Conditions are right for Saudi Arabia to experience potentially dramatic growth from international investors in future years, global financial expert Mark Mobius told delegates at the recent 11th annual Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference in Riyadh.
Mobius, executive chairman for Templeton Emerging Markets Group, has spent over four decades working in emerging markets all over the world. His own firm has invested $360 million in Saudi Arabia thus far.
"I am here in the kingdom because I think the Vision 2030 program could be revolutionary not just for Saudi Arabia, but for the region, creating enormous drawing power for inward investment for the entire region," he said. "We want to put more money in Saudi Arabia, and we want to invest directly in companies, many of which here are truly global companies.”
Foremost among fortuitous circumstances for the kingdom is a recent decision from the global Capital Market Authority's (CMA) to allow greater outlay in Tadawul, Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange.
“We believe sharia [Islamic] finance is fantastic from an equity point of view, as investors are seen as partners,” Mobius said. “We always look at a company's corporate governance approach as it relates to dealing with minority investors, and here it is very positive."
Asiamoney magazine named Mobius one of its “Top 100 Most Powerful and Influential People” in 2006, complimenting his high profile and deeming him “one of the most successful emerging markets investors” of the last 20 years.
Mobius obtained his Ph.D. in economics and political science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has authored several books and won numerous awards in his field.