MEXICO CITY Feb 27 Veteran emerging market
investor Mark Mobius said on Wednesday a recent foray into
Europe by Carlos Slim's telco giant America Movil was a mistake.
Mobius, chairman of investment manager Franklin Templeton's
emerging market group, said although he had great respect for
billionaire Slim, he was puzzled by his purchases of stakes in
Telekom Austria and Dutch telecom KPN. Both
have lost value since Slim started accumulating them last June.
"It's a question of how 'Latin America' is Holland and
Austria? Where does that fit in?" Mobius told reporters during a
visit to Mexico. "What's the rationale? It's not very clear."
America Movil shares have fallen almost 15
percent since the company reported weak results on Feb. 12. The
shares fell further last week after the company said it will
increase its bet on KPN by participating in a 4 billion euro
Asked if he thought the European investments would continue
to weigh in the future, Mobius said: "No one really knows, he
has shown in the past the ability to surmount these difficulties
and there's no reason to think that he won't do so in the
Mobius said there is a lot of potential in
telecommunications in Latin America, noting that data services
were just beginning. "There's no question that there will be a
right time to be in America Movil."
He said Slim had achieved a "very good price" with his
recent listing of shares in retail and restaurant chain Sanborns
"It was very, very high, the price, overpriced, which again
you've got to congratulate him on. He's been able to sell his
company at a very good price," Mobius said.
Franklin Templeton did not participate in the listing, which
raised just shy of $1 billion.