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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Vladivostok Bourse Pines For Business

VLADIVOSTOK -- Seven time zones east of Moscow, the once-humming Vladivostok Stock Exchange is being abandoned by brokers searching for scarce shares and big commissions.


Only a couple of silent traders glance at static green monitors in the exchange, perched in a Soviet brick building over the city's busy but dilapidated port.


"No one wants to sell," said Andrei Malyutin, acting head of the exchange. "It's a bad time to be president of the exchange."


Securities analysts say the exchange is a model of rectitude that could improve investor confidence. It boasts a physical trading floor where deals are made and cleared, ensuring widespread and timely dissemination of price information. But lately, only about one trade per day drifts across the computer screens. Brokers resort to more lucrative telephone deals, emulating Moscow's much larger but less regulated over-the-counter market, without real-time deal disclosure.


"The investor is at a disadvantage because there is no way to determine the real value of the stock," said one Western analyst.


Broker confidence in the well-regulated exchange is tepid. They say they are driven off by exchange rules, such as late payment fines of about 30 percent of a trade's value.


Brokers estimate 40 percent of local equities trade ran through the exchange in its heyday a year and a half ago, when 25 trades a day kept the things humming as the government sold shares in local enterprises.