Franklin Templeton Investments Strengthens Strategic Relationship with Algebra Capital
Leading Global Asset Manager Increases Equity Stake
in MENA Specialist to 40 Percent
San Mateo, CA.– Franklin Resources, Inc. (operating as Franklin Templeton Investments) (NYSE: BEN) of San Mateo, CA, USA, and Algebra Capital, a leading asset management firm in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region, today announced that Franklin Templeton has increased its equity stake in Algebra Capital to 40 percent. The strategic relationship between the two companies was originally established in September 2007 when Franklin Resources, Inc. acquired a 25 percent stake in the company. In addition, William Y. Yun, executive vice president of Alternative Strategies for Franklin Templeton Investments, was appointed as a director of Algebra Capital, joining two other Franklin Templeton directors on the Algebra Capital board.
“This investment reinforces Franklin Templeton’s commitment to Algebra and recognizes the long-term opportunities in the MENA region. Algebra’s experienced leadership team and its strengths in both conventional and Shari’a compliant investing make it a solid strategic partner for our organization,” said Yun. “In addition, we are seeing local and regional investors, including MENA-based sovereign wealth funds, refocusing on investment opportunities closer to home as a consequence of continued volatility in global markets.”
Franklin Templeton’s increased stake in Algebra Capital further strengthens the company’s local asset management capabilities, which also include Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan and Korea.
“While the credit crisis has not spared our markets, the MENA region remains one of the fastest growing regions in the world with substantial wealth and relatively low levels of leverage – attractive attributes in this uncertain global economy. Algebra’s newly expanded relationship with Franklin Templeton, including Bill Yun’s addition to our board, gives us the financial, distribution and operational means to remain a leading player,” added Ziad Makkawi, chief executive officer and founder of Algebra Capital. “For the long-term investor, we are seeing tremendous investment opportunities in this market environment and Algebra’s local presence and expertise in the region make it well positioned to take advantage of these opportunities.
The MENA region, which includes Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Kuwait, is the world’s eighth-largest economic bloc. The market capitalization of the MENA region was over US$750 billion as of December 2008.
To date, Franklin Templeton and Algebra Capital have successfully launched and marketed five MENA equity funds worldwide, leveraging Franklin Templeton’s global distribution platform. Franklin Templeton will continue to work with Algebra to develop products that will complement its diversified product range.
Algebra Capital, established in November 2006, operates out of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) and is regulated as a financial services provider by the DFSA. Algebra is one of the leading asset managers in the MENA region, offering listed equities, fixed income and private equity to both regional and international institutional investors. Services are packaged as fund solutions or advisory mandates.
Franklin Templeton established its presence in the Gulf in October 2000, and currently offers a range of investment funds to eligible retail and institutional investors through Franklin Templeton Investment Management Limited Dubai, which supports its distribution partners across the MENA region. The Dubai office serves also as Franklin Templeton’s regional headquarters for the CEEMEA region.
Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN], is a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management solutions managed by its Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series, Fiduciary Trust, Darby and Bissett investment teams. The San Mateo, CA-based company has more than 60 years of investment experience and over US$377 billion in assets under management as of February 28, 2009. For more information, please visit franklintempleton.com.
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