Legislation on financial market is to improve

The government has approved measures for perfecting the legislation in the sphere of the activity of the Russian financial market, said Minister of Economic Development and Trade Gherman Gref at the end of the Cabinet's session.

"The government has approved a list of measures which will be integrated into the plan of the government's legislative work for 2004. The greater part of this work will be completed next year when a substantial improvement can be expected on the financial market," said Gref.

The primary measure, according to the minister, is to considerably lower the expenses of the financial institutions, caused by "non-optimum taxes and high administrative expenses." "These expenses should be lowered by 2 - 2.5 times to become closer to the conditions created for foreign financial institutions. Only under such conditions will the Russian financial market be able to become competitive when Russia join the WTO," said Gref.

He underscored the necessity of "universalising market regulation" and of increasing the number of financial instruments and issuers. Their small number, said Gref, leads to fluctuations on the market.

According to the minister, the number of so-called "unorganised investors" - natural persons - is also small. "If we exclude the privatisation sector, their number amounts to only 15,000 - 17,000," explained Gherman Gref. The minister cited the United States as an example of the high level of the participation of natural persons in investments. The incomes from investing on the financial market in the USA account for twenty percent of the citizens' incomes.

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