Asia's Tech Edge
TheStreet.com caught up with Oh to ask him about regional tech trends, favorite investment sectors, and his take on a couple of portfolio holdings. As of the third quarter, his fund's top 10 holdings included tech stalwarts such as Samsung, Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM), China Mobile (CHL), Infosys (INFY) and The9 (NCTY).
TheStreet.com: As of the third quarter, your fund was overweight wireless-telecom services. What do you like about this sector?
Oh: In China and India especially, the wireless industry is still growing, unlike the developed markets where wireless growth has been pretty much stable.
So China Mobile is a play on that trend?China is already the fourth-largest country in the world in terms of GDP (gross domestic product), and even at that size, I think the wireless market is still under-penetrated. It's hard to guess how long this growth will continue in the future, but I think the valuation remains reasonable and the growth prospects in China are still brighter than many other countries you can find. In a country like China, there's a fair amount of regulatory risk in a sector like telecom, but the industry also offers a lot of exposure to the domestic consumer market. How do you balance the two? The regulatory risk in Asia tends to be very high, especially in China and India. It's very important to be fully aware of that risk. But you can find good companies within that framework that cooperate with the Chinese government. The gaming sector, which has been relatively free from regulatory headaches, has been a good area. I know you have a holding in The9, the gaming company. But there have been a couple of government crackdowns over the past year to try to discourage young people from playing so many hours of online games in Internet cafes. Are these kinds of new regulations a worry at all? That happened in Korea, too, about two or three years ago when gaming started to get really popular. It's a problem, but not a big concern for us.
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