The strategic relationship between the two companies was originally established in September 2007 when Franklin Resources, Inc. acquired a 25% 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. 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 $750bn 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.
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