Fondul Proprietatea finalises contract appointing Franklin Templeton as its investment manager

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Franklin Templeton Investments (FTI) on Thursday 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, FT reports in a press release.

‘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,’ says Ionut Propescu, Fondul Proprietatea’s CEO.

‘We are delighted to have been selected to manage the Fondul Proprietatea, one of the largest and most prestigious mandates in Eastern Europe. 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,’ says 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 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. ‘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,’ Dr. Mobius said, commenting on the prospects for Romania. The Fund, valued at approximately 2.4 billion euros (US$ 3.5 billion), was launched in December 2005 to compensate Romanians whose properties were confiscated by the country’s former communist regime.

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