Russia Forex bill passes second reading, leverage maximum limit relaxed to 100x

Today the State Duma, which forms the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament, has voted in favor of Russia’s Forex bill, with 244 votes cast in support of the legislative piece.

In the face of the positive verdict for the bill at its second reading, certain controversies concerning its content remain. Early in the morning the lawmakers approved only 8 of the proposed amendments to the text of the document, while rejecting 41 other proposed amendments. This means that the Committee responsible for the bill will still have to suggest changes to the amendments that were rejected. The positive decision today means that the members of the Duma agreed only on the basics of the bill.

What’s next? After the Committee on financial markets takes care of the amendments, a third reading will be scheduled. It is usually considered as a less bureaucratic and time-consuming procedure, as the deputies will simply have to say “yes” or “no” to the bill, without changing it. However, there are specifications in Russia’s legislation that still leave the possibility of the bill being returned for extra reviews.

A quick recap of the most vital points of the bill, according to the version agreed at the second reading today:

Forex brokers in Russia will be legally treated as Forex dealers;

Forex dealers will have to have a minimum net capital of RUB 100 million ($1.8 million);

Forex dealers will have to have licenses from a state regulator and to be members of a self-regulatory organization (SRO);

Foreign companies can also obtain licenses in Russia and thus offer their services to Russia’s FX traders;

Forex dealers will have to have back-up of all their trading software equipment in Russia;

The maximum leverage for Forex trading is 1:50 for certain instruments and 1:100 for others, the actual instruments concerned not having been specified.

Today’s decision is landmark for Russia’s FX industry, as the second reading had been postponed for a year and a half.

All necessary documents regarding the Forex bill and its way through the Duma can be found here.

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