×

Hide From Greek Crisis in Russia: E&Y Partner

Russia can survive a crisis brought on by a potential default of Greece and investors should look towards the country for investment opportunities despite often heard compaints about corruption and bureaucracy, Karl Johansson, CIS Managing Partner at Ernst & Young, told CNBC.com Wednesday.

Russia
Frans Lemmens | The Image Bank | Getty Images
Russia

After the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, the Russian stock exchange plunged as foreign investors withdrew their money in a flight to safety, worried about the contagion risk for emerging markets.

But Johansson said that Russia would not be too badly affected by a crisis brought in Greece as it has little trade with the country and although there was some contagion risk, it would be limited.

"Russia will survive because Russia survives these kind of things," Johansson said in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Europe and Central Asia in Vienna.

Investors should look towards foreign companies with exposure to sectors such as consumer products, telecommunications, the financial sector, metals and minerals and manufacturing in the country, he added.

"Procter & Gamble has done very well, Mars has done very well in Russia," Johansson said.

Critics say the country is a very high risk because of corruption and a difficult business environment, often fraught by arbitrary decisions.

A former fund manager in Russia, William Browder, once the country’s largest portfolio investor, has dubbed the country "not investable".

But Johansson disagrees.

"The perception in Russia is worse than the reality," he said, adding that things have improved a lot in the country.