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21 Jan, 2008 06:01

Second-tier stocks safe from market instability

With the Russian markets recovering from their worst week in some time, attention has focused on blue chips which have nearly all experienced significant falls. But some of the second-tier stocks have faired a lot better.

More investors have been taking a look at Russia's second-tier, and they have held up well as the big names have tumbled.

“One of the reasons you’ll find Russian second tiers holding their own at the moment, in times of global financial markets weakness is that many international investors tend to get rid of their riskier assets first of all. For many of them that would include emerging markets equities among which, of course are Russian equities. As a result, you’re seeing many of the blue chips going down in price quite quickly,” Dominic Hewing, International Sales, IFG Metropol, Moscow, said.

Included in the ranks the second tiers are a range of construction companies, agricultural holdings, and numerous small cap resources stocks.

A large part of the reason they are holding up well is that they are almost unknown to international investors and they haven’t risen as high during the stock market boom of recent years.

“Most buyers of Russian second tiers tend to be Russian investors themselves, who for various reasons are more familiar with the companies and the ideas in each particular sector,” Dominic Hewing said.

Another upside for nearly all second-tier stocks is their domestic focus. With the Global economy slowing, they're an easy way for investors to buy into Russia's strong economic growth, and the Russian governments focus on building national infrastructure.