As promised by Russian officials back in February 2009, the Russian government recently introduced two pieces of legislation designed to strengthen Russia’s financial markets by prohibiting insider information for the first time.
Crisis Crunch reports that on April 17, the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament, adopted the draft bill “On Counteracting the Abuse of Insider Information and Market Manipulation” with 316 votes in favor (more than two-thirds of the 450 member Duma). If this bill is passed by both chambers and is signed, it would become the first law that addresses the issue of insider information in Russia.
In addition, on March 4, the Russian Government also introduced into the Duma amendments to the Criminal Code that establish a maximum sentence of seven years in prison for the abuse of insider information. Crisis Crunch reports that the first reading of these amendments is scheduled for May 2009.
In February, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (pictured) ordered a crackdown on insider trading in Russia’s ailing stock markets. He stated then that traders guilty of insider trading would face “real and unavoidable” punishment including prison terms.