MUMBAI (Commodity Online): Mark Mobius, Executive Chairman of Templeton Asset Management says commodity stocks are going to be the best performers in 2010.

Lots of investors and investment funds are seeing big potential in commodities especially in India and China, Mobius said stressing that Templeton is banking on commodity stocks in the New Year as they gave the best performance in 2009.

Mobius' thumps up for commodity stocks comes in the wake of the big returns that Templeton received out of investing in Indian Indian iron ore exporter Sesa Goa.

Sesa Goa was Templeton's top holding in 2009. Sesa Goa shares rose five-fold last year despite the probe into offences allegedly committed prior to 2007 when London-listed Vedanta Resources took a majority stake.
Sesa Goa accounted for 6.2% of the Asian Growth Fund's portfolio of Templeton in 2009. Templeton's other big bet was on Thailand, which accounts for 22.9% of the fund's portfolio despite concerns about the political situation there. The fund's top Thai holdings include oil firm PTT, Siam Commercial Bank and Siam Cement.

The Thai stock market rose 63% last year, bettering the performance of bigger Asian markets such as Hong Kong and Korea.The Templeton fund also has a 4.8% weighting in Pakistan, higher than its holding of companies listed in Hong Kong, Taiwan or Singapore.

According to Mobius, on the commodities front, Templeton would focus on oil companies, mining companies and companies that produce nickel, platinum, gold etc.

And then some of the agricultural companies, we have been buying some companies in Ukraine for example that are very big in agriculture because we see shortages in lot of the commodities going forward - particularly at the rate China and India are consuming, he pointed out.

He said Templeton's funds are heavily into energy and materials.