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Templeton may invest up to $10 bln in Russia - Mobius
VOLGOGRAD, Russia |
VOLGOGRAD, Russia (Reuters) - Templeton Asset Management may raise its investment in Russia five-fold to as much as $10 billion within 2 years, its veteran fund manager Mark Mobius said on Wednesday.
"We expect to have $50 billion under management (up from $24 billion now) ... within about 2 years. And theoretically 20 percent of that could be in Russia," said Mobius, who heads Templeton Asset Management's Emerging Markets Group.
He was speaking during a visit to a giant Stalin-era hydro dam run by Russian state giant RusHydro, a company in which Templeton has been increasing its stake.
"Before, purely driven by valuations, China and Brazil were cheaper. But now Russian stocks look cheaper so we expect Russian stocks to come up and become more important" in Templeton funds, he added.
He also said Templeton could theoretically raise its stake in RusHydro to 10 percent from around 0.5 percent currently if there is funding, and forecast that Russian consumer stocks will do well in 2010.
According to Reuters data, Templeton more than tripled its holdings in RusHydro to 0.2 percent of the company at its last reporting date, March 31, 2009.
RusHydro is accepting bids until. Aug 10 for a secondary share offer at 1 rouble par value. Of a 16 billion share issue, the state has already used pre-emptive rights to buy 4.9 billion and private investors 2.3 billion, leaving the rest for the offer.
The shares were trading at 1.0760 roubles at 1007 GMT on Wednesday, down 1.29 percent, in line with the market.
Templeton Chief Executive Dennis Lim said the fund was seeking to buy more shares through the offer.
(For more news on Reuters Money click in.reuters.com/money)
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