Jim Rogers Joins EM: Focus on Russia, Asia
By Daily Bell Staff - November 19, 2015

Legendary investor Jim Rogers joins EM's Global Advisory Board … Iconic founder of the Quantum Fund to advise leading emerging markets focused financial and corporate communications agency. EM, the leading emerging markets focused financial PR and IR consultancy, is delighted to announce that world-renowned investor Jim Rogers has agreed to join its Global Advisory Board … Tom Blackwell, CEO of EM, said: "We are thrilled that Jim Rogers has agreed to join our Board. He is one of the all-time greats in the international investment world, and we share his long-term optimism for the development of our core markets of Russia and China. – Globe Newswire

Dominant Social Theme: Russia? China? Not good investments at this point. They've had their day in the sun.

Free-Market Analysis: This release excerpted above is interesting because it affirms Jim Rogers's abiding interest in Russia and China. While Rogers has made better and worse calls like any other "guru," his instinct about China so many years ago has proven correct, at least to the present, and for the first decade of the 2000s he proved correct about gold and silver as well.

Jim Rogers's interest in Russia is more recent and we wonder if this will prove out the way China did. He has already claimed to have investments in Russia, and we wrote about them here. We thought his enthusiasm for Russia might have been damped by the recent Syrian military action, as Russia is now engaged in a boots-on-the-ground war in that country. Apparently not.

In the news release Jim Rogers says the following: "I'm very optimistic about the growth potential in both Russia and China. Things are changing in these countries and many exciting opportunities are opening up for investors. I will be pleased to share my knowledge and experience with EM as they continue to grow their business in Russia, China and other interesting emerging markets."

It's not easy to find recent news articles on Russia that don't feature its military confrontation with ISIS or Ukraine, but we identified one from Tass – likely a biased source but nonetheless an article with what may be some pertinent points regarding Russia's economic outlook. Here's how it begins:

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Summit that the situation in the Russian economy is quite stable … "We are coping with the negative price fluctuations and maintaining investor interest," he stressed.

The head of the Government admitted that for Russia it may be one of the most difficult periods. "The falling oil prices, the ruble collapse have a very serious impact on us. As well as 1.5 years of the sanctions pressure on our country," Interfax cited him as saying.

According to him, apart from the negative factors, there are also positive things for foreign investors. "This is good for foreign investors. I mean that the weakening of the ruble has created the opportunity for buying Russian assets at lower prices than some time ago".

Medvedev made other points, according to the article. He stated that the "Russian Far East and Siberia [would be] a national priority … because these are vast territories with a large number of natural deposits, and here we, actually, cannot do without foreign investment."

He also said that Russia's economy continued to grow closer to the Asia-Pacific region – a region that now involves a quarter of Russia's foreign trade, or about US$10 billion, but this is still not enough, according to Medvedev. Russia has launched a "preferential tax and administrative regime," for the area including the Vladivostok free port, "responding to the wishes of foreign investors."

He indicated that Russia would expand grain exports to 35-40 million tons by 2020, which officials believe will add considerably to "food security" in the Asia-Pacific area.

Medvedev did not apparently discuss Russia's economic and currency evolution, though Russia and China have created various currency swap arrangements that bypass the dollar reserve currency altogether. The IMF recently announced that the Chinese yuan would be added to its SDR international basket of currencies.

According to the Western mainstream media, Russia is in recession now and China is headed that way – but taking a very long-term view, Rogers is probably right about both countries, if only because of often stated plans by the IMF and other globalist facilities to create a single currency.

As we've reported on numerous occasions, it may be no coincidence that Western economies have grown more slowly than BRIC economies in the early 21st century. After all, if one intends to build a truly international economy, each region must have rough parity with others.

This would explain the "Africa Rising" meme as well (we've written about it here), as Africa is not so well developed as either the West or Asia – or even Latin America. South Africa is supposed to be a lynchpin of the African economy, though that seems increasingly doubtful at present.

After Thoughts

China and Asia have had a good run over the past decade or more but the next decade could belong to Russia, especially if its sociopolitical quarrels with the West and NATO are resolved. If so, Rogers could burnish his legend as a forward-looking investor.

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