The Next Chapter
It is with mixed emotions that I’m leaving Franklin Templeton Investments, but I’m excited about the next chapter of my life and what the future will bring. It’s been a bittersweet whirlwind of activity after I announced plans to retire after more than 30 years with the company.
Emerging Markets Through the Years
As many of you may be aware by now, I announced plans to retire after more than 30 years with Franklin Templeton Investments, effective January 31, 2018. Before I share my final, parting words on this forum, I’d like to take a look back at how emerging markets have changed since I first began investing in the space.
Back to Brazil
I visited Brazil in the spring of this year, but wanted to go back and explore more areas of the country. Brazil has faced some hard times but appears to be bouncing back from a prolonged recession, so I was interested to gauge the mood of the people and businesses there.
China Clears Way for More Foreign Participation
At this time of the year, smog in Beijing, China, can be overwhelming. Throughout the city this fog/smog prevents the sun from shining through. But, the pollution problems have not clouded financial activity.
Finding My Roots in Germany, and a Piece of Musical History
While emerging markets have been my area of focus for several decades, I also travel extensively to developed countries, too. It’s quite enlightening to see how once “emerging” countries still cherish their heritage.
Eastern Europe and the Polish Surprise
My recent travels took me to Eastern Europe, where I had the opportunity to meet with colleagues and discuss the latest developments in the region. I thought I’d invite Greg Konieczny, who is based in Romania, to share some of his insights.
Structural Growth Drivers Behind Emerging-Market Economies
My colleagues and I have been championing the message that emerging markets have changed—they are no longer just commodity plays. Old economic models are undergoing a transformation in many cases, opening up exciting new investment opportunities.
Croatia’s Many Cultural Ties
Many years ago, I had visited Chile and wanted to learn more about a mining company there. Its CEO happened to be a Croatian who had immigrated to Chile and became quite wealthy. At the time of our meeting in the late 1990s, we traveled together to a large Chilean copper mine and he showed me the entire operation.
Emerging Markets Third-Quarter Recap: A Stellar Rally
Templeton Emerging Markets Group has a wide investment universe to cover—tens of thousands of companies in markets on nearly every continent. While we are bottom-up investors, we also take into account big-picture context. Here, I share the team’s overview of what has happened in the emerging-markets universe in the third quarter of 2017, including some key events, milestones and data points to offer some perspective.
China’s Congress Convenes
This month, China’s leadership kicks off its 19th Communist Party Congress, a meeting which sets the agenda for China’s political, economic and even social path in years to come. More than 2,000 delegates from China’s ruling elite attend the Congress, which takes place every five years.
Scoping out South Korea’s Investment Landscape
I’ve recently shared some of my views about rising tensions on the Korean peninsula as well as the political and business landscape in South Korea, which are often intertwined. While there are challenges and uncertainties in South Korea, we haven’t so far let that deter us as investors.
Business and Politics in South Korea
My recent travels took me to South Korea at an interesting time given mounting tensions with its neighbor to the north. My colleagues and I got a pulse check on some of the reforms taking place, including those related to the family-run conglomerate companies known as chaebols.
Tensions Rise on the Korean Peninsula
The world is watching the Korean peninsula. The situation between North and South Korea has been tense for a long time, but it has been escalating amid increasingly bold rhetoric and threats from the leaders of North Korea and the United States.
On Travels and Travails
As the focus of my work is emerging markets, I don’t spend a lot of time in the United States anymore, even though I grew up there. But like many people, I took a bit of time off this summer to enjoy a visit with family. We traveled to Mackinac Island in the state of Michigan, situated in Lake Huron.
ASEAN’s Golden Anniversary
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (known as ASEAN) celebrated its 50-year anniversary in early August. The regional cooperative was established in 1967 with Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore as founding members. Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Cambodia later joined.
Travels in Myanmar: A New Frontier
Myanmar represents one of the newest frontier markets, and is one I’ve been anxious to learn more about. Long isolated with a military regime, Myanmar has been undergoing a transition over the past few years. After five decades of military dictatorship, it is now under civilian rule.
Las Vegas, Macau and the Future of Work
A few months ago I was honored to speak at the prestigious SALT investment conference in the US city of Las Vegas. It had been quite a while since I’d been to Las Vegas. The activity and energy of the place really surprised me, even though I don’t gamble.
Mid-Year Outlook: The Resurgence of Emerging Markets
Emerging-market (EM) equities (as represented by the MSCI Emerging Markets Index) have extended their 2016 recovery. In the first half of 2017, the MSCI EM Index returned 18.60%, compared with an 11.02% gain in the MSCI World Index.
An Active Look at Small-Cap Investing
Overall, we believe small-cap stocks in emerging markets offer attractive prospects for active managers. A multitude of mispriced securities, market inefficiencies and a paucity of research provide considerable investment opportunities, in our view.
