EUROPE - Russia is a good investment bet regardless of the political rumblings causing instability in its lucrative extractives sector, Credit Suisse Asset Management claims.
CSAM European Frontiers Fund portfolio manager Neil Gregson said “chaos” in Russia’s oil sector was the by-product of friction between president Vladimir Putin and two of the country’s most powerful men – the chief executive of oil giant Yukos, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and the chairman of Menatep Group, Platon Lebedev.
Gregson said: “The current turmoil is certainly much greater than what might have been expected and involves some of the most powerful people in the country.”
The instability has led to major implications for Yukos, including a dramatic fall in the company’s share price of 18% in July, with the local equity market only falling 10%.
Despite these ongoing problems, Russia has yet again been one of the strongest performing emerging markets in 2003.
Gregson explained: “At the end of the first half, the local stock exchange – Russian Trading System – had climbed over 40% in US dollar terms. In June alone, the market rose nearly 8%.”
And Gregson is confident the Russian market will continue to represent solid investment opportunities.
“Privatisation will not be revisited, property rights will remain intact and Russia will continue to be a country with superior macroeconomics – a highly skilled workforce, improving domestic liquidity and undervalued companies,” he said.
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