RETAIL FUNDS | Contributed Content, Malaysia

Investment expert talks to Public Bank customers

It was a much-coveted opportunity for valued customers of Public Bank to hear from Dr Mark Mobius, the world-renowned investment expert on his views of opportunities in the emerging markets. The response to the talk was overwhelming with customers coming from as far as East Malaysia, as Dr. Mobius's reputation precedes him.

On hand to receive Dr. Mobius was Public Bank Managing Director Tan Sri Dato' Sri Tay Ah Lek. Said Tan Sri Tay, “This talk by Dr. Mobius is part of an initiative to create opportunities for our valued customers to meet and gain invaluable insights from high-profile personalities in the financial and investment arena."

Dr. Mobius, Executive Chairman of Templeton Asset Management Limited, heads the Singapore-based subsidiary of Franklin Templeton Investments; itself a premier global investment management organisation with offices in 31 countries around the world. Listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Franklin Templeton employs about 9,000 staff and manages over 100 different mutual funds totalling USD507 billion as at end-2008, including the world's largest equity fund, Templeton Growth Fund.

Regarded as one of the Ten Most Successful Investors in the 20th century, Dr. Mobius oversees a team of over 26 emerging-market analysts around the globe and manages more than USD23 billion assets as of 30 June 2009. Dr. Mobius is also joint chairman of the Global Corporate Governance Forum Investor Responsibility Taskforce of the World Bank and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD.

Dr. Mobius has been on target several times in his comments on the current rollercoaster-like economic scenario, including one made in March this year that the economy was already building a base for the next bull market. It is therefore comforting to hear that Dr. Mobius is positive about the Malaysian economy, in particular with the dynamic reforms being implemented by new Prime Minister YAB Dato' Seri Mohd. Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak.

Questions came fast and furious during the Q&A session. When asked when was a good time to invest, Dr. Mobius quipped that any time is a good time when one has the money. Advocating dollar cost averaging, Dr. Mobius favours investments in the consumer and commodity sectors.  He is a firm believer in the emerging markets.

To enable its investors to tap on the expertise of Dr. Mobius, Public Bank had on 1 July 2009 launched the PB Templeton Global Asian Focus Fund, a close-ended structured investment product which combines the performance of two multi-award-winning funds.

Investors were able to take advantage of worldwide bond opportunities with Templeton Global Bond Fund while at the same time, gain exposure to emerging economies in Asia with Templeton Asian Growth Fund by investing in equities of companies in Asia (excluding Australia, New Zealand and Japan).  Over the last 10 years, the Equity Fund managed by Dr. Mobius himself has been giving investors an average return of 18 percent p.a. while the Bond Fund averaged a 10 percent return p.a.

Tan Sri Tay further commented that Public Bank is always on the lookout for strategic partnerships that will enhance the wallets of Public Bank’s customers. The launch of the PB Templeton Global Asian Focus Fund is just the beginning of a fruitful relationship with Templeton Asset Management Limited to meet the investment needs of Public Bank’s customers.

It was commented during the session that to be ahead in the game of investment, one needs to be patient. No matter how great an effort or how skillful the investor, it takes time to reap the rewards of one's investment.

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