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Goldman Bullish on Russian Stocks

Goldman Sachs has published a new report today revising their growth estimates for Russia’s RTS stock market, increasing its 12-month target for the index by 12% to 2,750, implying a 20% potential upside. Huge. Simply put, the report declares that “Russia is currently one of the best global investment opportunities” and that stocks in the oil and gas and consumer sectors are strongly recommended. It’s one hell of an endorsement, and could make Dmitry Medvedev’s first year as president quite comfortable. But not everybody buys into the GS hype (just read the comment thread below the article), and it does not appear they give sufficient weight to the risk posed by deficient rule of law, an extremely problematic oil sector (production has fallen four months in a row), and Gazprom’s severe under-investment in developing new fields, driving them to strike deals as far away as Libya, Nigeria, and Bolivia. We get it, we get it, it’s the ruble play – but these extraordinary inflationary pressures are already causing protests over rising prices and could damage the outlook for consumer stocks recommended by Goldman.