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August 18, 2008

War and Private Equity

Last week, Private Equity Hub's Dan Primack interviewed Michael Bleyzer, CEO of Ukrainian-based private equity firm SigmaBleyzer, to discuss the impact of the conflict in Georgia.  Though Mr. Bleyzer admits that the Georgian market has not drawn much of his interest, he does point out that an aggressive Russia cultivates politically-driven volatility in the large country that remains unattractive to him.  Naturally, he advises to stay away from sectors vulnerable to political or oligarchical influence, (i.e. energy, defense, etc.).  British Petroleum can attest to this, of course.  However, he does mention that though the "Bear" may be winning the fight to expand its regional sphere of influence, this is raising moral considerations for investors when considering to put their money in the country.

These sentiments do contradict reports from big institutional investors, such as Credit Suisse, on Russia (a member of the famous BRIC nations) but it is difficult to argue with a professional that is "in-country", operating in the region, looking to make returns from the best risk/return opportunities.
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