23 Sep 2022 12:40

Shvetsov: Sanctions pressure to continue, existing restrictions not considered final ones

KAZAN. Sept 23 (Interfax) - The Moscow Exchange Group , which has already been hit by sanctions against the Russian financial sector, assumes that external pressure will continue, Sergei Shvetsov, head of the supervisory board of MOEX Group, said at a banking forum in Kazan.

"Like many in this room, we have been hit by the sanctions that have been imposed against individual directors of the Moscow Exchange Group [the current and former directors of the National Settlement Depository (NSD), Viktor Zhidkov and Eddie Astanin, are on the specially designated nationals and blocked persons (SDN) list], and against our central depository, the NSD, on the part of the European Union," Shvetsov said at the forum.

"Actually, we do not consider the existing restrictions to be the final ones. We believe that sanctions pressure will continue, and the difficult time is not only behind us, but also ahead," Shvetsov said.

Shvetsov recalled that the Moscow Exchange, along with professional participants, in the summer established a club where a strategy is being developed for releasing the frozen assets of investors affected by the sanctions against the NSD.

"We hope that the process will be successful. Nevertheless, custodial risks remain; and even if we manage to release the assets, it is not a sure thing that the assets would not be arrested by the next wave of the sanctions. Of course, when investing with infrastructure elements located in 'unfriendly' countries, we must always be on the lookout, and remember about custodial risks, which have occurred for the first time in the history of the Russian financial market as a result of the sanctions war," Shvetsov said.

The Moscow Exchange, as an element of the market infrastructure, seeks "to support all markets in an operational position", though this is not always possible, Shvetsov said, recalling that the equities exchange has closed trading in the Swiss franc and the pound sterling.

"This is because of the drop in demand in the economy for the conversions, as well as owing to the inability of the infrastructure to provide the service effectively because of limitations in the settlements," Shvetsov said.