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Franklin Templeton Investments increases equity stake in Mena specialist

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Franklin Templeton Investments and Algebra Capital, an asset management firm in the Middle East/North Africa region, have announced that Franklin Templeton has increased its equity stak

Franklin Templeton Investments and Algebra Capital, an asset management firm in the Middle East/North Africa region, have announced that Franklin Templeton has increased its equity stake in Algebra Capital to 40 per cent.
 
The strategic relationship between the two companies was originally established in September 2007 when Franklin Resources acquired a 25 per cent stake in the company. 

In addition, William Y. Yun, executive vice president of alternative strategies for Franklin Templeton Investments (pictured), 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 recognises 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,’ says 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,’ adds Ziad Makkawi, chief executive officer and founder of Algebra Capital.

The Mena region, which includes Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait, is the world’s eighth-largest economic bloc. The market capitalization of the Mena region was over USD750bn 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. 

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