Russia’s leading stock market, the Moscow Exchange (MOEX), plans to set up an analogue of the Bloomberg terminals and provide them to traders after the American version pulled out Russia within weeks of the start of the war in Ukraine a year ago.
The “Bloombergski” terminals will appear in Russia by September and cost RUB500mn ($6.6mn) to establish, according to reports on Telegram.
The new service is intended to replicate the Bloomberg terminal and provide the same array of services and data as the American original for professional investors and funds.
Bloomberg rapidly pulled its staff – both local and foreign – out of Russia shortly after the war started and it was made illegal to use the word “war”, forcing correspondents to use the Kremlin’s alternative “special military operation” instead under pain of a 15-year jail sentence. The terminals, which provided traders with market information on prices and other data were also switched off, cutting Russia’s capital markets off from the global financial system.
MOEX intends to start work on the new service this month and say that it should be ready by September. The exchange promise that the Russian version will offer traders everything that the American original had.
The system will work in Russia, the CIS and China. Russia has already set up its own version of the credit card payment system called MIR eight years ago. When VISA pulled out of Russia, banks moved smoothly to the Russian credit card payments system without interruption.
The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) had also set up Financial Communications System (SPFS), a Russian analogue of the SWIFT system, several years before the war started after fears of being cut off from the global financial system surfaced after the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
In the first days following the war SWIFT sanctions were imposed, effectively making it impossible for Russia to easily make international transfers. The transition to using SPFS was more difficult as the volume of messages it could send, that allow bank transfers, was limited and it was not working 24/7. However, after a year of work the system is reportedly working well now.
Russia has been trying to get other countries to adopt its payment system, but there has been some reluctance after the US threatened to apply secondary sanctions to countries that adopt them. Many banks in Turkey and Central Asia that adopted the MIR car payment system later reversed their decisions after coming under pressure from the US.