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Cheap Russian Stocks ‘Wise’ Investment, Finland’s Pohjola Says

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Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Russian and Asian equities are set to outperform next year as the global economic rebound seen this year continues, according to Pohjola Bank Oyj, the Finnish lender that provides a third of the country’s loans.

“We really like equities, especially Russia, which should see at least double-digit gains, led by domestic growth in the banks, construction and retail industries,” Ari Makinen, head of tactical asset allocation at Pohjola Asset Management, which oversees $46 billion in assets, said in a phone interview from Helsinki yesterday. “The valuation is too low in many of these companies. It should be a wise investment.”

Russia’s Micex Index has gained 21 percent so far this year, compared with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index’s 13 percent gain. The Micex has an expected price-to-earnings ratio of 8.25, while the MSCI EM has a 13.24 ratio.

Stocks in fast-growing Asian economies should also gain as they are “under-invested,” Makinen said.

“We like stocks that have exposure to global growth and don’t like fixed income, especially U.S. and European bonds,” he said.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Ewing in Stockholm at aewing5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Merritt at dmerritt1@bloomberg.net.

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