For a complete list of five-year price charts for all stocks in Saxo's 2018 Equity World Cup, click here.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off on Thursday at 18:00 local time in Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow with the opening match between the host Russia and Saudi Arabia. According to FIFA’s World Ranking table the two countries are equally good with Saudi Arabia ranked 67th and Russia ranked 70th. Given that Russia is playing at home with a large crowd cheering it on, our prediction for the real match is for Russia to win. But as announced on June 1, we have devised a Saxo Bank World Cup equity challenge where every country is represented by one stock. Russia is represented by Gazprom, the world’s largest producer of natural gas, with $118.7bn in revenue in the last 12 months. Saudi Arabia is represented by SABIC (Saudi Basic Industries), the fourth-largest chemical producer in the world and $41.2bn in revenue in the past year.
The game rules are that the stock that has the highest total return since midnight June 13 at the end of the match being played will win the match in our equity challenge. In the case Gazprom vs SABIC our prediction is that Gazprom will win despite the fact that stock has underperformed in the past three months. SABIC has recently posted strong quarterly results (excluding restructuring costs) as management is beginning to fight high labour costs. Despite strong fundamentals and good momentum we don’t think this is enough. Gazprom has seen a good bounce back in profits over the past year with surging oil and natural gas prices, but the weak RUB has been a major drag on performance. But during World Cup there could be a decent inflow of funds into RUB from tourists and fans visiting the country. This could in theory create some tailwind for the RUB and Gazprom, creating a potential joker in the match against SABIC. In addition, our global equity factor model on global stocks has a high rating on Gazprom driven by an attractive value and good momentum over the past year.
Gazprom vs SABIC on total return in % measured in USD the past three months: