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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mark Mobius Pitches a New Mutual Fund

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Mark Mobius and his team at Franklin Templeton [see profile] have rolled out the Templeton Asian Growth Fund aimed at U.S. investors. [SEC filing]

"We've been investing in Asia since 1987, and since that time, the region has witnessed a tremendous transformation and is now home to some of the fastest growing economies globally," said Mobius, executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group and lead PM of the fund.

The other PMs are Allan Lam and Dennis Lim.
Company Press Release

Franklin Templeton Investments Introduces Templeton Asian Growth Fund for U.S. Investors

SAN MATEO, CA--( December 21, 2010) -Franklin Templeton Investments today announced the introduction of Templeton Asian Growth Fund, an actively managed, U.S.-registered mutual fund that seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing predominately in securities of companies located in the Asia region.

"We've been investing in Asia since 1987, and since that time, the region has witnessed a tremendous transformation and is now home to some of the fastest growing economies globally," said Mark Mobius, Ph.D., executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group and the Fund's lead portfolio manager. "Asia represents an important arena in emerging markets investing, and while valuations in Asia have indeed increased in recent times, growth and profitability still appear strong, indicating, in our view, strong fundamentals. As bottom-up value investors, we are still able to find attractive stocks on an individual basis in most Asian markets. We expect Asian markets to continue a long-term secular bull phase, reflecting the economic growth in those countries, although markets will probably experience corrections along the way." Watch a video of Mark Mobius discussing opportunities in Asia.

The number of listed companies in Asian emerging markets has grown by 206% over the last 20 years versus 36% in developed countries.(1) Investors who seek exposure to the growing number of listed companies in Asia can do so by investing in this Fund.

"The expanding middle class throughout the Asian region is expected to fuel consumer demand and economic expansion. Our recent focus has been on the two 'Cs': consumers and commodities. Rising per capita income and increasing demand for consumer products and services in Asia point to a positive earnings growth outlook for consumer-related companies. We look for opportunities not only in areas related to consumer products, such as automobiles and retailing, but also consider services such as finance, banking and telecommunications. We believe commodities offer another way to access the high growth trajectory of nations like China and India and take advantage of greater demand. In this area, we are looking at companies that are strong in the production of commodities such as oil, iron ore, aluminum, copper, nickel and platinum." For more commentary on Asia and other topics, visit Mark Mobius' blog at http://mo bius.blog.franklintempleton.com.

The Fund's portfolio managers -- Mark Mobius, Allan Lam and Dennis Lim -- are supported by Templeton's emerging markets team of over 40 investment professionals, more than half of whom are based in Asia. They bring first-hand knowledge of specific countries and the ability to capitalize on opportunities others may fail to uncover. The team has offices in 17 locations, eight within the Asia region, and members travel to some 40 Asian cities each year to perform company visits and gather information and data that can facilitate timely and astute investment decision-making.

Templeton was a pioneer in 1987 when it launched the first mutual fund dedicated to emerging markets, which Mobius has managed since its inception. Mobius has more than 40 years of emerging markets experience, and Lam and Lim each have over 20 years. They have managed emerging markets equity portfolios for Templeton for more than 20 years. Templeton has consistently adhered to a bottom-up stock selection process and strict value discipline throughout its history, enduring many different market cycles and offering investors a truly global perspective.

For purposes of the Fund's investments, Asia region companies are companies that are organized under the laws of, or with principal offices in the Asia region; companies whose principal trading markets are in Asia region countries; or derive at least 50% of their revenues from goods or services sold or produced in Asia region countries; or companies that have at least 50% of their assets in Asia region countries. For purposes of its principal investments, the Asia region excludes Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Special risks are associated with foreign investing, including currency fluctuations, economic instability and political developments. Investments in emerging market countries involve heightened risks related to the same factors, in addition to those associated with these markets' smaller size, lesser liquidity and lack of established legal, political, business and social frameworks to support securities markets. The Fund may also experience greater volatility than a fund that is more broadly diversified geographically. Smaller company stocks have historically had more price volatility than large-company stocks, particularly over the short term. The Fund is designed for the aggressive portion of a well-diversified portfolio. These and other risk considerations are discussed in the Fund's prospectus.

Dr. Mobius' opinions can change without notice. His assessment of a particular market, investment or strategy is not intended as an investment recommendation; it is intended only to provide insight into the Fund manager's views and portfolio selection process.

Investors should carefully consider a fund's investment goals, risks, charges and expenses before investing. To obtain a summary prospectus and/or prospectus, which contains this and other information, talk to your financial advisor, call us at (800) DIAL BEN / (800) 342-5236 or visit franklintempleton.com. Please carefully read a prospectus before you invest or send money.

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