Mobius on Emerging and Frontier Markets

Via The Financial Times, an interesting report on Mark Mobius’ continued optimism on emerging markets and several which he is focused on at present. As the article notes:

“…While global growth has slowed, emerging markets are still expected to grow at a much faster rate than developed markets. Predicted growth for emerging markets is an average of 5 per cent in 2009, compared with 1 per cent expected in developed markets. Of course that is not to say that a prolonged slowdown in the US economy will not affect emerging markets, but the impact will be much less than would have been the case 10 years ago.

…Most importantly for value investors, the current valuations of emerging markets remain attractive. The benchmark MSCI Emerging Markets index is trading at a current price/earnings ratio of 10.7, down from 18.5 a year earlier. They are in fact even cheaper than developed markets such as the US which is trading at a p/e of 16.5. Markets such as Turkey and Russia are down to single-digit p/e’s, making them especially appealing. Of course that is not to say that this is definitely the bottom – that would be impossible to predict. However, taking a long-term view, these valuations are certainly attractive.

In addition to emerging markets, frontier markets are looking interesting and could become tomorrow’s emerging markets. We opened an office in Vietnam earlier this year to allow us to study closely the companies there and in the Mekong region. Additionally, the larger frontier markets such as Slovenia, Romania, Croatia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine are also beginning to look good.

The Middle East is a region of great interest and will be the focus of continued research. In fact, we recently also opened a new office in Dubai to allow us to capture the growing opportunities in that region. We are impressed by the Middle East’s economic performance and believe that the potential for economic growth and development remains considerable, especially if the current trend toward the implementation of political and economic reforms remains on course.

The markets may continue to be volatile at times, but the underlying fundamentals of emerging markets remain intact. Currently markets around the world are substantially down and we are probably nearing levels of maximum pessimism. History has shown us that the best time to buy is when everyone is despondently selling. But also, as someone once said, “This time it’s different” are the most expensive words in the world.”

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 21st, 2008 at 3:49 am and is filed under Uncategorized.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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Wildcats & Black Sheep is a personal interest blog dedicated to the identification and evaluation of maverick investment opportunities arising in frontier - and, what some may consider to be, “rogue” or “black sheep” - markets around the world.

Focusing primarily on The New Seven Sisters - the largely state owned petroleum companies from the emerging world that have become key players in the oil & gas industry as identified by Carola Hoyos, Chief Energy Correspondent for The Financial Times - but spanning other nascent opportunities around the globe that may hold potential in the years ahead, Wildcats & Black Sheep is a place for the adventurous to contemplate & evaluate the emerging markets of tomorrow.