Apple Inc. A Worse Investment Than Russia: Expert

Apple Inc. A Worse Investment Than Russia: Expert
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Apple is apparently less enticing to one expert than Russia’s MICEX Index due to the two investments’ valuations. Russian stocks have been highly volatile as the ruble struggles amid continuing problems between Russia and Ukraine.

Russian stocks struggle

Bloomberg reports that Russian stocks have now seen their biggest annual loss since 2008. The weakening ruble, Western sanctions and falling oil prices have been taking their toll on the nation’s economy. As a result, bearish bets on Russian equities are growing.

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The Russian ruble has tumbled 45% this year, including last week’s decline when Russia saw its worst day so far in its current financial crisis, which has so far lasted nine months. The MICEX currently has an average multiple of 5.1 this year, compared to the 10-year average of 8.2, reports Bloomberg.

The Russian Market Volatility Index hit a record high on Dec. 18. The Moscow Index has slipped nearly 4% year to day since Russia annexed Crimea in March and the West began instituting sanctions against Russia. According to CNBC, things could have been even worse for the index because if the ruble had not weakened along with oil prices.

The RTS Index is based on U.S. dollars rather than the ruble, and so far this year, it has declined more than 48%.

Why Apple is worse than Russia

MBMG Group managing partner Paul Gambles told CNBC this morning that he would rather invest in Russian equities than in Apple, a favorite stock on Wall Street. He said it’s all about valuations, as the MICEX Index looks cheap compared to Apple, according to Gambles.

“To me, at those sorts of prices, it’s starting to look like there’s a –speculative admittedly—high risk opportunity,” Gambles said. “There’s a play on Russia just because of the pricing.”

Last month, Bloomberg reported that an investor who owned all of Apple would be able to buy all of Russia’s stock market if they sold it and still have enough cash to purchase an iPhone 6 Plus for every Russian.

Gambles also said he doesn’t believe Russian stocks will remain at their current levels forever. He sees the possibility for “some sort of rebound.

“I’m not saying it’s a buy and hold,” he told CNBC. “But I think get in, try it.”

Legal & General Investment Management strategist Brian Coulton echoed Gambles’ view on Russia. He expects the nation’s economy to see more pain for now but believes next year could be better, as Western sanction expire.

Apple worth more than the MICEX

Apple’s market capitalization is at around $566.6 billion, compared to the MICEX’s market cap of around $350.4 billion. Shares of Apple have rallied this year, climbing 40% as the company releases new products like the Apple Watch.

Apple’s price to earnings ratio is 17.38, according data compiled by Reuters. That compares to the MICEX’s 5.97 price to earnings ratio. Many analysts see lower numbers as offering better investments.

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