Published On: Thu, Feb 18th, 2016

With peso slump, Mexican stocks and bonds are appealing to international investment funds

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Bloomberg reports that investment guru Mark Mobius believes Mexican assets represent one of the best investment opportunities in emerging markets as the peso’s swoon creates an attractive entry point.

The currency’s 27 percent plunge over the past 18 months makes for “cheap and attractive” assets in Mexico’s local bonds and stocks, Mobius, the Executive Chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets, told journalists Wednesday Feb. 17 in Mexico City. He spoke shortly before the government announced new steps to stem the currency’s slide, including an unprecedented interest-rate increase after an unscheduled central bank meeting.

Chairman of Franklin Templeton's Emerging Markets Group Mark Mobius. (PHOTO: REUTERS)

Chairman of Franklin Templeton’s Emerging Markets Group Mark Mobius. (PHOTO: REUTERS)

The currency has been swept up in an emerging-market selloff spurred by concern that China’s economic growth is slowing while prices for raw materials plunge, leaving Mexico’s benchmark stock index down 30 percent in the past 18 months in dollar terms. Its price as a percentage of assets — a valuation measure known as price-to-book — reached a two-year low in January.

Mexico City's Stock Exchange. (PHOTO: noticias.starmedia.com)

Mexico City’s Stock Exchange. (PHOTO: noticias.starmedia.com)

The selloff is overdone given that Mexico stands to benefit from strong trade ties with the U.S. and faster economic growth than many developed countries, Mobius said.

“Mexico is right up there with Brazil when you look at where opportunities are,” Mobius said.

The company’s analyst in Mexico, Rodolfo Ramos, said the firm’s funds in Mexico are overweight in shares of Wal-Mart de Mexico SAB, along with bank stocks and non-bank lenders such as Credito Real, as low banking penetration means there is room for growth. Franklin Templeton Investments has more than $25 billion in assets under management in the country.

Source: bloomberg.com

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