leading mutual fund company Franklin Templeton Investments
expects to conclude the deal of buying out Pioneer ITIs
stake from its current promoters by the end of June 2002.
In another move Templeton is also planning to outsource
its global IT and business processes from India. Templeton
managing director Vijay Advani says in this endeavour it
is also exploring the options to enter into a strategic
tie-up with an IT solutions company.
Regarding the Pioneer
ITIs stake, Franklin Templeton International president
Charles Johnson says negotiations are still on between
the two parties, and put the deal roughly at $50 million.
Templeton had signed a memorandum of understanding with
Pioneer ITI on 18 March 2002 to acquire the latters asset
portfolio in India through a 100-per cent acquisition
of the asset management company from its promoters Pioneer
Investment Corporation and Investment Trust of India.
Johnson says his company is keen to increase its presence
in India. We will continue growing the domestic fund
Johnson says the investment potential is massive in India
and along with Pioneers complementary products they are
set to capture a huge market. About the divergent investment
pattern of the two funds, and whether this would lead
to a conflict of interests, he says Franklin Templetons
approach has been one of consistent, superior and sustainable
Talking about the specific schemes, in light of the merger
with Pioneer ITI, Advani says the details on each plan
are yet to be finalised. And once the merger is completed,
which is expected in June 2002, we will reveal all the
details of the particular schemes post-discussion with
the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
About the current situation on the Indo-Pak border, Johnson
says this would not affect its merger with Pioneer. In
spite of the volatile situation the opportunity for investing
in India still looks very attractive. As on 17 May 2002
Templeton mutual funds assets were of the order of Rs
the markets scenario, Johnson says the mutual fund sector
in India offers a lot of opportunity for growth. Opening
up of the pension sector will be an added incentive to
increase our presence in the country.