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The MOEX Russia Index is the predominant rouble-denominated stock market index that acts as a benchmark for the Russian economy. The index is made up of the same collection of stocks as the RTS index, which is denominated in dollars and favoured by international investors. The MOEX Russia index is generally preferred by domestic investors within Russia.
This page will give you a brief history of the MOEX Russia Index, provide information as to how the stocks it tracks are selected, and let you know how you can invest your money in the index.
The MOEX Russia index began being calculated on 22nd September 1997, and has acted as a benchmark of the Russian stock exchange ever since. The index is denominated in roubles, but tracks the same stocks as the dollar-denominated RTS index – which are all companies traded on the Moscow Exchange.
The difference in the currencies used for the MOEX Russia index and the RTS index mean that foreign exchange markets can lead to the two indices moving in different directions despite following the same stocks. This effect was seen in December 2014 as a plunge in the value of the Rouble saw the MOEX Russia index rise as the RTS fell.
The MOEX Russia index rose sharply throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, before falling by nearly 75% in the financial crash of 2007-08. It reached its all-time high of 3,196.880 on the 12th January 2020 before falling sharply as the coronavirus pandemic started to spread across the world.
The MOEX Russia index follows the same 50 stocks as the RTS index. These stocks are 50 of the stocks traded on the Moscow Exchange with the largest market capitalisation, and the component companies of both indices are reviewed every 3 months.
The best way to invest in the MOEX Russia index is to use either an ETF of a mutual fund. Mutual funds pool money from several investors, which a fund manager then invests in order to return a profit. An IMOEX mutual fund (also known as an index fund) allows you to invest your money in a way that follows the performance of the companies within the MOEX index.
An ETF (exchange-traded fund) works in a similar way, but doesn’t require a fund manager. You can buy an ETF through a broker and your investment will then track the performance of an index such as the MOEX Russia index. ETFs also have the advantage of being tradeable on an exchange at any time during trading hours. With a mutual fund, you can only buy and sell your investment at the end of each trading day.
It is worth noting that if you are an investor not based in Russia, you would probably be better served investing in a mutual fund or ETF in the dollar-denominated RTS index, as the MOEX Russia index is generally preferred by domestic investors.