INTERNATIONAL. Franklin Templeton Investments recently completed the signing of the investment management agreement, appointing it as investment manager of the Fondul Proprietatea Romanian equity assets, after being selected from among several leading asset managers.
The Fund, valued at approximately €2.4 billion1 (US$3.5 billion), was launched in December 2005 to compensate Romanians whose properties were confiscated by the country’s former communist regime.
As a result of this new relationship, Franklin Templeton Investment Management Limited (FTIML) is in the process of establishing and resourcing a dedicated office in Bucharest.
“We are delighted to have been selected to manage the Fondul Proprietatea, one of the largest and most prestigious mandates in Eastern Europe,” said David Smart, global head of sovereign funds and supranationals for Franklin Templeton Investments.
“This appointment is testament to Templeton’s emerging markets expertise, and the firm’s longstanding experience working with sovereign funds worldwide.
Our main priority after the official appointment of Franklin Templeton as investment manager is to list the fund on the Bucharest stock exchange and to promote it not only to domestic Romanian investors but also to the broader international community as an attractive investment vehicle reflecting the positive development of Romania’s capital market.”
Ionut Propescu, Fondul Proprietatea’s CEO commented: “Five years ago, as Romania’s former minister of finance, I was strongly in favour of including in the fundamental legislation of Fondul Prorietatea, a clause regarding the international selection of a fund manager.
Today it gives me great pleasure to witness the signing of the Fondul Proprietatea contract with one of the most prestigious asset managers in the finance world. Moreover, I am sure that the presence of FTIML in Romania will not only help to increase the value of the fund, but also the focused interest of foreign investors in the local capital market."
The fund will be managed by the Romanian-based fund managers of the Templeton Emerging Markets Team, headed by Dr Mark Mobius, a pioneer in emerging markets investing, with over 30 years of experience managing assets for retail, institutional and professional investors across the globe.
One of the largest of its kind, the Templeton Emerging Markets Team manages over US$30 billion in emerging markets equities and consists of 39 portfolio managers, analysts and products specialists, speaking 22 different languages and dialects and located in 15 offices around the world.
Commenting on the prospects for Romania, Dr Mobius said: “Romania is one of the bright spots on the emerging markets map with tremendous growth potential in a number of areas.
After joining the European Union in January 2007, it became the seventh-most populous member and an exciting investment area for investors not previously familiar with the country.
The Templeton Emerging Markets Team has been investing in Romania for a number of years, well before the recent surge of interest.
The opportunity for diversified investments in a number of industry areas is very good so that both domestic and foreign investors should be able to participate in Romania's promising future."
A leading global asset manager, Franklin Templeton has had proven success in building its businesses in domestic markets, including recent office openings in Vietnam, Malaysia and Mexico.
Under the leadership of Vivek Kudva, Managing Director for India and CEEMEA region, the firm also has a strong presence in Central and Eastern Europe, with offices in Moscow, Warsaw, Budapest, Vienna and Istanbul, and offers Luxembourg-domiciled SICAV funds to investors in Central and Eastern Europe including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia.