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30 May 2022

Russia Freezes Trading in Foreign Shares in up to 14% of U.S.-listed SPB Exchange

The Index Today

SPB Exchange, Russia's second-largest exchange, said on Monday it will transfer up to 14% of U.S.-listed shares that its clients possess to a non-trading account after the central bank said it will restrict trading in some foreign shares.

Currently, the financial links between Russia and external markets have been damaged by sweeping sanctions that the West imposed after Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine last Feb. 24.

The central bank said that it decided from May 30 to restrict trading in foreign shares that have been blocked by international clearing houses to protect the investors' rights and interests. Except to this are the shares of foreign companies that carry out "production and economic activity mostly in Russia."

SPB also mentioned in the decision that was caused by restrictions imposed by Euroclear and will impact shares with primary listing in the United States.

SBP said in a statement, "Freely traded foreign securities will be completely separated from securities that cannot be traded until the change in Euroclear's policy towards Russian depositories."

This statement implies investors that used to trade U.S. stocks via SPB Exchange, which specializes on foreign shares, will retain their ownership rights but will lose access to some of their holdings of U.S. stocks, including blue chips, such as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) or Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA).

To reiterate, the central bank's decision will not affect the shares of companies with Russian roots, such as HeadHunter Group Yandex (NASDAQ:YNDX) N.V., Ozon Holdings PLC and Cian PLC.
SPB also added in the statement that, "The Bank of Russia, SPB Exchange and trading participants are constantly working to develop a system solution, interacting with international counterparties."

©Photo: REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

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