After years of earning easy money through its energy revenue streams, Russia now finds itself strapped for cash. That’s why the government will now begin to open its borders to foreign investments and an influx of cash that could benefit Russia’s exchange traded funds (ETFs).
Russia, for the first time in more than a decade, will turn to international banks and pension funds in the United States and Europe to help finance nearly every government-funded program, reports Andrew E. Kramer for The New York Times. The government will also be selling partial shares of government-owned companies on the market. [Russia ETFs May Head Into a Holding Pattern.]
The Russian government will also issue $50 billion in ruble-denominated bonds and privatize $10 billion in state assets every year for at least the next four years.
Russian Central Bank Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev recently stated that it will be hard for Russia to meet the admittedly ambitious 6% to 7% inflation projection for 2011, according to Bernama. Ulyukayev also commented that the official inflation forecast is still the same as it was back in October.
Despite the economy’s struggles in recent years, the three ETFs that focus on Russia – Market Vectors TR Russia (NYSEArca: RSX), iShares MSCI Russia (NYSEArca: ERUS) and SPDR S&P Russia (NYSEArca: RBL) – have held up impressively well, even outperforming other BRIC countries in the last month.
On Monday, a suicide-bomb blast in an international arrival hall at Russia’s busiest airport killed at least 35, report Richard Boudreaux and Gregory L. White for The Wall Street Journal. The attack was seen as a response to the government’s repressive measures and poor economic conditions, though the impact on Russia’s ETFs never materialized.
For more information on Russia, visit our Russia category.
Max Chen 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.