Typically, they offer little financial analysis or investment advice and often they charge irregular and excessive fees.”

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