Famed emerging markets investor Mark Mobius, chairman of the Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Group with $53 billion in assets under management, may nibble at Greek equities, but did not set a timetable for such a move.
“We’re going to have to look at the banks very closely…a lot of these prices have already gone up,” Mobius told CNBC.
His interest in Greek banks is not new as Mobius made similar comments in October, saying Greek banks should benefit from ongoing economic development in the country perhaps best known for being the “G” in the PIIGS acronym. [Mobius Warms to Greece]
Nor is interest in Greek banks by other noteworthy investors new. Earlier this year, David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital revealed stakes in Piraeus Bank and Alpha Bank. John Paulson’s Paulson & Co. has also taken positions in those banks. Baupost, Eaglevale, Dromeus Capital, Falcon Edge, York Capital and Och-Ziff are among the other hedge funds that are making large bets on Greek banks. [Hedge Funds Love Greek Banks]
With a weight of 17.7%, financial services names are the second-largest sector allocation in the Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSEArca: GREK).
Mobius, who has risen to acclaim for his investing acumen in emerging and frontier markets, was previously forced to shy away from Greece because the country was classified as a developed market. That changed this year when three index providers – Russell Investments, MSCI and S&P Dow Jones Indices – demoted Greece to emerging status.
Despite the demotion, GREK still ranks among the best single-country Europe ETFs this year. In a sign that investors have not shied away from controversial fare, GREK has outperformed its less volatile Dutch, French and German equivalents, to name a few. [10 Best Europe Country ETFs in 2013]
Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF
ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.