Fig. 53. The number of retail clients of fund management companies and brokerages However, our estimates put the number of investors with a real investment potential at a much lower figure. Of the 671,000 brokerage clients in 2009, only slightly more than 25%, or about 170,000, had such investment potential. Among unit investment trusts shareholders, only about 100,000 individual investors have investment potential. The absence of a clear action plan for the pension system, high volatility in the Russian stock market, and uncertainty in the area of economic policy are likely to result in brokerage accounts and trust management accounts being unable to function as a means of accumulating long-term public savings in the foreseeable future. If the current situation continues, the growth in the client base of financial intermediaries is more likely to be due to the involvement in stock market operations of a greater number of investors prepared to risk small amounts for the sake of short term profits.
* * * 2009 became a period of unexpectedly fast recovery for the Russian stock market. The faster recovery compared to the 1998 crisis was due to the shorter duration of the oil price slump, which lasted only a quarter of the time compared to 1997-1998. With the huge foreign exchange reserves at its disposal, the state was able to prevent the spread of the financial crisis to the banking sector and to the lending market.
The financial market survived the 2008-2009 crisis. The government and the Bank of Russia showed considerable creativity in using various instruments to support banks, from offering unsecured loans to direct investments in bank equity. It is equally important to note that the bulk of funds were granted to banks on a temporary basis, and by the end of 2009 the Bank of Russia and the Ministry of Finance had effected a 50% withdrawal from the banking RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks sector. However, the banks were preserved in their pre-crisis shape. The multi-trillion support amounts had no effect on increasing the efficiency of banking operations. In terms of banking sector efficiency and its ability to lend to the real economy, Russia is a clear outsider in the international economic and financial sector competitiveness rankings. It is obvious that the existing banking sector is incapable of tackling the challenges of national economic modernization. As the government cuts back on its crisis mitigation support measures to banks, the absence of a clear outlook on the part of banks in terms of funding sources becomes ever more apparent. Domestic funds are too expensive, carry trading has not yet resumed, and foreign direct investment does not reach the banking sector. As the crisis nears its end, the government is increasingly facing the challenge of banking sector reform that it has tried to avoid throughout the 2000s.
The crisis has revealed equally serious problems in the stock market. It has become apparent that the rapid growth of stock prices, high liquidity, low borrowing rates for bond market issuers, and successful equity IPO and SPO placements were largely due to the growth in energy prices and to the influx of speculative portfolio investments from abroad, while there was still no steady inflow of foreign direct investment. The Russian stock market continues to be viewed as unsuitable for major conservative foreign investors. The pension savings system is not functioning. Public confidence in securities is very low. Collective investment lose value, and the effectiveness of this sector is significantly below that of foreign counterparts not only in established markets but also in other BRIC countries.
The crisis mitigation support measures used in the stock market in 2008-2009 were considerably more modest than those used in the banking sector. Moreover, the effectiveness of many such measures is doubtful. Thus, the use of RUR 175 billion to support the stock market in October 2008 – December 2009 should be considered as a highly favorable state margin loan to Vnesheconombank rather than an effective measure to support stock prices. It is also unlikely that tangible results were achieved by the restrictions on short sale transactions and margin lending. At the same time, the Bank of Russia and the Federal Financial Markets Service made considerable efforts only to maintain the stability of the ruble-denominated bond market in 2009 but also to enable it to reach record corporate bond placement volumes that, during the time of lending “blockage”, became the vehicle for investing excess bank liquidity.
As the financial crisis subsides, the financial market is being faced with the increasing challenges of economic modernisation and financing innovations. It is obvious that neither the banking sector nor the domestic stock market in the current shape are capable of tackling these challenges. The system of financial intermediation in Russia developed during the 2000s with a view to servicing short-term speculative strategies. The low rates of return for investments in capital assets and a high rate of return of financial investments increased the distance between financial intermediaries and the real economy. An unsuccessful attempt at pension reform and the concentration of domestic savings in sovereign welfare funds, forcing companies and banks to resort to large scale foreign borrowings did not allow the transformation of domestic savings into a growth engine for Russian banks and investment companies.
