Clearing a Small Russki Position

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, October 15, 2013

Just a quick note that a holding I almost never mention, a Swedish closed-end investment fund called Vostok Nafta that was designed to invest in Russian companies, has been sold. It was not a particularly successful investment, I bought it before the collapse of the Russian market and hedged it with put options on the Russian index at the time — that meant that my profit on the put options made up for a large chunk of my losses in the shares, but I held on to the shares after that since they were trading at a discount to net asset value and seemed undervalued.

They’ve bounced back in recent months largely because the company now consists largely of big stakes in Tinkoff Credit Systems and Avito, which is getting a fair amount of attention as a “Craig’s List” of sorts for Russia. Thanks to that and the enthusiastic growth focus, I’m selling my shares now at about three times net asset value — I haven’t looked into their books in detail lately, but I am more comfortable with more liquid Russian investments (like Mail.ru, which I’ve written more about lately) so I’ll take the opportunity to remove this from my books at a solid price.

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