A noted Goldman Sachs economist who originated the term BRICs to group the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China says that Russia has replaced Brazil as the quartet’s best investment.

Russia now takes the top spot for several reasons, O’Neill said, writes Cullin Roche at Pragmatic Capitalism.

The absence of growth within the G7 countries is driving the allure of BRIC economies, especially as the fiscal challenges that face developed nations are long term. [More Pain Ahead for the Ruble ETF?]

“I mean, I loved Brazil for many years, but nothing ever goes in a straight line. I worry about the real [currency]— it’s far too strong. Very controversially, of the four, I would actually pick Russia right now. I think its got a lot of value and at the margin, they are doing one or two things in a better direction,” O’Neill told Bloomberg. [Checking in on the BRIC ETFs.]

O’Neill is chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

Emerging economies are growing more attractive to investors with the U.S. and European developed nations still reeling after the financial crisis. [Russia ETF Rallies, Crosses $4 billion Mark.]