The Bank of Russia approved the introduction of a complete ban on access to trading in foreign securities from "unfriendly countries". Now Russians who do not have the status of a qualified investor will not get access to trading in shares of Apple, Tesla, Amazon, and others, which were previously popular with retail investors. The ban will be introduced gradually: from October 1, the share of securities from "unfriendly countries" in the portfolios of "nonquals" (unqualified investors) should not exceed 15%. The introduction of the ban is stated in the message of the regulator.
The Bank of Russia obliged brokers to comply with the ban and monitor the portfolios of their clients. A complete ban on the purchase will be introduced from January 1, 2023, before that the Central Bank will hold several waves that will be designed to reduce the share of foreign securities in the portfolios of Russian investors. The first wave will take place on October 1, when a threshold of 15% will be introduced, then the share of possible ownership of non-quals will only decrease - to 10% from November 1 and to 5% from December 1. Starting from the new year, brokers will be required to refuse to execute orders to buy foreign securities.
“The decision is aimed at minimizing infrastructure risks for unqualified investors, since foreign financial institutions that account for such securities can block the ability to dispose of acquired assets without warning. More than 5 million investors have already suffered from such blocking. It is very difficult to protect the rights of the owners of these securities after the fact, since the solution to the problem lies outside the Russian jurisdiction, ”the Central Bank said in a statement.
A ban on buying will also be introduced on all derivative financial instruments linked to foreign securities from unfriendly countries, as well as on opening short positions (shorts) on such securities. It will be possible to close shorts, as well as all operations with securities of issuers from "friendly countries". However, some restrictions may also affect them, since the Central Bank has not made a final decision on their account, the report says.
The St. Petersburg Stock Exchange again suffered from innovations, whose shares during trading fell by almost 10% - from 177.8 to 158.3 rubles per share. For the first time, the Central Bank announced its intention to introduce a ban on trading in foreign securities for unqualified investors at the end of July. In addition to tightening trading, the regulator proposed to seriously complicate obtaining the status of a qualified investor, which gives access to a wide range of financial instruments. Then these proposals caused a real panic in the stock market.