Notes from Mark Mobius
What are the pros and cons of investing directly in emerging market equities and bonds as opposed to companies based in developed markets with emerging markets operations?
By directly investing in emerging market equities you obtain full exposure to emerging markets while with investing in developed market companies with emerging market operations, you don't get that full exposure and you also get slow moving markets with lower growth potential mixed in. One advantage of some developed market companies is that they could have a global coverage thus giving the investor a more diversified coverage. Of course, there are also some emerging market companies that have that kind of coverage as well.
Some commentators are saying that frontier markets represent some of the best contrarian investments at the moment – do you agree with this and why?
Yes, that is certainly the case. For example, many people would never invest in Nigeria or even might not even visit the country for fear of confronting violence but actually there are excellent investment opportunities. So there are opportunities simply because those opportunities are not attractive to other investors since they are not familiar with the possibilities.
Qatar, Kazakhstan and Nigeria are among those countries being cited as ones to watch this year – why do you think this is?
Those are some countries that are citied as being watched but we should add a number of others such as Vietnam, Romania and a number of others. Qatar, Kazakhstan and Nigeria are all being watched because of their natural resources: Qatar - gas, Kazakhstan - oil, and Nigeria - oil.
Source: Mark Mobius, Franklin Templeton Investments – Emerging Markets Overview, March 10, 2010.