$383 mn raised by Franklin Templeton for Asian real estate fund

17th March, SINGAPORE – On Tuesday, U.S fund manager Franklin Resources (BEN.N) said, Franklin Templeton had raised $383 million Asian real estate private equity fund to make an investment in cheap and distressed assets in the area.

Worldwide market turmoil and decreased access to financing have created highly unusual investment opportunities in both the developed and emerging Asian property market, the fund manager Franklin Templeton, said in a statement.

Commercial property costs in financial centers Hong Kong and Singapore are tipped to go down by 50-60% over the next couple of years as banks and fund management firms stroke jobs and rent less space, said analyst.

As banks cut their exposure to real estate, property owners in India, China, Japan, Australia and other countries could be forced into fire sales if they fail to refinance loans, putting more properties on the market and driving values down further.

“We believe that 2009 and 2010 should provide excellent opportunities for real estate investing in Asia,” Glenn Uren, the fund’s portfolio manager said. “Savvy investors are carefully exploring the region looking for undervalued and distressed assets.”

Franklin Templeton, the fund manager, which has been investing in Asian real estate for the past twelve years, also transferred two senior staff members to Hong Kong and Singapore to focus on real estate.

The vice president, Wenning Jung, relocated to Singapore office from California and Donna Ming-Yuan Lee, research analyst relocated to the Hong Kong office from New York, the statement said. (Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

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