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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Net Broker Posts Top MICEX Volume

VedomostiInternet brokers took the top four spots on MICEX, with Alor-Invest in second, followed by BK Otkrytiye and Finance Analitik.
Internet trader Brokerkreditservis, or BKS, set a new record for trade turnover on the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange, handling deals worth 23.7 billion rubles ($76 million) in March.

The top four spots on MICEX were taken by Internet brokers, with Alor-Invest in second, followed by BK Otkrytiye and Finance Analitik. Troika Dialog led on the Russian Trading System.

Trade turnover on MICEX rose 130 percent to 198.1 billion rubles ($6.35 billion). The RTS index leapt 20.6 percent month on month to 350.75, while turnover rose 170 percent to $484.4 million.

Brokers joked that exchanges had come out of their winter hibernation.

Novosibirsk-based BKS's turnover leapt by 62 percent in March, and for the first time the company beat out its closest contender, Alor-Invest, which had turnover of 13.5 billion rubles.

That BKS snatched the pole position came as no surprise, but its tremendous leap in turnover was a different matter altogether. The company said its success was due to the frantic spring activity of its clients.

Old clients increased their activity while a host of new clients began trading through the company, said Yury Mintsev, head of the client department at BKS, which has offices in 40 regions.

The company's client base increased by 70 percent to more than 3,000 private and legal entities, Mintsev said. "The market is on the up. People are starting to believe that you can make money on shares."

The competition, however, was flustered by BKS's results.

"I don't understand how they achieved this kind of a jump," said Mikhail Sukhobok, deputy management chairman of the VEO-Otkrytiye investment house.

Anatoly Gavrilenko, the head of the Alor-Invest company, agreed. "I don't see a swell of clients," he said.

Damping is the secret to BKS's success, said Igor Lassavio, head of the client department with investment company Prospekt.

"BKS attracts clients with its low commission," said Alexander Svintsov, head of Aton's development department.

BKS established a commission rate of 0.02 percent minus value-added tax for all new clients as of March 1, regardless of turnover volume. Older clients can only hope for such rates if their turnover exceeds 250 million rubles a month.

Aton also has a beneficial rate for new clients -- but at 0.065 percent it is more than triple that of BKS's.

A number of companies say BKS's results are partly inflated because a quarter of MICEX turnover is accounted for by repo deals, loans with shares or money. These transactions are counted along with normal transactions in the overall turnover.

"In terms of repo deals, BKS is in first place," said a representative with a top 10 brokerage who asked to not to be identified. "They feed the whole market."