Retail investors as a new force in the Russian stock market

On the first day of the 11th Gaidar Forum, the RANEPA has held a session "Financial system in the context of macroeconomic stability: New opportunities and old restrictions." The discussion was moderated by the director of the Structural Research Center at RANEPA Alexey Vedev.

The speakers discussed the massive withdrawal of the population savings from the banking sector to non-banking financial institutions and the impact of these circumstances on the state of the stock market. Head of the Service for Consumers’ Rights Protection and Financial Service Availability at the Central Bank of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mamuta said that for several years interest rates on deposits have been falling amid steadily low inflation.

"This has an impact on the behavior of retail investors – the population. Today, interest rates tend to stay around 5%. The majority of the population considers the rate not high enough, comparing it with the deposit rates that were previously seen in the market – they used to be 8%, 10%, and even 15%. The desire to have a high deposit rate combined with a low loan rate is natural, but it never comes true. A decrease in the deposit rate causes dissatisfaction and encourages them to search for new opportunities to save and increase money," commented Mikhail Mamuta.

2019 was a record year for stock exchange indices increasing, said the Auditor of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation Alexei Savatyugin. "But this capitalization was due to the arrival of retail investors. We did not even dream about this five years ago. One reason is the decline in interest rates. Another one is that we have a very high dividend yield, said the expert, companies pay large dividends, and the state stimulates them to do so. But does this mean that the owners do not believe in the future of the company? Do they withdraw and prefer to hold cash? Will this growth last long if all profits are paid in dividends? Will it be good in the long run?"

Board Chairman of the National Association of Securities Market Participants Alexey Timofeev believes that active attraction of retail investors to the market will lead to a fundamental change in the stock market, "Today, about four million people have entrusted their funds to brokers and trust managers, and I do not mean the owners of big fortunes. We have about three trillion in brokerage accounts and trust management. These are younger investors, other than those with which the market is used to dealing. More cautious, conservative, and the attitude towards them should be special. They should be welcomed in this market."

Experts also discussed the problems faced by these new market participants. Leading Research Fellow at RANEPA Yuri Danilov drew attention to the issue of protection of the investors' rights and interests, "There is a problem that roots into politics. In the discussion between financial institutions and the Bank of Russia as a regulator, no one represents the interests of a private investor. If we account for the family members of those who invest in securities, this is already more than 10 % of the population of Russia – this is a huge initiative group of the population. There is no political or social organization that would represent this group."

Yana Pureskina, Yana Pureskina, Director of the Financial Policy Department at the Ministry of Finance of Russia, spoke about promising areas for the development of private investments, "We must allow the population as much as possible into the formal sector, not create grey sectors attracting people one way or another. The issue of access to the tool is important here. For example, today we do not have corporate bonds in the public domain, and there are no shares of public offerings as a mass phenomenon. We need to think about diversification of instruments for the retail, for the mass investor."

The session participants noted that, despite a positive assessment of the transition of capital from the banking sector to non-banking products, the legislative framework aimed at investor safety improving, behavioral supervision introducing, and supervisory burden reducing has not yet been fully formed.


The 11th Gaidar Forum “Russia and the World: Challenges of the New Decade” is being held at RANEPA on January 15 and 16, 2020. The forum is focused on the goals of national and global development and the search for practical answers to the most pressing challenges of our time.   The forum is attended by ministers of the Government of the Russian Federation, members of the Federal Assembly, governors of the Russian regions, prominent international experts, and representatives of foreign states.

The organizers of the 11th Gaidar Forum are the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, and the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia.

The title partners of the Gaidar Forum are PJSC Gazprom and JSC Gazprombank. The strategic partners are Coca-Cola, Mastercard, Russian Railways, Pharmstandard group of companies, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, Novartis group of companies, MSD, AKIG group of companies, EF Education First. Partners are Prosveshchenie group of companies, EY, Huawei, RVC JSC, Russian Agricultural Bank JSC.

The title information partners of the Gaidar Forum are the Russia-24 TV channel, TASS, RBC, Business FM. The strategic information partners are Kommersant Publishing House, Interfax, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Invest-Forsythe magazine, Federal Press Agency. The main information partners are, Gazeta.Ru, Lenta.Ru,, Profile. International partners are RT, ThomsonReuters, Sputnik, EFE, Cision, Pan Pacific Agency. Information partners are Snob media project, AEI PRIME, RNS, Expert magazine, Parlamentskaya Gazeta,, Ekho Moskvy radio station, PRO Business TV channel, FINAM.RU information and analytical agency, Davydov.Index, Strategiya magazine, Ekonomika i Zhizn newspaper, Econs portal, Gosudarstvennaya Sluzhba magazine, TV BRICS.