Emerging Markets Second-Quarter 2017 Recap: The Streak Continues
Here, I share the team’s overview of what happened in the emerging-markets universe in the second quarter of 2017, including some key events, milestones and data points to offer some perspective.
Looking Back 20 Years: Lessons of the Asian Financial Crisis
July marks the 20th anniversary of what was considered to be the start of the Asian Financial Crisis (AFC), which sent shockwaves through the region and beyond. The crisis was thought to have started in Thailand in the summer of 1997, although its roots stem from even earlier systemic problems, namely in the financial sector.
China: Building Roads to the Future
China is forging new global connections and expanding trade and market access in many ways. The country does seem to be opening its capital markets and working to become more transparent. We have seen the success of stock linkages between mainland China and Hong Kong, and recently, a new bond market connection has been announced.
Readers’ Questions Answered
While I can't always respond to each of your questions directly, I do enjoy hearing from my readers and followers and value your feedback. I am quite delighted to see people from all over the world reaching out via my blog, Twitter and LinkedIn. Keep them coming! Here are a few; hopefully one of my responses will answer a question of yours.
Busting the Frontier-Market Myths
Although frontier markets are a small subset of the emerging market universe, we think they represent an important constituency that offer some compelling potential opportunities. Here, I've invited my colleague Carlos Hardenberg, senior vice president and director of frontier markets strategies at Templeton Emerging Markets Group, to outline some of the opportunities he sees in these dynamic markets and debunk some of the urban myths..
Brazil’s Political Bumps
Just when Brazil’s economy seemed to be turning a corner, a new political scandal has caused a strong market reaction, sending Brazil’s stock market into a tailspin. President Michel Temer, who came into office following the impeachment of former President Dilma Rouseff due to a corruption scandal, is now caught up in a corruption scandal of his own
South Korea Votes for Change
Voters across the globe seem to be clamoring for change, and South Korea’s presidential election may be viewed as another example. Moon Jae-in, considered a left-leaning liberal, won the presidential election in South Korea.
An Ocean Voyage in Southeast Asia
Air travel is a quick and convenient way to get from one place to the next, but sometimes it’s nice to slow down and enjoy the journey. Traveling by sea gives you time to contemplate what you’ve seen at different ports of call, from sleepy seaports to bustling shipping and shopping centers.
A Travel Transformation in Emerging Markets
I recently penned a blog on opportunities within leisure and entertainment in emerging markets, including the travel industry. With improved infrastructure and more access to reasonably priced flights, more travelers have been able to explore exotic locations they had previously only read about or seen on television.
Art, Entertainment and Leisure in Asia
Happy Chinese New Year to all my friends and followers! There’s no question it’s a big holiday for leisure and entertainment. Last year, retail and dining expenditures for the Lunar New Year came in at 754 billion yuan ($US115 billion), according to China’s Ministry of Commerce.
Celebrating a 30-Year Anniversary
This month marks my 30-year anniversary with Templeton Emerging Markets Group! The opportunity to open up new emerging markets, learn about new industries, meet wonderful people around the world and most of all be part of the Templeton emerging-markets family has been a real blessing.
Emerging Markets Q4 2016 Recap: A Wobbly Quarter, but Reasons for Optimism
Templeton Emerging Markets Group has a wide investment universe to cover—tens of thousands of companies in markets on nearly every continent! While we are bottom-up investors, we also take into account big-picture context.
In just a few decades, Vietnam has undergone a dramatic transformation, from an agrarian society to one that has embraced the modern era. Its youthful population and growing middle class have helped drive solid growth—and opportunities for many global investors.
Emerging-Market Equity 2017 Outlook
What’s ahead for emerging markets in 2017? Stephen Dover, managing director and CIO of Templeton Emerging Markets Group and Franklin Local Asset Management, and Mark Mobius, executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, present their emerging-market equity outlook.
Emerging Markets and a Trump Presidency: No Need to Panic
The US presidential election resulting in a victory for Donald Trump has many potential implications for markets around the world, including emerging markets. When it became clear that Trump would emerge the winner, stock markets echoed the shock many US voters felt. Emerging markets were particularly volatile.
Risks, Opportunities and Adventures in Borneo
Borneo is the world’s third-largest island and its equatorial rainforest is home to many species of plants and animals, which attracts tourists from around the world. Borneo also boasts significant power resources, including hydroelectric power, coal and natural gas deposits; liquefied natural gas is a key export.
Thai People Mourn Loss of Their King
There are concerns that political differences could again re-emerge in Thailand that have in the past been destabilizing. However, in our view, the backdrop to a royal succession has improved drastically in recent years.
Emerging Markets Q3 Recap: Sentiment Remains Strong
Companies in the consumer-related sectors and information technology are particularly attractive to us in the current environment, especially as technology is becoming more integral and competitive in emerging markets.