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Russian capitalism turns off equity investors

Nov 08 2012, 21:38 IST
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Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Reuters) Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Reuters)
SummaryTrade volumes slide after Vladimir Putin's return as Russia under performs other emerging markets.

- account for half of those volumes.

Rosneft's announcement last month of its $55 billion takeover of TNK-BP boosted its own stock, but minority shareholders in the Anglo-Russian oil venture's listed unit could lose out on the deal, adding to reasons why fund managers feel buying stocks in Russia offers poor value.

Minorities always get the short end of the stick, said Dashevsky. The Russian government and the majority owners of Russian companies have worked so hard to deliver the message that portfolio investors are really secondary to the business.

However, for those willing to hunt for individual bargains, there are still growth stories to buy into where politics pose less of a threat. Ivanova-Venturini, for example, picks food retailer Magnit, online groups Mail.Ru and Yandex and freight operator Globaltrans.

A bullish view on certain stocks does not translate into a positive read-across for the overall market, however: Investors in general are cynical about the Russian market: they do not believe that Russia is changing, she said. The common perception out there is: Russia is cheap, but so what?

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