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Investment Olympics: Russia

The Olympics are supposed to be the ultimate symbol of world peace & solidarity but Russia shattered that image this week as it went to war with neighbor Georgia. The conflict, Russia's first major offensive since the collapse of the Soviet Union, was a forceful reminder of the danger in owning shares in this increasingly hard-line nation.

The incursion happened in the wake of another government action that’s has investors on edge. Last month Vladimir Putin accused steel producer Mechel of price fixing in what could be an attempt to strong-arm the company.

Subsequently, Bloomberg calculates Russia is now the worst performing market in the world this quarter. With Russia playing cold war games during these Olympic games should you head straight for the sidelines?

“I think there are things to worry about,” says Tim Seymour on Fast Money. “If the White House orders the US military to fly into Georgia you could be looking at a tinder box.”

Tim tells the Fast Money traders that he knows investors who are pulling billions out of Russia, just on fear.

What Tim didn't know is that the first U.S. military flight carrying humanitarian aid to Georgia had already arrived in the country's capital of Tbilisi, according to White House Press Secretary Dana Perino.

A second humanitarian flight could arrive as soon as Thursday, even though the U.S. has received conflicting but credible reports of Russian violations of a cease fire agreement brokered to end fighting over Georgia's breakaway province of South Ossetia.

If you want to get into Russia on this, my best investment thesis is to get on-board with Gazprom, Seymour says. Or you can look at Vimpel-Comm . But you have to have staying power.


TOP 5 RUSSIAN ADRs

Company Symbol Market Cap

Lukoil (LUKOY) $68B
Mobile TeleSystems (MBT) $27B
Vimplecom (VIP) $23B
Mechel (MTL) $11B
Rostelecom (ROS) $8B



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Trader disclosure: On Aug 13, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (MSFT), (WMT), (COST); Adami Owns (C), (GS), (INTC), (AGU), (BTU), (MSFT), (NUE); Pete Najarian Owns (AAPL), (TSO), (HD); Pete Najarian Owns (BGG) Puts; Pete Najarian Owns (CSCO) Calls; Pete Najarian Owns (NOK) And Is Short (NOK) Calls; Finerman Owns (GS); Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT), (NOK), (SUN), (TSO), (VLO), (RIG), (MO); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (C) Leap; Finerman's Firm Owns (ANF) And (ANF) Call Spreads; Finerman's Firm Is Short (XLF), (BBT), (COF), (WB), (IYR), (IJR), (IWM), (SPY), (BAC); Finerman's Firm Is Short British Pounds

UBS Securities LLC Has Received Compensation From (MSFT), (YHOO) Within Past 12 Months; (MSFT), (YHOO) Is Or Within Past 12 Months Has Been A Client Of UBS Securities LLC (Non-Investment Banking Securities-Related Services); (MSFT) Is Or Within Past 12 Months Has Been A Client Of UBS Securities LLC (Non-Securities Services)

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