Moscow to challenge London and NY dominance in finance

The government is looking at ways to develop the Russian capital as a global financial centre. Ministers say there's growing interest in the idea of Moscow as a financial hub to compete with the likes of London and New York.

Russia’s economic growth in recent years, its greater integration into the global economy, plus its overall outlook are starting to give rise to a new possibility, which could see Moscow assume prominence as a global financial centre.

As Russia's financial capital, where huge amounts of capital flow in and out, Moscow is gaining greater attention internationally. And the Moscow City government is working to raise it further, building a centre for global financial operations.

Chairman of the State Debt Committee, Sergey Pakhomov, says Moscow is already a global financial hub, because of the capital in attracts and the quality of the people who work there.  Taking the city to the next level, he says, requires high-level intervention.

“It all depends on the amount of political will and definitely on mutual understanding of what has to be done. But, frankly speaking, we do have a lot of work ahead and we need substantial time,” Pakhomov said.

The world's capital flows are largely entrusted to and managed from London and New York, with cities like Tokyo and Singapore also playing a global role. But they are being joined by other cities such as Shanghai, Sao Paulo, and Mumbai.

Analysts are seeing the increasing strength of the Russian rouble as a key factor that could support Moscow’s prominence.

Equity strategist at Alfa-Bank, Erik Depoy, says the Kremlin is interested is seeing the rouble grow as a global currency.

“The rouble is a strengthening currency, unlike the dollar which is weakening. Investors are very quick to identify those currencies which reflect growing economies. Again, the Russian economy growth is among the best in the world,” Depoy said.