Monday, April 14, 2003

Peace Dividend

Sometimes it pays to search troubled regions for investment ideas. Last year, for example, with Israel suffering through suicide bombings and a deteriorating political situation, we suggested a few Israeli technology firms (FORBES, July 22, 2002). At last check that portfolio was up 33%, versus the S&P 500's 10% decline.

"I think you do need to be a contrarian on the geopolitics to a certain extent," says Christopher D. Alderson, head of emerging-market equities with T. Rowe Price. Alderson notes how Turkey's reluctance to contribute to the U.S. military effort, which led to the country's failure to win an aid package, has hurt its financial markets. As such, Alderson says, some Turkish stocks, like NYSE-listed Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri, have begun to look attractive. Driven down by concerns about the finances of a big shareholder, Turkcell has a price-to-sales multiple of 1.4.

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