Franklin Templeton has announced plans for emerging markets veteran Mark Mobius to run a new Asian dividend strategy designed to tap income growth across the whole Asian region.
Mobius, who currently oversees 12 emerging market funds, will work with co-manager Tom Wu on the Luxembourg-domiciled Templeton Asian Dividend fund, which is still awaiting regulatory approval.
It aims to combine both attractive yield opportunities as well as capturing underlying growth and secular trends across the continent.
Mobius will use an unconstrained approach taking long-term positions in companies the fund manager believes to be undervalued, fundamentally strong and capable of growing regardless of macro trends.
Commenting on the launch, Mobius said: ‘Asia is still one of the fastest growing regions of the world. As an exporter, it benefits from increasing global demand but is also experiencing a growing domestic market. The growing middle class is demanding more consumer goods and is able and willing to pay higher prices.’
Mobius added that dividend yields are an important source of income, as investors are finding it increasingly difficult to source meaningful yield in fixed income without higher specific risk.
‘In Asia, the number of companies paying dividends has increased which makes it a relatively attractive source of income,’ he said.
The Asia region on Mobius’ radar for the fund includes, but is not limited to, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.