Fund manager Mark Mobius's crusade for protecting minority shareholders' interests in company placement exercises has been criticised by market participants. James Soutar, secretary of the Hong Kong Society of Financial Analysts, claimed Mr Mobius's campaign was 'completely ridiculous'. Mr Mobius, managing director of Templeton Asset Management, argues private placements dilute the interests of minority shareholders without giving existing shareholders the right to opt in. Mr Soutar said: 'It is completely ridiculous . . . he probably is the second one to receive a call [from the company making the placement], second after [leading fund-management company] Fidelity.' What mattered was whether a company explained what it was going to do with the money raised, he said. Edward Chow Kwong-fai, chairman of the corporate governance committee of the Hong Kong Society of Accountants, said: 'This cry for minority shareholders' interests is not fair . . . If the company's best interest is being served, I don't mind my interest in the company being diluted.' The two men were speaking at a conference on corporate governance organised by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.