Chief investment officer
Templeton Institutional Group
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Assets under management: $30 billion
GDP (in United States and eurozone): 3%
CPI (in the United States and eurozone): 2% to 2.5%
Hot countries: France, Germany, United Kingdom, Korea
Hot sectors: Industrials, materials, insurance
Hot stocks: BHP Billiton, Samsung Electronics, Alstom, Volkswagen, Swiss Re
"We are in the midst of a synchronized global slowdown, the first in 20 years," Gary Motyl believes. He thinks the worldwide economic recovery will begin in the second quarter.
Mr. Motyl is most bullish about the prospects for recovery in Europe, which he said did not suffer from the economic and stock market excesses of the late 1990s that hurt the U.S. economy. "European economies in general are in decent shape," he said. "They have more leeway on the fiscal side and are well-positioned vs. global competition."
He believes the euro will be stable vs. the dollar over the next several months and thinks the prospects for expanding the eurozone will make it a stronger economic group. That, in turn, will attract increased investment.
Mr. Motyl is most gloomy about Japan. "We've been negative on Japan for 10 years. I think they will have a modest recovery this year, but the situation there will still be difficult because of the structural problems in the economy." However, he said his predictions for Japan could change "if the Japanese government makes a huge policy change. It could change the outlook overnight."
He thinks equities in the eurozone could perform particularly well this year. Mr. Motyl also thinks the Korean stock market will do well. "Korea has the chance to make people money this year. We're finding value there."