Russian banks and other financial intermediaries are becoming increasingly less competitive compared to global players.
In this situation, the key issue is not so much the strengthening of the role of Russian financial institutions in economic modernisation as a deep modernisation of the financial institutions themselves. This should be aimed at the creation of banks, nonbank financial holdings, pension funds and insurance companies that would be competitive not only in the domestic Section Monetary and Budgetary Spheres market but also in the global market. Another option would be to develop a strategy of incorporating Russian financial intermediaries into the value chains of global financial institutions while ensuring the high level of local expertise in the rendering of financial services in Russia by such global intermediaries.
To achieve positive results in these endeavours to develop financial intermediation, new instruments of effective government presence in the domestic financial markets must be found. Accelerating innovation, not only in the financial markets but also in the real economy, is a typical “market gap” where the “invisible hand” of the market per se is unable to tackle the issue. This would require government involvement in the economic process and the establishment of an effective partnership between the state and private business. However, this requires a fundamentally new type of service by the government as well as the understanding by it of the contemporary business context, the modern strategic planning and marketing approaches at a sector and economic area level. In order to have globally competitive banks and financial holdings, the regulators must leapfrog from the current situation when the legal practices and efforts to increase the competitiveness in the domestic market are average at best to proactive supervision and prudent and effective interventions in business development strategies.
Five-year strategic development plans for the financial sector may be used as a transformation instrument. Unlike the current stock market development strategy that has been defined up to 2020, such five-year sector strategies must resemble company-level plans and contain specific targets for each year within that period, as well as a description of the objectives, tasks, and approaches, a detailed analysis of the market and market segments, the supply and demand of financial services, and data on the aggregate revenues and capitalisation of financial intrermediaries. The legislative, financial, and structural initiatives at sector level must be evaluated in terms of their impact on the five-year plans. In other words, the approaches to strategic planning that are increasingly used at company level must also be applied at sector level.
Another priority that would increase the role of financial markets in economic modernisation could be the gradual creation of a centralised innovation framework, whereby the effects of various financial institutions seeking to invest in the companies and sectors of the new economy could be coordinated.
2.4.10. Investment of pension savings in the mandatory pension insurance system In 2009, the value of assets in the funded component of the mandatory pension system was displaying a rather uneven dynamics. In Q I 2009, their value less the amount of insurance contributions accumulated in the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation (PFR) continued to decline, having first demonstrated this trend in the autumn 2008. As seen from the data presented in Table 1, the drop amounted to 1.7 % (381.6 against 387.8 bn Rb)1. In Q II, the dynamics of this index once again became positive. The growth of asset value over than quarter was 38 % (526.6 against 381.6 bn Rb). The highest contribution to this upward dynamics resulted from the transfer, towards the very end of the quarter, of accumulated insurance contributions from the PFR – which was done after the receipt from the RF Ministry of Finance of Hereinafter, the data published by the PFR, the Federal Service for Financial Markets (FSFM), and Vneshekonombank are applied.
RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks compensation for the declining value of the bonds issued within the framework of federal loans, in which these monies were invested. Net inflow of funds from the PFR to the asset managers in Q II amounted to 112.5 bn Rb out of 145 billion rubles (the sum of asset growth).
Thus, by the mid-year 2009 the value of assets in the funded component of the mandatory pension system was by 31.6 % higher than its highest pre-crisis level achieved in mid-2008.
In Q III 2009, asset value continued to increase, the growth rate amounting to 2.2 %.
Table Value of assets in the mandatory funded pension system, 2007 - 2009 (bn Rb)* Value of assets in which pension savings transferred Date to asset managers were invested Pension savings accumulated in Total IPF including in including in subtotal GAM PAM 276.2 267.1 9.2 9.96 286.01.01.375.1 362.9 12.2 26.8 401.01.01.360.7 348.7 12.1 42.6 403.01.04.366.0 353.7 12.3 43.1 409.01.07.360.6 350.1 10.6 39.9 400.01.10.352.2 343.1 9.1 35.5 387.01.01.334.8 325.7 9.1 46.9 381.01.04.459.3 446.6 12.7 67.3 526.01.07.466.6 452.5 14.1 71.7 538.01.10.* Less the amount of insurance contributions to the funded part of pension savings in the PFR.
Source: The indices of asset managers represent value of net assets as estimated on the basis of data published on the PFR’s website www.pfrf.ru. The indices of IPF are based on the Summary Data on the activities of the IPF posted by the Federal Service for Financial Markets (FSFM) to its website www.fscm.ru The share of the government asset manager (GAM), whose functions are performed by Vneshekonombank (VEB) in the asset value of the funded component of the mandatory pension system (less the amount of insurance contributions to the PFR) continued to decline, dropping over three quarters from 88.5 % to 84.1 %. The share of the Independent Pension Fund (IPF) over the same period increased from 9.2 % to 13.3 % (see Table 2). The main cause of this changed ratio was the switchover of insured persons from the PFR to the IPF. In spite of the financial crisis, the rate of that process altered only slightly – in Q I 2008 the share of the IPF in the assets constituting the funded component of the mandatory pension system increased by 3.9 p. p. (from 6.7 to 10.6 %), while its growth in the same period of 2009 amounted to 4.1 p. p. The share of pension savings transferred by the PFR to private asset managers (PAMs) demonstrated some growth, but still remained at a level lower than it had been prior to the onset of the crisis (2.6 % as of the end of Q III 2009, as compared to 3.% in the first half-year 2008).
Table The distribution of assets between asset managers and the IPF within the funded component of the mandatory pension system, 2006 – 2009 (%) 1.1.2006 1.1.2007 1.1.2008 1.1.2009 1.4.2009 1.7.2009 01.10.Share of assets held by GAM 95.9 93.3 90.3 88.5 85.3 84.8 84.Share of assets held by PAMs 3.0 3.2 3.0 2.3 2.4 2.4 2.Share of assets held by IPF 1.1 3.5 6.7 9.2 12.3 12.8 13.Section Monetary and Budgetary Spheres 1.1.2006 1.1.2007 1.1.2008 1.1.2009 1.4.2009 1.7.2009 01.10.Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 Including share of PAMs and IPF 4.1 6.7 9.7 11.5 14.7 15.2 15.Source: the indices of asset managers represent value of net assets as estimated from the data published on the PFR’s website pfrf.ru; the indices of the IPF are based on the Summary Data on the activities of the IPF posted by the Federal Financial Markets Service to its website fscm.ru.
Investment of pension savings by asset managers.
The structure of investments by the GAM and of the aggregate investment portfolio of the PAMs that were investing pension savings under their agreements with the PFR is shown in Fig. 1 – 8. respectively.
As seen from these diagrams, the structure of the investment portfolios of asset managers as of the end of Q II 2009 was strongly influenced by the transfer of the pension contributions for the year 2007 from the PFR, which as of the reporting date remained on the bank accounts of the asset managers because the latter had had no time to invest these monies in securities.
The share of securities dropped technically both in the GAM’s and the PAMs’ investment portfolios, while the share of monies kept with credit institutions exceeded the then existing limit of 20 % of the investment portfolio established by the law. Later on, in Q III, the share of monies kept by PAM in bank accounts dropped to 3 %, while the share of monies kept by the GAM remained close to the upper limit (18.8 % as of the end of Q III).
Fig. 1. The structure of the investment portfolio of the GAM (Vneshekonombank), as of the end of 2008.
RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks Fig. 2. The structure of the investment portfolio of the GAM, as of the end of Q I 2009.
Fig. 3. The structure of the investment portfolio of the GAM, as of the end of Q II 2009.
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