Veteran emerging markets investor Mark Mobius expects unrest to benefit region in the long-term
Veteran emerging markets
investor Mark Mobius is bullish on Middle East markets and
expects recent political events to benefit the region in the
long-term, he said on Sunday.
"My outlook is very positive because I see these political
changes result in more open societies, more dialogue and
therefore better environment for markets including stocks and
bonds," Mobius told reporters in Dubai.
"I am not saying the ride is going to be smooth and in many
places we could see some bumps but the overall trend is
Social unrest in the Middle East over the last few months
has swept the leaders of Egypt and Tunisia from power, sparked a
violent revolt in Libya and led to protests demanding reform
from Syria and Jordan to Yemen and Bahrain.
Mobius, who oversees the management of around $45 billion in
assets, is executive chairman of the Templeton Emerging Markets
Trust, part of US asset manager Franklin Resources.
The executive also added that a potential upgrade of Qatar
and UAE to emerging market status may not alone have have a huge
impact on these markets as their weight in the index will be
The influential index compiler has kept the two markets for
a review in June.
"It's not material for us. We see them as frontier markets
and will continue to do so," he said.
Franklin Templeton's $1.2 billion frontier fund counts
Orascom Telecom and Saudi Basic Industries Corp
among the top holdings and has heaviest allocation to
Nigeria and Saudi Arabia on a geographic basis.
Last month, Mobius told Reuters that a recent pull back in
emerging market stocks has uncovered value in frontier markets
and smaller emerging market stocks.
Mobius enjoys strong success in Asia, where his $15.5
billion Templeton Asian Growth Fund has given investors an
over-five-fold return in the past decade.
While the fund was off 4.8 percent in US dollar terms in
the first two months of this year, it had risen nearly 28
percent over 52 weeks and 14.4 percent on an annualised basis
over five years.
In January, the emerging market guru said he was considering
a plan to set up a hedge fund, a move that would mark a major
shift from the traditional money manager into the $1.9 trillion
alternative asset management industry.For all the latest market news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.