Franklin Templeton Investments’ emerging markets group may soon join a handful of firms making private equity investments in Iraq.
“We are looking at private equity in Iraq and are meeting with representatives in Iraq,” emerging markets fund manager Mark Mobius told Reuters.
Mobius directs the Templeton Emerging Markets Equity Group at Franklin Templeton Investments, the asset management arm of global investment management organisation Franklin Resources. The group primarily invests in China, Russia and India, said Mobius.
“There are smaller companies in manufacturing, the services and food industries that are keen for investment,” said Mobius, who also noted that there is not sufficient liquidity in Iraq’s stock market for listed equity investments.
Mobius, who joined Templeton in 1987, currently oversees approximately $40 billion (€25 billion) and told Reuters that he is in the process of raising a $300 million emerging markets fund.
Prior to joining Templeton, Mobius was president of Taiwanese investment management firm International Investment Trust Company. Earlier, he was a director at international securities firm Vickers da Costa and operated his own consulting firm in Hong Kong.
Other investors in the war-torn country include Luxembourg-based Godvig Capital Management’s hedge fund Babylon Fund which maintains an office in Baghdad. Scimitar Global Ventures, a Pennsylvania-based private equity and venture capital firm, is also actively scouting investment opportunities in Iraq according to co-founder Zachary Venegas.