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Russia, Land of Education and a Growing Tech Industry



Russia, Land of Education and a Growing Tech Industry Authored by David Feygenson, Senior Analyst, Emerging Markets Equity Strategy, and James Duffy, Product Manager, ETFs

Russia, Land of Education and a Growing Tech Industry Authored by David Feygenson, Senior Analyst, Emerging Markets Equity Strategy, and James Duffy, Product Manager, ETFs

Russia, Land of Education and a Growing Tech Industry. Given Russia’s need to diversify its economy away from both energy and basic materials, the country’s technology and telecommunications industries — increasingly fueled by entrepreneurship among the country’s well educated — offer considerable potential.

The Russian stock market, as measured by the Market Vectors® Russia Index (MVRSXTR), performed particularly well over the first quarter of 2016. Starting the year at 417.9, the Index ended the first three months of the year at 471.1 on March 31, an increase of 12.7%.

Much of this growth can be attributed to technology stocks. Of the 29 stocks that currently make up MVRSXTR, seven are involved in tech or telecom. In terms of market capitalization, these seven stocks make up approximately 17.5% of the overall market as defined by the Market Vectors® Russia Index.

Russia’s Tech Growth is Fueled by a New Generation of Highly Educated Workers

Russia has one of the highest proportions of university graduates in the world, eclipsing levels in Asia, Europe, and North America. Partly due to the Soviet legacy of a focus on education, Russia is still endowed with an excellent education system that produces thousands of university graduates each year.


(click to enlarge) Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), ”Education at a Glance 2015: OECD Indicators”, for the year 2014, except for Russia, Chile, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil, which are for the year 2013.

Of young men aged 25-34, about half have completed tertiary education, much higher than the 35% average among OECD countries, and, after Korea, the second highest proportion. Of young women in the same age bracket, about 65% have completed tertiary education, much more than the 46% average for most OECD member and partner countries where data is available.

While some of Russia’s best educated have left the country for greener pastures, many have remained and contributed to a growing tech industry. In recent years, a number of Russian technology companies have gone public, including Yandex (YNDX), the leading search engine in Russia, and Mail.Ru Group (MAIL), the leading portal, social networking, and gaming site in Russia.

Perhaps Russia’s young and educated demographic will continue to foster a growing number of startups that will help to stake its claim as a global player in technology. The Russian market can be accessed through Market Vectors® Russia ETF (RSX®) and Russian small-cap companies through the Market Vectors® Russia Small-Cap ETF (RSXJ®). As of March 31, 2016, Yandex and Mail.Ru comprised 4.04% and 2.41% of RSX, respectively.

Source: FactSet, VanEck, and Market Vectors Index Solutions (MVIS).

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