Moscow Exchange names new CEO to oversee growth plans

FILE PHOTO: The letters MOEX are pictured at the Moscow Exchange in Moscow, Russia, May 26, 2017. REUTERS/Segrei Karpukhin/File Photo

MOSCOW/GDYNIA (Reuters) - The Moscow Exchange's board has proposed Yury Denisov as the new Chief Executive Officer to oversee the exchange's latest growth plans, replacing Alexander Afanasiev who will step down next month, the stock exchange group said on Tuesday

Denisov was previously the Moscow Exchange's deputy CEO and was a member of its supervisory board. Prior to that, he was the head of treasury at Russia's second biggest bank VTB Bank.

Denisov, who is yet to be formally approved by the central bank, will be in charge of implementing the exchange's new strategy which has yet to be unveiled.

Afanasiev, who headed the Moscow Exchange for seven years, has delivered on all of the goals set out in the exchange's current strategy ahead of schedule, the MOEX exchange said in a statement. He will step down on May 15.

The board chairman Oleg Vyugin told Reuters that a management reshuffle was discussed in 2018 but the board agreed to extend Afanasiev's contract until the goals of the MOEX current five-year strategy were achieved.

A person close to the company who asked not to be named said Afanasiev's resignation was a planned move, which had been considered by the board a year ago.

Denisov will oversee the implementation of a new strategy that the exchange will present in the next few months.

The exchange said the new strategy aims to grow shareholder value and is designed to create "qualitatively and technologically new infrastructure services" for the Russian financial market.

VTB Capital analysts said they did not expect a revolution in the exchange's strategy, as the departing and the new CEO were deeply involved in its preparation. "We expect continuity," they said in a note.

The central bank is the largest shareholder of the Moscow Exchange with an 11.8 percent stake, followed by the country's largest lender Sberbank with a 10.0 percent stake.

(Reporting by Elena Fabrichnaya in MOSCOW; writing by Anna Pruchnicka; editing by Andrey Ostroukh and Jane Merriman)