Russia to open oil futures exchange

Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade is setting up a domestic oil futures exchange, which will trade not only the best-known Russian crude, Urals, but also the new export blend REBCO.

Monday marks the deadline for accepting applications from stock exchanges interested in participating in the project. The winner will be announced on November 10.

The oil exchange could be set up early next year to make oil trading in Russia more transparent.

The country’s leading exchanges RTS and MICEX are expected to participate in the tender. Some reports say the New York-based NYMEX, which has offered its clearing and trading infrastructure for a platform in St. Petersburg, is the likeliest winner.

Earlier this year, NYMEX Head, James Newsome, explained the importance of such an exchange:

“Right now there's not a market place concentrating on Russian products. So you’ve got Dubai that's just launched which is concentrating on Middle Eastern products, which flow primarily to the Asian community. Now you have an opportunity here to concentrate on Russian energy products that flow primarily into Europe. So it's a very different market place, different price discovery, different needs to manage risk – and any time we, in the financial community, find  there is a real need, if you can develop the products that capture that need, people will trade them,” he said.