January 10th, 2012

Is there ever a good time to invest in Russia?

Fiona Rintoul ponders aloud in the Financial Times about whether now is the time for fund managers to look more seriously at investing in Russia. Her article gives a qualified maybe, with a whole host of negative factors to consider:

The political situation is uncertain, and the Russian stock market has been in helter-skelter mode lately. Moreover, the local fund industry is littered with the corpses of fund managers who came, saw and failed to conquer; companies such as Pioneer, Templeton, Crédit Suisse and Deutsche Bank have all at one time or another withdrawn with their tails between their legs.

Vladimir Kirillov

The last time Russia looked ripe for investment was 2007, right before the financial crisis hit. Many more pre-crisis ventures failed than succeeded. Wealthy Russians retreated to funds based in Zürich or London, and the regulatory framework since has remained an obstacle for international investors.

Vladimir Kirillov, chief executive of TKB BNP Paribas Investment Partners, has a warning to those looking to get in:

The Russian fund industry is interesting for international companies but only those that are ready to develop this business in the long term. We don’t advise companies to come in and catch up.

Read the full article here.

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