What Putin’s Victory Means for Russian ETFs

March 6th at 11:01am by Tom Lydon

Exchange traded funds that follow Russia are pulling back from their highest levels since August. Investors are trying to figure out what Vladimir Putin’s controversial victory in the presidential election means for Russian ETFs.

Putin won his third presidential term after holding the post of prime minister.

The Russian stock market and ETFs are highly sensitive to oil prices, which are up about 11% to date, reports Trang Ho for Investor’s Business Daily. The Russian market is so correlated with oil prices that many investors use Russian ETFs as a proxy for oil. [Russian ETFs Glide Higher with Oil, Commodities]

For the first time in half a year, Russian ETFs recently moved above their 200 day-moving-averages. SPDR S&P Russia (NYSEArca: RBL) and Market Vectors Russia (NYSEArca: RSX) have gained over 20% this year.

Analysts say that the latest rally indicates Putin was expected to win the latest election, however, promises of reform will be expected to be carried out. [ETF Chart of the Day: Russia]

Meanwhile, a weaker U.S. dollar has given the Russian ruble more power. The U.S. dollar is down 8.2% against the ruble in 2012.

Some market watchers are criticizing that the Russian stock rally could be a “reversion to mean” phenomenon, where sold-off shares and ETFs rebound as bargain hunters look for investments at discounts, reports Ho.

The Russia ETFs are “trading at cheap multiples so that may have brought out the bargain seekers, ” Michael Krause, president of AltaVista Research, said. “(They) are forecast to see declines in earnings per share this year in the single digits due to their reliance on energy.” [Best Emerging Market ETFs]

The iShares MSCI Russia (NYSEArca: ERUS) is another ETF tracking the market. Russ Koesterich, iShares global chief investment strategist, in a blog post argues investors should overweight Russia after Putin’s win.

Market Vectors Russia


Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.