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Templeton to merge some schemes

Mumbai, Sept. 2: Franklin Templeton India is planning to merge some overlapping schemes — equity and debt — of Pioneer Mutual Fund, acquired in July 2002, with its existing schemes to consolidate its operations even as the asset management company steps up focus on institutional investors.

“We will finalise restructuring plans in three weeks and present them to the Securities and Exchange Board of India,” regional head (India, West Asia and east Europe) Rajiv Vij said.

“We will retain majority of the funds, and also look to merge some of the funds with similar investment objectives. The clients will benefit from the merger of funds as they merge with larger corpus portfolios making it more efficient to manage,” he added.

The gilt funds would be merged and there are plans to merge Franklin India Growth Fund and Pioneer Prima Plus, Vij said. There also plans to merge Franklin India Balanced Fund with Pioneer Balanced Fund and the Pioneer Nifty Fund could merge with Franklin India Index Fund. While India Income Builder Account will continue to maintain a more aggressive and over time acquire a dynamic style, the Templeton India Income Fund (TIIF) will occupy a conservative and steady positioning, he said.

Vij, however, added that that the merger plans were tentative and subject to change. The actual merger could take over three to six months.

Franklin Templeton is also looking at several new growth areas. These include collaboration with other players once the insurance sector is opened up.

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