Mobius: Emerging Opportunities

Mark Mobius, Executive Chairman of Templeton Asset Management is a veteran in emerging markets investing. Overseeing more than $30B in emerging market assets, Mobius remains optimistic on the outlook for emerging markets.

Mobius has been traveling in North Africa and the Arab region, and joined Maria Bartiromo for an interview from Dubai. In the aftermath of the Dubai World debt fallout, he said that "things are going pretty well here" and that he has and will continue to be putting new money to work in Dubai. In the long term, Mobius expects "to have a very good holding" in the emirate.

Overall, 2009 has shaped up to be a great year for emerging markets, with the MSCI Emerging Market Index advancing more than 70% year to date. In addition, the latest data from EPFR Global showed flows into Emerging Market Equity Funds surpassing the $75B mark in mid-December. The previous record was $54B set in 2007! Looking ahead to 2010, Mobius expects this bullish trend to continue well into next year.

Across the globe, Mobius remains most bullish on China and India, adding that "the growth rates are very high, inflation is low and money supply, globally is still very high". But he is also excited by some of the opportunities he's seeing in Northern Africa, along the Mediterranean and in the Arab region.

Mobius is also focusing on investing's next frontier, dubbing countries like Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka and Nigeria, as "tomorrow's emerging markets". He says valuations in frontier markets are attractive. Nigeria and Vietnam currently top the weightings in Templeton's Frontier Markets Fund.

Breaking it down into themes, Mobius is emphasizing commodities and consumers. He believes that "commodities will continue to trend upwards as the demand and supply situation is such that we'll see higher prices". Also with per capita incomes increasing at such a rapid rate, Mobius "sees lots of opportunities in the consumer area".

Liza Tan contributed to this article



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