Russia to launch stock exchange for sanctioned companies

Russia Today - Thu, 2020-01-02 06:11

Companies targeted by Western sanctions will have an opportunity to list their bonds, as Russia plans to create a special stock exchange in 2020 to bolster its national capital markets.

The launch was initially scheduled for December but was then postponed to January, according to Russia's Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev. The official explained that the ministry needed more time to finish the platform.

Read more Sanctions? Russia has the best-peforming stock market in the world

At least two companies have already announced that they would like to trade on the stock exchange, Moiseev said, though he did not elaborate further. It was previously reported that the platform will be based on the Saint Petersburg Currency Exchange and will be supported by Russian banks, possibly by Promsvyazbank and the Crimea-based Russian National Commercial Bank (RNCB).

The newly created stock market for sanctioned companies will not work the same way as a classic stock exchange, believes Anton Bakhtin, investment strategist with Premier BCS. In an interview with RT, the analyst explained that the platform is set to work only in the ruble zone, attracting those willing to invest into the firms through specially created infrastructure and helping the companies get additional financing.

“It is not the type of platform that will likely attract new investors, but there are investors already interested in those companies and they get a new [financial] instrument,” he said. He added that companies could issue stocks for certain backers, while foreign investors are likely to avoid participating in it due to Western sanctions.

Narek Avakyan, head of the investment ideas department at BCS Broker, also believes that no investors - at least those having international business - would be willing to risk being hit with secondary US sanctions by buying stocks on the platform. Even with 100 percent confidential transactions, there is always some risk of data leaks, he stressed.

“Those investors who would dare to buy sanctioned financial assets are likely to be targeted by US sanctions regardless of the size of transactions,” the analyst said.

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While analysts note that it is not clear so far how exactly the platform will work, it could become a face-saving instrument for companies targeted by sanctions, according to debt market analyst at Ivolga Capital Ilya Grigoriev.

“The platform is more likely to become an image-building instrument for sanctioned companies and also be a transitional phase before listing either on the Moscow Stock Exchange or foreign platforms after sanctions are lifted,” he told RT.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

Categories: Media

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‘Fear of the unknown’: Mystery drones seen hovering over Colorado & Nebraska leave residents spooked

Russia Today - Thu, 2020-01-02 05:29

Enigmatic drones spotted flying in the skies over Colorado and Nebraska are making citizens quite uneasy, but local and federal authorities so far have no answers, launching probes into who or what is behind the unmarked craft.

Some 16 of the drones have been seen across northeast Colorado in recent weeks, sheriff's departments in two Colorado counties have confirmed. Though the aircraft have not violated any federal guidelines for flying, Yuma County Sheriff Todd Combs said they’ve nonetheless left residents “very nervous and anxious.”

“People do not like the unknown as it upsets the balance of our lives,” Combs wrote in a lengthy Facebook post on Tuesday, noting that there were “many theories about what is going on,” but no definitive explanation.

“I think we are all feeling a little bit vulnerable due to the intrusion of our privacy that we enjoy in our rural community, but I don't have a solution or know of one right now. All I can say is don't live your life in the fear of the unknown,” the sheriff continued.

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Most of the drones – unarmed and generally non-threatening – have been seen flying in low-altitude “Class G” airspace, which under federal regulations gives a wide berth for small private aircraft to “operate as they see fit,” Combs said. Both the FAA and the US Army also deny that the craft are theirs, according to the Denver Post, though the Pentagon and Air Force did not respond to a request for comment. Beyond that, little else is known.

Several divisions of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are now looking into the drones seen flying over both states, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told CNN. An FAA investigator is also scheduled to meet with Combs’ department next week to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Colorado Senator Cory Gardner also said he was keeping watch over the situation, tweeting on Tuesday that he had been in contact with FAA officials.

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In the meantime, Combs said: “I would like to reassure you, I am doing the best to get you answers,” also warning residents to refrain from attempting to shoot down the craft while they investigate. Some have taken to Twitter to suggest ways to bring the drones down, but authorities warn their batteries could ignite fires on the ground.

The strange phenomenon comes as the FAA seeks to introduce a new rule requiring most drones to be equipped with remote ID technology, which the agency says will “enhance safety and security by allowing the FAA, law enforcement, and Federal security agencies to identify drones flying in their jurisdiction.” A fairly new but rapidly developing technology, there are now some 1.5 million drones and around 160,000 remote pilots registered with the FAA.

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Categories: Media

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