Feb. 3 - Franklin Templeton's executive director of emerging markets Mark Mobius applauds efforts by Myanmar to open its market to the outside world and like the energy and banking sector in Thailand.
Markets to hit last year with the benchmark MSCI emerging market index falling more than 20%. But Mark Mobius who oversees more than forty billion dollars in emerging market assets for Franklin Templeton he says things may turn around this year. His Templeton Emerging Markets Fund is largely invested in Brazil and Russia with additional holdings and several Asian countries. What country he's watching closely now as Myanmar saying the faster that country can open up its economy and markets to the outside world the better. -- -- taken so far been very encouraging. And there may be some acceleration. Taking place in terms of opening the market become. Becoming more politically. Free. These are all very good signs. Myanmar as you know is surrounded by countries that out. Adopting or have already adopted their free market economy concept and we believe that. Again tomorrow should be able to do that rather quickly you can get investments in directly. In companies are doing business in Myanmar. In terms of -- domestic market. Take a few years because they have to iron out trying exchange control. Items. And I generally. -- the entire banking system. So this will take a few years it will happen. Bobby is this top industry holding is energy followed by materials banks and food and tobacco stocks. He says there are energy plays them all other place in Thailand. We like the banks. We like the oil companies. Those are the two main ones could also we have a scattered through investments in media and telecoms. In Indonesia. Would take the interest in the palm oil arena credits. One of if not the largest producer on the oil. In the world in addition obviously mining. Is very important for us and I would say. Consumer goods. Things like. Automobiles. Motorcycles. Those areas. Booming in Indonesia. This is also a big investor in China and things that country should do some investing on its own. He hoisted a three trillion dollars in foreign reserves China has on its books. And says that if the country chose to buy European sovereign debt that could help solve a continent's debt crisis. I've been coming in. It's not only the money that is the also the sign of confidence they have. Which will give confidence to others things achieve the best time to go win easily and things are undervalued and I believe. There are lots of assets in Europe and -- probably undervalued at this stage. Should that situation and the eurozone get resolved and that will only benefit the emerging economies of Eastern Europe. At the country level. Things -- pretty good with some exceptions like -- So in the countries are not in the same boat as countries like Greece and Portugal. So I see at this stage of the game Eastern Europe holding her own doing fairly well and as Western Europe. Digs itself out of this problem they have. Of course ECU will benefit. Mobius is Templeton Emerging Markets Fund returned about 12% in January. Slightly outpacing the MSCI emerging stock index. I'm Rhonda schaffler this is Reuters.