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Franklin Asian Equity Fund

Franklin Templeton Investments has launched an equity fund- Franklin Asian Equity Fund. This open ended fund will invest in companies in the Asian region, excluding Japan.

As per the stated asset allocation, the scheme will deploy at least 50 per cent of its assets in foreign equity while the domestic equity can go up to 40 per cent. Overall, equity and equity linked instruments would account for at least 70 per cent of the portfolio while up to 30 per cent may be invested in fixed income securities.

Scheme Details
Issue Opens: November 19, 2007
Issue Closes: December 18, 2007

Type: Open-end, equity scheme
Benchmark Index: MSCI Asia (ex-Japan) Standard Index
Minimum Investment: Rs 5,000
Entry Load: 2.25 per cent for investment of less than Rs 5 crore
Exit Load: For investment of less than Rs 5 crore, an exit load of 0.50 per cent will be charged, if redeemed within one year of allotment. For investment of more than Rs 5 crore, an exit load of 1 per cent will be charged upon redemption within six months from the date of allotment

About the Fund Managers
Mr. Sukumar and Ms. Roshi Jain will manage this scheme. Sukumar has a total work experience of 17 years. Prior to joining Franklin Templeton AMC he worked with Tata Steel (1986-1988), Indbank Merchant Banking Services (1990-1994) and Pioneer ITI AMC (1994-2002). Currently, he is managing Franklin Prima Plus, Franklin India Flexi Cap and several fund of funds.

Franklin Asian Equity Fund will be the first fund managed by Ms. Roshi. She will be responsible for overseas investments. Her previous assignments were with Goldman Sachs (London), Goldman Sachs (Singapore), Wipro and S. R. Batliboi & Company.

Fund  From  To  Return  Rank/Count
Franklin India Prima Plus-G Sep-94 Till Date 26.73 2/13
Templeton India CAP Education Plan Mar-04 Till Date 10.63 17/20
FT India Dynamic PE Ratio FoF-G Mar-04 Till Date 31.99 1/2
FT India Life Stage FoF 20s-G Oct-03 Till Date 31.71 60/69
FT India Life Stage FoF 30s-G Nov-03 Till Date 22.15 24/24
FT India Life Stage FoF 40s-G Nov-03 Till Date 15.38 11/18
FT India Life Stage FoF 50s Plus-G Nov-03 Till Date 10.04 16/18
Franklin IIF BSE Sensex-G Nov-03 Till Date 31.31 4/5
FT India Life Stage FoF 50s Plus FR-G Apr-04 Till Date 13.93 16/21
Franklin India Flexi Cap-G Apr-04 Till Date 49.46 34/99
Templeton India CAP Gift Plan-G Feb-05 Till Date 32.16 17/29

Performance History: Franklin Templeton
Franklin India AMC started its operation in the year 1996 and currently figures among the prominent asset managers of the country. Franklin was the first one to launch an open-ended equity fund in India. Currently they are managing assets worth Rs. 32,042 crore out of which 54 per cent is contributed towards equity.

The equity schemes of the fund house boast of a good long-term performance record. Out of its nine rated equity funds, six are rated 3-star and three are rated 4-star.

Franklin Asia Equity Fund will invest in shares of Indian as well as emerging Asian markets. The fund family's good long-term track record and presence and strength in other Asian markets is a plus. However, the appreciating rupee may hurt the fund's performance. The other problem is that this equity fund with less than 65% allocation to domestic shares will be deprived of the capital gains exemption for long-term gains, lower short-term capital gains tax and tax-free dividend.