Franklin Templeton Investment Management Limited was today appointed as investment manager and administrator of the multi-billion Euro Romanian restitution fund, Fondul Proprietatea (“the Fund”), at the Fund’s Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders (EGM). The appointment is subject to final approval by the Trade Register and Official Gazette publication.
The EGM, as well as the Fund’s Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders (OGM), which also convened this week, follow the Presidential ratification of Ordinance 81 on July 9, 2010. Launched in December 2005, Fondul Proprietatea was established to compensate Romanians whose properties were confiscated by the former communist government.
Highlights from today’s EGM include:
• Approval of the Fund’s Constitutive Act;
• Appointment of Franklin Templeton Investment Management Limited as the Fund’s sole director;
• Approval to list the Fund on the Bucharest Stock Exchange within 90 business days from the registration of the Fund with National Securities Commission
Highlights from the OGM include:
• Appointment of the following members to the Body of Nominees
• Sorin Mindrutescu, CEO, Oracle Romania
• Corin Trandafir, Attorney to several minority shareholders
• Bogdan Dragoi, Ministry of Finance Secretary of State coordinating the Treasury Department
• Monika Maurer, Adviser, International Relations and Finance to the Minister of Economy
• Cristian Busu, Fondul Proprietatea Finance Director
• Revocation of members of Fondul Proprietatea’s Supervisory Board and the Directorate;
• Approval of the appointment of Deloitte & Touche as the Fund’s Auditor;
• Approval to distribute a dividend to shareholders representing the Fund’s net profit for 2008 and 2009, the proposed amount being 0.0816 RON /share. The dividend payment period will begin in October.
Dr. Mark Mobius, Executive Chairman of the Templeton Emerging Markets Group and a pioneer in emerging markets investing, commented, “The decision today paves the way for the Fund’s listing on the Bucharest Stock Exchange which will benefit its shareholders and the broader Romanian capital market in addition to attracting foreign institutional investors to the country. We also applaud the decision to approve the distribution of a dividend to shareholders, bringing us a step closer to long-awaited restitution which should be fully realised on completion of the Fund's listing in early 2011."
Bucharest-based Greg Konieczny and designated Fund Manager of Fondul Proprietatea, commented, “We look forward to listing the fund at the beginning 2011 and to working with both Fund shareholders and the Body of Nominees.”
Ionut Propescu, Fondul Proprietatea’s CEO commented, "Today’s shareholder meeting is the most important event since the beginnings of Fondul Proprietatea, in 2005. I am confident that Franklin Templeton’s appointment as the Fund’s manager, and the high quality investment management experience it brings to this role, will reflect positively on the Fund’s prospects and share price. Franklin Templeton’s appointment, combined with the Fund's planned listing on the Bucharest Stock Exchange and a listing on the London Stock Exchange, will enable Fondul Proprietatea to become not only the right solution for the indemnification of those dispossessed of their properties but also one of the most attractive investment vehicles in the world."
Franklin Templeton recently established an office in Bucharest, with a team of 17 employees, including six local investment analysts, who are further supported by the 35 portfolio managers and analysts of the wider Templeton Emerging Markets team. With these extensive resources in place, Franklin Templeton is well positioned to begin managing the €2.7 billion Fund (Source: Fondul Proprietatea Annual Report 2009).
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. The firm also has a strong presence in Central and Eastern Europe, with offices in Moscow, Warsaw, Budapest and Istanbul. Under the leadership of Vivek Kudva, managing director for the India and CEEMEA region, Franklin Templeton offers Luxembourg-domiciled investment funds and other tailored investment solutions to retail and institutional investors in Central and Eastern Europe including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia and plans to do the same in Romania.
Franklin Templeton Investment Management Limited is a subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN], 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 USD 602 billion in assets under management as of July 31, 2010.
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