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Tim Seymour is a founder of and a hedge fund manager with over 13 years of investment experience in global and emerging markets. I'm a Fast Money trader, appearing nightly on CNBC, the host of CNBC’s Trading the Globe and the Emerging Markets contributor for the network. With... More
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  • Overweight Russia in 2011!
     By any valuation measure, Russia is cheap right now and have been for the last six months. As a result, Moscow could be overdue a substantial overweight bid next year.

    By my estimates, the Russian market is currently valued at 6.5 times next year’s earnings, which reveals that the “Putin put” is alive and well despite improved government relations with the West.

    Medvedev has signaled his desire to work more closely with the G8 and the WTO to spearhead massive development projects, including a high-tech corridor near Moscow. Even Putin has softened lately.

    Watch for new deals ahead as the second big wave of Russian privatization gets underway. According to the latest from the economic development and finance ministries, in the next two years we should see a lot more huge state enterprises work their way to the equity markets.

    Macro data have also been supportive. While the ruble has been one of the worst-performing commodity currencies this year (down 3.2% versus the dollar), it is largely due to the central bank’s decision to let the currency float.

    Ultimately this will be a positive for this commodity-driven economy by letting central bankers focus on fighting inflation — the persistent curse of any resource exporter — instead of simply managing exchange rates.

    Expect much greater flows into both the Russian equity market and the ruble next year. That will be transformative — and bullish — for RSX (quote) and RBL (quote) as well as the battered ruble fund XRU(quote) :

    Disclosure: No positions
    Sep 29 11:52 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Vodka may lift CEDC outlook
    Russian vodka manufacturer Synergy is seeing solid improvement in its business. That should translate into positive developments afoot for U.S.-traded CEDC as well.

    CEDC (quote) distributes vodka and other spirits in Russia, Poland and other markets. The stock has been battered recently due to the summer heat wave (which favored beer makers) and rising agricultural input costs.

    However, Synergy saw its own profits surge 56% in the first half of 2010. Considering that sales “only” jumped 14%, that represents a substantial improvement in efficiency as well as top-line demand for its product.

    The better the Russian vodka market does, the better CEDC should perform.

    Disclosure: No positions
    Sep 29 11:50 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Vimpelcom has been left for dead

    If the chart is any guide, investors have practically given up on Vimpelcom amid ongoing confusion and mystery regarding its proposed plans to acquire Egypt’s Orascom Telecom and Italy’s WIND.

    VIP (quote) is still a world-class cell network.

    If anything, the latest subscriber numbers show that it is narrowing the gap between it and arch-rival Mobile Telesys (MBTquote).

    In August, VIP added nearly a million users in the Russia-centered region, boosting its subscriber base 1.2% while MBT gained under 400,000 new accounts.

    But in the meantime, this stock will probably rally the minute we get any clarification of what exactly VIP wants with Orascom and WIND and how the company plans to pay for the merger.

    Turnover has dropped off and this could be a major opportunity . . . although not worth putting major capital to work.

    Disclosure: No positions
    Sep 29 11:47 PM | Link | Comment!
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