Billionaire investor Mark Mobius told FOX Business he can’t get his money out of China because of the country’s capital controls, and warned investors to be “very, very careful” when investing in an economy under tight government control.
“I have an HSBC account in Shanghai. I can’t get 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 March 2.
“I can’t get them to explain to me why they’re doing this … They are putting up all kinds of barriers. They don’t say, ‘No, you can’t get your money out.’ But they say, ‘give us all the 20-year records of how you made this money.’ It’s crazy.”
Mobius’ comments circulated on Chinese social network WeChat over the weekend.
Mobius led Franklin Templeton Investments’ emerging markets investments for three decades and is known for his bullish view on China. Now, however, he said, “I would be very, very careful” about investing in the country.
“The bottom line is that China is moving in a completely different direction than Deng Xiaoping instituted when he initiated the grand reform program,” he said, referring to the former Chinese leader.
“Now you have a government that is taking actions of gold in companies throughout China. That means they’re going to try to control all those companies … So I don’t think it’s a very good picture when you see the government becoming more and more oriented towards controlling the economy.”
Mobius, which bills itself as “the Indiana Jones of emerging-market investing,” told FOX Business that it is increasing its exposure to alternative markets such as India and Brazil.
Mobius and HSBC could not be reached over the weekend.