Ownership structure, an important feature of corporate governance, acts as a determinant of the opacity of firms. This study penetrates the “black box” of the ownership structures of Russian corporations, identifies their salient features, and examines the effects of those features on the information environment (stock price synchronicity) of the corporations. Examining a sample of companies listed on the Moscow Exchange, we find that stock price synchronicity is: (1) positively associated with divergence between control and cash-flow rights of the ultimate owner; (2) negatively associated with the ownership concentration of the ultimate owner; (3) negatively associated with companies controlled indirectly by the state through holding corporations with the presence of oligarchs; and (4) negatively associated with firms with transparent oligarchs. Analyzing the economic impact of the results, we find the presence of non-transparent oligarchs and foreign-offshore holdings has the most adverse effect on stock price synchronicity.

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