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.