By Mahmoud Kassem – May 26, 2010
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Templeton Asset Management Ltd.’s Mark Mobius said he’s been buying stocks in Brazil, Russia, India and China in the past month and called the slump in emerging-economy shares a “correction” in a bull market.

“Despite the fact that a lot of people think that we are entering into a bear market, we don’t believe so,” Mobius, who oversees about $34 billion in emerging markets as Templeton Asset Management’s Singapore-based executive chairman, said in an interview yesterday in Cairo. “This is a correction in an ongoing bull market.”

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index has dropped 16 percent from an April 15 high on concern China’s steps to slow inflation and European nations’ struggle to finance their deficits will derail the global economic recovery. The measure has climbed 94 percent from a four-year low in October 2008 and gained 3.2 percent yesterday, rebounding from the steepest drop since March 2009, on speculation valuations are attractive given prospects for accelerating economic growth.

“When the time comes, emerging markets will recover faster and in a big way,” Mobius said. “We’ve been buying because we have had net flows into our funds. And most of the buying has been in the BRIC countries.”

Templeton has also been buying equities in other nations, including Dubai and Egypt, he said. The firm hasn’t reduced holdings in South Korea because the companies it owns were “relatively inexpensive” when it purchased them and may benefit from international sales should South Korea’s economic rebound stall, Mobius said.

North Korea expelled eight South Korean government workers and threatened to close the border yesterday as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Seoul it’s not too late to make amends for sinking one of the South’s warships.