Fondul Proprietatea, Franklin Templeton wrap up agreement

Franklin Templeton Investments completed the signing of the investment management agreement, appointing it as investment manager of the Fondul Proprietatea Romanian equity assets.

Templeton Emerging Markets Team manages over USD 30 billion in emerging markets equities and consists of 39 portfolio managers, analysts and products specialists, located in 15 offices around the world. 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.

At the end of February, the National Securities Commission cleared the investment management agreement of sovereign fund Fondul Proprietatea by Franklin Templeton, after being approved by shareholders.

“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," said Ionut Propescu (photo), Fondul Proprietatea’s CEO.

“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,” said David Smart, global head of sovereign funds and supranationals for Franklin Templeton Investments.

The fund will be managed by the Romanian-based fund managers of the Templeton Emerging Markets Team, headed by 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.

“Romania is one of the bright spots on the emerging markets map with tremendous growth potential in a number of areas. 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," Mobius commented.

Fondul Proprietatea is an open-end investment fund with total assets of €2.4 billion under custody. The sovereign fund was established in 2005 to refund the value of the abusively confiscated state properties which are impossible to be re-ceded in kind.

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