Coronavirus Crisis Triggers Private Investment Boom on Russian Stock Market

Russians have started to pile into stocks, with the number of private investors hitting a new record. The explosive investment interest came as Covid-19 and falling oil prices rattled the global economy, Russia Today reported.

Crisis times often force people to rethink their financial strategies and look for new sources of income. This might be the reason for the recent boom in retail investing on the Moscow Exchange.

Figures show that in February there were around 4.2 million private investors’ accounts on the country’s top trading platform, while the number surged to over 5.1 million by the end of spring. In March and April nearly 320,000 accounts were registered each month, while in May over 220,000 people joined in.

While the first wave came amid market turmoil that was triggered by crashing oil prices, the investment inflow continued as the coronavirus left many people locked up at home due to government restrictions. Since the end of March, Russian regions started to introduce quarantine measures, giving people more time for trading.

Last month, retail investors bought almost 30 billion rubles (around $438 million) worth of shares of Russian companies listed on the Moscow Exchange. It follows active stock buying in the two previous months, when Russians piled over 78 billion rubles (around $1.4 billion) into the stock market.

The energy sector has proven to be the most popular among Russian investors, as shares of national energy majors Gazprom and Rosneft as well as Lukoil were among the top 10 companies in the investment portfolio. Major Russian major Sberbank, VTB bank and Aeroflot are also among the most attractive stocks.

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