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Tsar performers

I believe that the Russian stockmarket is unbelievably cheap, especially outside the oil, energy and commodity sectors. The market overreacted to the Georgia crisis and has now priced in a worse scenario than the financial crisis of 1998.

Russia has no debt, a strong budget surplus and a big trade surplus. It is also experiencing strong domestic demand for consumer goods from the expanding middle class and this makes up a big part of the current economic growth in Russia.

There are some much undervalued shares in growth sectors such as telecoms, food manufacturing and retailing.

Despite the worldwide economic gloom, Russia has a growth rate of 8 per cent and because there is no mountain of debt in the Russian financial system, there is huge scope for developing consumer finance.

Growth over the next two years is not likely in any of the Western economies but Russia, China, India and Brazil do look likely to grow.

My preference is for the Russian, Chinese and Brazilian stockmarkets to perform best over the next two years rather than the Indian market which is more expensive.

The funds I like best are Neptune Russia and Greater Russia and Jupiter emerging European opportunities. The Neptune fund invests in a variety of sectors with the biggest holdings of about 30 per cent in industrial materials, 17 per cent in energy, 15 per cent in consumer goods, 12 per cent in telecoms and 11 per cent in utilities, with the rest widely spread.

The Jupiter fund has bigger holdings in energy shares, which account for 34 per cent of the fund, around 24 per cent in financial services and 22 per cent in industrial materials, with a further 9 per cent in telecoms and the rest widely spread.


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