The Russian Trading System is a term used to refer to the main stock exchange in Russia. Considered one of the younger exchanges in Europe, this stock market was initially modeled after the NASDAQ index system, but has since evolved into its own system. The exchange is comprised of five major product lines, dealing with financial elements like currencies, futures, Russian stocks and foreign companies.
Following the fall of communism in the former Soviet Union, stock exchanges in Russia were mostly regional. In 1995, the Russian Trading System was established to bring the many regional stock exchanges together under one roof in an effort to help stabilize and bolster the new nation's economy. Today, the market is one of the strongest in the world and deals with hundreds of different companies on its stock floor.
The Russian Trading System was initially modeled after the NASDAQ trading system and its software, because it based its numbers on the 50 most liquid Russian stocks. Quickly, though, the RTX Index, as it is known to traders, began utilizing its own system of data management. In 1998, its in-house program for managing stocks and trades went online and has been in use ever since. Another major change with the Russian Trading System was its evolution from a non-profit organization to a joint stock company. A joint stock company is a private enterprise, much like a corporation, that is owned and operated for profit.
Five different product lines make up the Russian Trading System, each with a specific role in balancing out the market. RTS Classic Market is the main trading grounds of the exchange and deals primarily in trading currency and stock. This market settles in roubles and dollars, trading several hundred international securities. The standard RTS market, on the other hand, settles only in the Russian national currency, the rouble, and has fewer stocks. Like the Classic market, it is also available to international traders.
The final three product lines are not as commonly accessed, but still play a major role in building the Russian economy. The RTS T+O Market is dedicated to securities trading for retail investors. The RTS Board product line provides quotes for all companies not listed on the main RTS system and acts as a catch-all for any stock wishing to be represented on the Russian market. FORTS is a trading product line dedicated strictly to Russian interests, representing various companies, bonds, and industries like oil, metal, and sugar.