Russian Financial Market Factors and Perspectives

Olga Ogorodnikova
CIO Director
Promsvyaz Asset Management

First of all, overall expectations from the domestic market are generally positive. The economy is recovering little by little and, from the macroeconomic point of view, looks advantageous compared with many developing and developed countries. This,together with liquidity surpluses onthe international markets, suggests expected growth of the domestic marketof 30 percent to 40 percent, returning to end-2009 levels by theendof the year, that is, about 1880to 2020 pointson the RTS index and 1780to1920 points on the MICEX index.

The Russian stock market may be significantly affected by the behavior of the dollar against the ruble and the basket of leading world currencies, the change of prices of energy carriers and industrial metals, as well as the dynamics of world stock markets. An important role will also be played by investors’ desire to avoid risks, and the continuing uncertainty over the development of events in the European Union. In addition, incoming data of macroeconomic statistics, corporate events and the results of financing activities being published by companies following the results of the concluded financial period will also continue to have a significant impact on the Russian stock market.

We consider that the securities of “deep” echelons may be underestimated. Special attention could be givento power sector companies whosepotential, however, will be obvious onlyafter a certain adjustment. At the sametime, while dealing with securitiesfrom this kind of issuer, it is alwaysnecessary to take into consideration the limited liquidity of the securities.

In the present circumstances, active speculative operations in key chips look preferable, the most reasonable choices being securities of Gazprom, Rosneft, Norilsk Nickel and Sberbank, and to a lesser extent those of Uralsvyazinform, RusHydro and Inter RAO.

As regards the bond market, the aggressive reduction of yields observed in the first half of this year has stopped forthe time being. Currently the situationis uncertain, and further development will depend on the news from Europe. The success or failure of the measures to be taken by the EuropeanCentral Bank and the financial authorities of Europe in respect to Greece and other members of the so-called PIGS group — Portugal, Italy and Spain — will determine the situation on emerging markets as well. We can already see the flight of investors in quality, the fall in yields of Germany’s bonds to record-breaking lows, and the simultaneous growth of yields of securities of the PIGS group countries and of emerging markets.