Fondul Proprietatea (FP), the Romanian closed-end fund managed by Franklin Templeton Investments and one of the world’s largest closed-end funds, has been admitted to trading today on the Specialist Fund Market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) by means of global depositary receipts (GDRs), a press release informs.
FP consists of a portfolio of Romanian equity securities with assets of over EUR 2.9 billion and has been listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) since January 2011.
„(…) The Fund has the potential to become one of the most visible and attractive closed-end funds listed in London, given its size, portfolio and discount to NAV. Moreover, we are convinced that the secondary listing of the Fund on the LSE will increase the visibility of the Romanian capital market on the international scene, will facilitate access of a broader base of foreign investors to the country, and will act as a catalyst towards unveiling Romania’s many other investment opportunities. We have witnessed a huge interest for Romanian companies during our numerous roadshows to raise awareness of the Fund abroad and we are confident that the Fund’s listing on the LSE will increase the appetite of investors for Romanian equities,” Dr. Mark Mobius, Executive Chairman, Templeton Emerging Markets Group said, commenting on the listing.
The Fund was originally setup in 2005 to compensate Romanians whose properties were seized during the communist regime.
The Fund currently invests in Romania’s most profitable and largest listed companies such as OMV Petrom (the largest oil producer in Romania), Romgaz (the largest gas producer in the country) and in large unlisted state-controlled infrastructure assets such as Bucharest Airport and the port of Constanta. The Fund also offers exposure to Hidroelectrica, one of the largest European hydro-generation companies, as well as to natural commodities monopolies such as the Romanian salt mining company Salrom.
„(…) As one of the most significant investment funds in Europe, the success of the listing is a reflection of the strength of the Romanian economy, which has one of the highest growth rates in the EU. This is a significant milestone which will serve to further enhance the fund’s visibility and access to global capital as well as highlighting Romania’s ability to attract the world’s largest investors without compromising the development of a domestic shareholder base,” Xavier Rolet, CEO, London Stock Exchange Group, commented in his turn.
The Fund is currently trading at 23.6 percent (as at 20 April 2015) discount to NAV, having reduced from over 55 percent four years ago, while the share price increased by approximately 71 percent since its initial listing on BVB.