International investor Jim Rogers is betting that Russia’s agriculture renaissance will yield a bumper financial crop.
Rogers has purchased at least three stakes in the superpower: airliner Aeroflot (AFLT), the publicly traded Moscow Exchange (MOEX) and the country’s top fertilizer producer, PhosAgro (PHOR), where he joined the board of directors, Forbes reports.
Rogers, who commonly predicts doom for major markets, is the former partner of George Soros at his legendary Quantum Fund.
The investing activity of Rogers draws notice for his past record, Forbes explained. In the first 10 years of the Quantum Fund, the portfolio returned 4,200 percent, while the S&P 500 increased nearly 50 percent.
Rogers now invests through his company, Rogers Holdings.
“PhosAgro is an excellent company that offers investors excellent value due to the high-quality fertilizers it produces, its vertical integration and low production costs,” said Rogers, who joined PhosAgros’ board in late 2014,
“I have watched the company successfully develop as a global player over the last few years, with flexible sales and production models that have helped it reach new markets, while investments in its Russian production assets have enabled PhosAgro to expand and improve its product portfolio,” said Rogers, chairman of Beeland Interests Inc. and manager of the Rogers International Commodities Index
“While Russian stocks have been under pressure through most of 2014, I think that PhosAgro’s share performance, which is among the best for Russian companies in 2014, shows that investors understand the company has world-class assets and holds significant potential for sustainable growth,” Rogers said.
Rogers’ "move to join the board came as Russia implemented a ban on imports of agricultural products from the EU, which forced domestic producers to increase their output. Effects were seen in 2016, when food imports decreased by 6 percent, while exports increased by 5 percent," Forbes explained.
Meanwhile, Rogers, who predicted the start of the commodities rally in 1999, said the recent slide in crude oil is a “correction” before prices resume their march toward $100 a barrel.
Oil rose towards $56 a barrel on Monday, supported by another shutdown at Libya's largest oilfield and heightened tension over Syria following the U.S. missile strike.
Libya's Sharara oilfield was shut on Sunday after a group blocked a pipeline linking it to an oil terminal, a Libyan oil source said. The field had only just returned to production, after a week-long stoppage ending in early April.
"It means that at least one potential source of additional supply has fallen away for the time being," said Carsten Fritsch of Commerzbank, referring to the Libyan outage.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 68 cents to $55.92 at 1209 GMT, not far from the one-month high of $56.08 reached on Friday. U.S. crude was up 63 cents at $52.87.
Oil also climbed on heightened tension in the Middle East, a region that is home to more than a quarter of the world's oil output, Reuters reported. Crude rallied last week after the United States fired missiles at a Syrian government air base.
In addition to Russia, Rogers recently told Reuters that he would also like to invest in North Korea but couldn’t because of his U.S. citizenship.
But he gave the following advice: “Do not take my advice. Do not take anybody’s advice. My advice if you’re going to be a successful investor, invest only in what you yourself know a huge amount about.”
(Newsmax wires services contributed to this report).
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