Business & Finance

Bargain Hunting in Emergng Market Oil Stocks

12 December 2014
Emerging market oil shares have fallen hardest during the recent price collapse. Some could bounce back fast when crude recovers



Dec. 13, 2014

It’s a decent bet that the price of oil will rebound sooner or later from its current five-year low, and oil company stocks with it. Emerging-market petro-shares have been beaten down hardest over the past five months of crude free fall, and might be expected to bounce back accordingly — some of them anyway.

Emerging-market oil probably conjures visions of Russia and its sanctions-afflicted state behemoths Gazprom and Rosneft. But the developing world is full of big, liquid oil names, from China to Brazil. Their shares have been more volatile than those of U.S. or European peers. ExxonMobil (ticker: XOM) has lost 10% of its value since crude oil began its swoon on Sept. 1. Petrochina (PTR), China’s biggest energy company, has shed 30%.

Why Polish Stocks Can't Win

07 November 2014
Poland is an easy country to like, a hard one to make money in.


   (FROM BARRON'S 11/10/14)


Poland is an easy country for investors to like. The most populous by far of the ex-Soviet satellites, it has admirably anchored Eastern Europe's smooth transition to freedom and relative prosperity. Poland's gross domestic product has grown sixfold since 1990. Sticking to balanced budgets and conservative consumer lending, it was the only state in the European Union to avoid recession after 2008. Following a lackluster 2012-2013, growth is accelerating again to near 3% this year, positively tigerish by European standards. "Poles work hard, save a lot, and move forward cautiously but steadily," summarizes Timothy Ash, head of emerging market research at Standard Bank in London.

Luck and Courage Move India Forward

03 November 2014
Stocks are expensive, but India is still the most interesting emerging market
Modi points the way forward?

(FROM BARRON'S 11/3/14)

   By Craig Mellow


A combination of good luck and courage has rekindled economists’ optimism about India just as the halo surrounding Narendra Modi, its new, purportedly pro-business prime minister, is beginning to fade. Good luck has come in the form of diving oil prices, which are easing the import burden that placed India on Morgan Stanley’s “fragile five” list of particularly troubled emerging markets last year. The courage is Modi’s. He took advantage of the price cut to eliminate diesel-fuel subsidies and raise regulated natural-gas prices by a third, saving India’s beleaguered budget close to 1% of gross domestic product and untangling a major market distortion.

Putin Plays the China Card

30 September 2014
Putin wants to turn his gas pipelines Eastward, but breaking up with Europe will be hard to do.
Putin Wants to Pivot to Asia Too


OCTOBER 01, 2014

By Craig Mellow

On September 1, with Russian troops advancing alongside separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine and the European Union promising one more round of economic sanctions against the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin took a day trip from Moscow to the wastes of Yakutia, in northeastern Siberia. The Russian president went there to celebrate the formal start of construction on the Power of Siberia natural-gas pipeline. This was no standard ribbon-cutting ceremony, though. For Putin the pipeline is an economic masterstroke that will render his country immune to what he calls blackmail by the West.

Russia's Yandex: Good Company in a Bad Neighborhood

13 September 2014
Yandex, the Russian Google, cannot escape geopolitics
Yandex Resident Genius Arkady Volozh


SEPTEMBER 12, 2014

What happens when a good company gets stuck in a bad — or at least decidedly out-of-favor — country? To judge by the performance of Yandex, Russia’s dominant Internet player, the country environment trumps.

High Frequency Trading Gets MIxed Reception from Emerging Markets

08 June 2014
Michael Lewis may have given high-frequency trading a bad name, but not in Moscow or Sao Paolo.
Moscow Exchange's Roman Sulzhyk Welcomes HFT


Journalist Michael Lewis’s polemic against high frequency trading, Flash Boys, has spurredheightened scrutiny of the practice and debate about increased regulation across the financial world, but not everywhere. Some emerging markets are still keen on expanding HFT as a key to increasing trading volume and innovation, and nothing that Lewis found out has fazed them.

Battling For Ukraine with Capital, Not Combat

23 April 2014
Russia arms rebels in Ukraine, the West fights back with sanctions. Experiments in a new kind of warfare.
Illustration by John Ritter


APRIL 28, 2014

President Vladimir Putin seized Crimea with forces loyal to him barely firing a shot in the process. He also faces little armed resistance in eastern Ukraine, at least so far, as he seeks to foment instability in the region, possibly as a pretext for carving off more of his southern neighbor. Yet the Russian president does confront opposition of an unconventional and asymmetrical kind. The battle for Ukraine marks a new frontier in international conflict, one in which capital flows ­— not tanks or planes — are the West’s strongest weapon.

Sanctions Hit the Target on Putin's Bank

02 April 2014
Washington's Sanctions on Bank Rossiya Hit Putin's Inner Circle

Instiitutional Investor

APRIL 03, 2014

Obama’s Warning Shot: Sanctions Against Putin-Connected Bank

Since Russia’s March takeover of Crimea, critics have accused Obama and other Western leaders of ineffectual policy. But the sanctions hit a bull’s-eye.



Ukraine: Breadbasket Again?

19 March 2014
Ukraine's Agricultural Entrepreneurs Fight Red Tape, and War
Ukraine Farmers Struggle

Reaping Ukraine’s Agricultural Bounty Will Be Tough

Farming exports could offer some hope amid Ukraine’s troubles with Russia, but red tape and lack of foreign capital present obstacles. Avangardco's Oleg Bakhmatyuk believes deep foreign pockets are the answer.

Russian Tech Industry Provides and Oasis

23 February 2014
Young Russian tech companies offer something to get excited about in a stagnant economy. CEO Maelle Gavet, Illustration by Alexander Agius


FEB. 27, 2014


Investors see little reason to get excited about most Russian stocks these days. The dollar-denominated Russian Trading System index has fallen 14 percent over the past year, more than the 9 percent decline in emerging markets generally. The country’s economic growth slowed to 1.3 percent annually in 2013, according to the World Bank, down from 3.4 percent in 2012. Russia’s own Ministry of Economic Development slashed long-term growth projections last November, to an average 2.5 percent a year between now and 2030.