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Russia Stock Market Reopening - Update


Fidelity - Research team

The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has allowed the Moscow Exchange to reopen on March 24 with trade limited to the largest 33 stocks and a ban on short selling.

Foreigners are not permitted to trade, meaning that client portfolios and pooled funds with Russia exposure cannot trade.

Some press reports indicate that the market may reopen to foreigners 1 April 2022. Whilst in theory this might occur we believe it is unlikely that brokers who would accept orders (similar to what we experienced in the aftermath of the invasion) or whether other critical parties such as international custodians or clearing agents would be willing to participate in the market.

The news today is unlikely to have any impact on the 'fair value' of Russian securities in the Company. While the market may nominally open for certain investors, there is no change in terms of international investors' ability to transact or repatriate the proceeds of any sales. If the situation develops, we will provide an update.

Given the seriousness of events in Ukraine, Fidelity International has decided that it will not be investing in Russia and Belarus for the foreseeable future. As such, we have implemented a firm-wide prohibition on any new or additional purchases of Russian and Belarusian securities. We are addressing our existing exposure and, where it is possible and appropriate, we will look at options to reduce it in a thoughtful way which protects the interests of our clients and mitigates unintended consequences. We will monitor events closely and continue to review our decision in the event of a significant change in the prevailing circumstances.