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Franklin Templeton launches new Mena fund

Dubai, November 18, 2008

Franklin Templeton Investments Corporation has announced the launch of new Franklin Middle East and North Africa (Mena) Fund for Canadian investors.

The new fund will be managed by Franklin Templeton Investments Corporation, with Dubai-based asset manager Algebra Capital acting as sub-advisor.

Franklin Templeton Investments had acquired a 25 per cent stake in Algebra Capital in August 2007.

The Fund will invest in firms across the Mena region, as well as companies positioned to benefit from growth in these economies, said a top official.

“Algebra Capital has one of the most experienced equity investment teams in the Mena region. They have on-the-ground presence, conduct regular onsite company visits, speak the local language and understand the culture,” said Don Reed, president and chief executive officer, Franklin Templeton Investments Corporation.

“The new fund will provide investors with access to markets that they do not currently hold in their portfolio and provide further diversification,” he remarked.

The objective of the fund is long-term capital appreciation by investing primarily in equity and fixed income securities of companies located in, but not limited to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and in companies expected to benefit from developments in the economies of these regions.

Using a blend of growth and value investment styles, the fund will be diversified across all market capitalization ranges.

“The launch of the Franklin Mena Fund aimed at Canadian investors signifies that despite the recent global market turmoil and perhaps as a result of it, investors continue to view the Mena region as an attractive investment destination,” said Ziad Makkawi, founder and chief executive officer Algebra Capital.

“The launch of this Fund further strengthens Algebra’s strategic relationship with Franklin Templeton Investments in the region,” Makkawi added.

Joe Kawkabani, head of equity asset management, Algebra Capital, pointed out that the Mena region will grow at a strong pace in the coming years due to the rise in massive infrastructure spending and the emergence of business sectors, such as logistics, banking, construction, petrochemicals and fertilizers.

"Even if crude oil sinks below $50 US per barrel, this should not deter government spending on roads, hospitals and schools. We expect that companies across the region stand to gain from this growth," he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: launch | Franklin Templeton Investments Corporation | Mena fund |

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