Mark Mobius: “I love gold”

Gold bars © iStockphotos

Mark Mobius, founder, Mobius Capital Partners

Mark Mobius, executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, © Justin Chin/Bloomberg via Getty Images“I love gold.” Mark Mobius, perhaps the best-known emerging markets investor in the world, reckons that the precious metal should form at least 10% of any investor’s portfolio (in the form of bullion). However, now looks like a particularly promising time to invest – and it’s all down to central bankers, he tells Bloomberg in an interview in Singapore.

For one thing, “interest rates are going so low, particularly now in Europe”. So, as Mobius says, “what’s the sense in holding euro when you get a negative rate? You might as well put it into gold, because gold is a much better currency”. Expectations of even looser monetary policy from central banks across the globe, including the Federal Reserve in the US, have seen gold hit a six-year high this year already (in US dollar terms at least), of close to $1,440 an ounce.

Cutting interest rates isn’t the only factor – central banks, particularly in Russia and China, have also been ramping up their own purchases of gold to add to their reserves. And while Mobius is not a buyer of cryptocurrencies at the moment (“I don’t know what the real value is”), a resurgence of interest in the likes of bitcoin has also drawn attention back to alternatives to fiat currencies such as gold. In all, Mobius reckons the price could go further from here, to top $1,500 by the end of the year.

In terms of wider markets, Mobius favours stocks over bonds, and he is also still a big believer in emerging markets, which are set to benefit from ongoing, business-friendly reforms.