SHANGHAI, March 5 (Reuters) – Billionaire investor Mark Mobius told FOX Business he cannot take his money out of China because of the country’s capital controls and warned investors to be “very, very careful” about investing in an economy under a tight government grip.
“I have an account with HSBC in Shanghai. I can’t take my money out. The government is restricting the flow of money out of the country,” Mobius, founder of Mobius Capital Partners, told FOX Business in an interview published on March 2 .
“I can’t get an explanation why they’re doing this … They’re putting up all kinds of barriers. They’re not saying, ‘No, you can’t get your money out.’ But they’re saying, ‘Give us all the records from 20 years of, how you made this money… This is crazy.”
Mobius’ comments were circulated on Chinese social media WeChat over the weekend.
Mobius led emerging market investments at Franklin Templeton Investments for three decades and is known for his bullish view on China. But now he said he “would be very, very careful” about investing in the country.
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“The bottom line is that China is moving in a completely different direction than what Deng Xiaoping introduced when they started the big reform program,” he said, referring to the former Chinese leader.
“Now you have a government taking golden shares in companies all over China. That means they’re going to try to control all these companies … So I don’t think it’s a very good picture when you see the government becoming more and more control-oriented in the economy.”
Mobius, who calls himself the “Indiana Jones of emerging market investing,” told FOX Business that he is increasing exposure to alternative markets such as India and Brazil.
Mobius and HSBC could not be reached over the weekend.
Reporting from the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Tom Hogue
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