St Pete's stock exchange could hurt London

At least 100 companies will take part in the first oil trading at the Saint Petersburg bourse early next year. The exchange is taking its first step towards becoming an international oil exchange in the first quarter of 2008.

The first trading of Russian oil is due to start by 1st February, 2008.

Most oil products in Russia are traded directly with refineries, with individual price agreements brokered by middlemen.

Deputy Economic Development Minister KIrill Androsov believes trading oil products on a stock exchange will make the fuel market fairer and more transparent, leading to a more just taxation policy.

“Speaking about crude oil trading, it will allow some revaluation of the price of Russian oil and possibly increased profits for Russian oil companies,” Androsov said.

During the first months, the bourse will hold auctions with state buyers. It’s expected that the state will buy at least 15% of the fuel traded through the Saint-Petersburg floor.

Fully-fledged exchange trading is set to start next spring.