February 20, 2018 / 1:31 PM / 6 months ago

Bond star Hasenstab to manage new emerging local currency bond fund

LONDON (Reuters) - Franklin Templeton Investments has launched an emerging markets local currency bond fund under the management of high-profile investor Michael Hasenstab, the asset management firm said on Tuesday.

Hasenstab, whose flagship Templeton Global Bond Fund is celebrated for hugely successful contrarian punts on Ireland and Hungary, and Sonal Desai will be joint portfolio managers of the “Templeton Emerging Markets Local Currency Bond Fund”, the group said in a statement.

Emerging market local debt has returned 4.4 percent since the start of the year, making it one of the best performing asset classes. In 2017, local currency debt returned around 14 percent.

“Local-currency emerging markets have offered some of the most compelling investment opportunities across global fixed income markets, in our view,” Hasenstab said in a statement.

Hasenstab is the CIO for Templeton Global Macro which has $124 billion under management. He has been active in local emerging debt markets before, taking substantial positions in Ghana cedi-denominated government bonds.

The new fund will be high conviction, benchmark unconstrained and seek returns from interest income, capital appreciation and currency gains, the statement said.

Reporting by Karin Strohecker, Editing by William Maclean

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