Speed up reforms, ease export rules to attract investment, says emerging markets guru Mark Mobius

Mumbai: Emerging markets guru Mark Mobius on Tuesday urged the Indian government to accelerate reforms and ease rules for exports to take advantage of the ongoing trade war globally.

"India has a potential to attract overseas investment and it can take advantage of the weak rupee and trade war to grab a bigger share of the exports market. There are enormous opportunities. The government needs to accelerate reforms and ease rules for exports to take advantage of the ongoing trade war globally," Mobius told reporters on the sidelines of the 'Morningstar Investment Conference' here.

Pointing out that the country is facing a liquidity crisis as infrastructure and banking sectors are under pressure, he said it is important to allow new money to come in, he said.

India needs to exploit the export opportunities which can help stabilise rupee and rein current account deficit (CAD), economist Ajit Ranade said.

Mark Mobius. Reuters

Mark Mobius. Reuters

The current account situation is extremely worrying and CAD may breach 3 percent this year, he said.

The recent FII outflow had been mainly because of falling rupee and rising oil prices, while US rate hikes also had a role to play, Ranade added.

Commenting on the on-going trade war between the US and China, the investment guru and founding partner, Mobius Capital Partners, said, "The trade war situation is going to get worse from here on. The time has come for the government to take advantage of the US-China trade war and grab some of the manufacturing capacity moving out of China."

"With regards to emerging market currencies, he said most currencies are stabilising. "Indian rupee has depreciated and the currency meltdown is nearing its end," he added.

So far in this calendar year, the rupee has depreciated by more than 13 percent and is currently trading at around 73.57 against the dollar.

He observed that a higher import bill could put India's fiscals at great risk should crude oil top $100 a barrel by early next year.

He said that Indian banks' non-performing asset (NPA) numbers may be worse than they look. But there are some good opportunities emerging in NBFC and other areas of the financial sector.

Mobius left Franklin Templeton Investments earlier this year to set up Mobius Capital Partners, a fund management firm focussed on environmental, social and corporate governance in emerging and frontier markets.

Mobius Capital Partners is also looking at investment opportunities in India.

"We are planning to put money into India. I find India's consumer sector very attractive," he said.

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Updated Date: Oct 23, 2018 19:53 PM

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