SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Billionaire investor Mark Mobius told FOX Business he can’t withdraw his money from China because of the country’s capital controls, warning investors to be “very careful” about investing in an economy under tight government control. .
“I have an account with HSBC in Shanghai. I can’t withdraw my money. The government restricts the flow of money out of the country,” Mobius, founder of Mobius Capital Partners, told FOX Business in an interview published March 2. .
“I can’t get an explanation for why they’re doing this… They put up all kinds of barriers. They don’t say: No, you can’t get your money out. But they say: Give us all the records from 20 years of how you made that money… It’s insane.”
Mobius’ comments circulated on Chinese social networking site WeChat over the weekend.
Mobius has led emerging markets investing at Franklin Templeton Investments for three decades and is known for his optimistic outlook on China. Now, though, he said, he would “be very careful” to invest in the country.
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“The bottom line is that China is moving in a completely different direction from what Deng Xiaoping set when they started the great reform program,” he said, referring to the former Chinese leader.
“Now you have a government that is taking the gold shares in companies all over China. That means they’re going to try to control all of these companies… So I don’t think it’s a very good picture when the government sees us becoming more and more control-oriented in the economy.”
Mobius, who calls himself the “Indiana Jones of investing in emerging markets,” told FOX Business that he is increasing his exposure to alternative markets such as India and Brazil.
Mobius and HSBC could not be reached at the weekend.
reporting from the Shanghai newsroom; Edited by Tom Hogg
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