When Doing 'Biznes,' Just 'Khedzh' Your Bets

The treider wanted to make a bid. So he did it the simple way.

Ya biduyu, he said, laughing at his own creative Russification of an English verb.

As with timeworn terms like marKETing and biznes, there are certain concepts in the rapidly developing financial markets that don't have equivalents in Russian. These days, when you're wondering how to investirovat' your kapital, sometimes you have to make up the words just to figure out where your money should go.

What's your investitsionnaya strategiya (investment strategy)? Do you want to move in with the big players, the institutsionalniye investory (institutional investors)? Are you ready to take some risk? Should you khedzh (hedge)? After all, right now this is not exactly a rynok bykov (bull market).

You can see how the Russian language is pressing to keep apace with the burgeoning rynok tsennykh bumag (securities market). A little over a year ago, people were still talking about vouchers and getting aktsii (shares). Now it's takeovers (pogasheniya) and leveraged buyouts (vykup s ispolzovaniem zayomnykh sredstv, or, if you really get in trouble, leverazhd baiout).

Although the concepts can be complicated, fortunately the terms themselves are not. And even more fortuitously, there is a dictionary to guide you. Moscow's Shareholders' Rights Committee, admirably dedicated to the little shareholder (auktsioner), has put out a dictionary to help even the most casual moneymaker keep up. They even translate "sweat equity" (vystradanny kapital) for the otherwise ignorant masses.

Say you are an investor yearning to drop your cash into the fondovy rynok (stock market). Most important to you is diversifikatsiya (diversification) and likvidnost (liquidity). In this market it is all too easy to become a visyak, a "treider" stuck in a pozitsiya that no one wants.

To make sure you're getting adequate return on your equity (dokhodnost kapitala), you have to check the company you're investing in. What are its aktivy and passivy (assets and liabilities)? Is the direktor a kapitalist, or a candidate for the golden handshake (zolotoye rukopozhatiye)? You can determine all of this at any shareholders' meeting (sobraniye auktsionerov).

Your real concern in investing here, though, is the market's lack of infrastruktura (infrastructure). Without custodial services (kustodian or khranitel), without kliring (clearing) and pashchety (settlement) of shares, without depozitarii (depositories) and proper registration (registratsiya), many of those institutionalniye investory are left outside the gate. They have to wait until these things come to pass.

But that will all come. And if it doesn't, the dictionary has a term for that too: dokhlyatina (belly up).