Goldman Sachs' favorite emerging-market bet for 2010


The growth stories in the BRIC countries appear in sharp contrast to the view in developed markets, which are struggling to stabilize and reignite wide swaths of their economies; leading indices in Brazil, Russia, India, and China have all handily outperformed the S&P 500 ($SPX) in 2009. But only one country was singled out by Goldman Sachs (GS) macroeconomic and commodity analysts in a note to clients highlighting the group's "Top Trades for 2010" -- and that is the low organic growth, commodity-driven economy of Russia.

Citing a "still bullish long-term view on energy and the broader commodity complex," Goldman is targeting a 25% return from a U.S. dollar-denominated index known as the Russian Depository Index (RDX), of which three stocks -- Gazprom (OGZPY), Lukoil (LUKOY) and the oil company Rosneft -- comprise more than 50% of the weighting. In addition to oil and natural gas, the index also has companies exposed to steel, gold and nickel. Goldman estimates that oil prices will average $90 per barrel in 2010, which will allow a quick and healthy rebound in profits for Russian energy companies, leading to the stocks trading at a mere seven times forward earnings.