Mark Mobius: Russia Is My Favorite Emerging Market

Thursday, 12 Apr 2012 08:32 AM

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Emerging markets offer investors plenty of sound opportunities but the sector's guru, Mark Mobius, says if he had to pick a favorite, it would be Russia.

Russian markets are cheaper than other emerging markets that have seen strong rallies recently and are due to grow and reward investors who get in on time, says Mobius, executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group.

"Russia has been beaten down, has not really performed that well, the valuations are very good. The political picture is getting better. So I might pick Russia," he tells CNBC.

"And then China after that because the Chinese are now talking about boosting the Asia market to get money into the hands of the small investors in China. So that will feed back into the Hong Kong," and other markets.
Southeast Asia markets look healthy although strong performances in markets like Indonesia and Thailand may be tough to repeat.

"We can expect more but not the kind of spectacular growth that you would expect in those countries where the market has been beaten down," Mobius says.

Russia recently met its foreign currency borrowing target for 2012 after selling $7 billion in Eurobonds, the biggest hard currency denominated issue from an emerging market country since 2000, Reuters reports.

Investors were attracted to the country's strong oil earnings and lined up to buy at very favorable terms for Moscow.

"The Eurobond placement could be considered as a real success," says Nikolai Podguzov, head of fixed income research at VTB Capital, Reuters adds.

"The pricing was tightened throughout the course of the placement, and demand was shifted towards longer-term securities, which highlights the reasonably strong confidence of global investors in Russian risk."


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