Banker Calls Language a Listings Draw

The Russian language could help Moscow compete with financial hubs to lure companies from around the former Soviet Union to list on its bourses, a Central Bank official said Friday.

MICEX and the RTS should do more to attract companies such as Kazakhstan and Ukraine that now prefer to sell shares in Western Europe, said Sergei Shvetsov, the director of the bank's financial markets department.

"We should start exploiting our competitive advantage based on the Russian language," he said. "They haven't learned how to speak English yet, and they haven't forgotten Russian. At best, they see Moscow as a second London."

Both President Vladimir Putin and his elected successor, Dmitry Medvedev, have said making the country a global financial center is a priority.

Shvetsov also called for Russian legislation to be "exported" to neighbors in the Commonwealth of Independent States "to use economic means to make our neighbors play by our rules," he said.