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Neptune and Templeton still bullish on Russia

Neptune Investment Management and Templeton remain upbeat on investment in Russia despite the Georgia conflict while Aberdeen Asset Management says the military confrontation justifies its underweight position.

Neptune says the climate may create a challenging backdrop for Russian equities but it remains optimistic about long-term investment. Head of European equities Rob Burnett says: “We expect continuing volatility from swings in sentiment that are dislocated from the real impact of events but our outlook for the remainder of 2008 is very positive.”

Templeton’s emerging markets investment trust fund manager Mark Mobius says: “We have a positive medium and long-term outlook for Russia. The country has great natural resources, they are moving towards a diversification of their economic base and there is a great deal of investment which is taking place.”

Aberdeen Asset Management head of global emerging market equities Devan Kaloo says: “We have been significantly underweight in Russia for some years, largely due to concerns over corporate governance, financial disclosure and treatment of minorities.”

Hargreaves Lansdown investment manager Ben Yearsley says: “Russia is undoubtedly cheap and is trading on the same valuations as it was five years ago but the country is far more economically stable now. The consumer is not indebted so there are lots of things going for the Russian consumer and the economy.”

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