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    Heather Hickson
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    Franklin Templeton Darby Private Equity to Launch Renminbi Private Equity Fund in China

    Shanghai, China, October 11, 2011 - Franklin Templeton Darby Private Equity, a wholly owned subsidiary of Franklin Templeton Investments, has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the District Government of Jiading in Shanghai on the formation of an RMB-denominated fund in Shanghai.

    Franklin Templeton Darby Private Equity, with support from the Shanghai Municipal Government and the Government of the District of Jiading, will establish the Franklin Templeton Darby Private Equity Fund ("the Fund"), its first Chinese local currency fund in Jiading, Shanghai, with a target size of RMB 2 billion. Once established, the Fund will focus on private equity investment opportunities in mid-market private enterprises in China.

    Over the last two years, as a part of the government's efforts to develop Shanghai into an international financial center, the Shanghai Municipal Government and its District Governments have implemented policy measures to attract domestic and foreign private equity fund management companies to domicile in Shanghai. Franklin Templeton Darby Private Equity has worked collaboratively with the District Government of Jiading to establish its fund management operations in Shanghai. The Jiading Government's Guidance Fund, a fund of funds, is expected to be a limited partner in the Fund.

    Mr. David Hudson, Franklin Templeton Darby's Senior Managing Director for Asia and Global Infrastructure, said: "Shanghai Jiading is among the most active private sector economies in Shanghai, with over 100,000 private enterprises. Since Franklin Templeton Darby's traditional focus has always been midcap private companies, Jiading is certainly a good place to start when we begin looking for fast growing and profitable private enterprises to invest in. Franklin Templeton Darby is establishing a team in Shanghai Jiading with the assistance of Dr. Wu Ching-mai, Senior Advisor, which is consistent with our operating policy of having local teams based in the countries where we operate."

    "As a global asset management organization, Franklin Templeton is committed to offering investments products in local markets to serve the needs of retail and institutional investors and Franklin Templeton Darby's private equity product offering in China is very much a part of that strategy," said Hudson. "Franklin Templeton has accumulated a wealth of experience investing in China, acquired a deep understanding of the local market, and laid a solid foundation for our new local currency private equity fund in China."

    Franklin Templeton Darby Private Equity has been managing private equity funds in Asia with investments in China since 2002, and the firm's parent company, Franklin Templeton Investments, has been investing in China for over 25 years. Franklin Templeton Darby has fourteen funds currently under management, of which four funds in Korea, India, Brazil, and Colombia are capitalized solely by local investors.

    Darby Private Equity is the emerging markets private equity arm of Franklin Templeton Investments. It was founded in 1994 by The Honorable Nicholas F. Brady. Richard Frank joined the firm as CEO in 1997 after his career at the International Finance Corporation (IFC)/ World Bank. For more information please visit darbyoverseas.com. In 2003 Darby became a fully owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN], a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment solutions managed by its Franklin Templeton, Mutual Series, Fiduciary Trust, Darby and Bissett investment teams. The San Mateo, CA-based company has more than 60 years of investment experience and over US$716 billion in assets under management as of August 31, 2011. For more information, please visit franklinresources.com.

    Jiading District, one of the 18 districts in Shanghai, in the northwest, has a population of approximately 1.5 million. Established over 700 years ago, Jiading is known for its rich cultural heritage. Since the late 1950s, Jiading has served as an important center of industry, education, science and technology. Today, Jiading's major industries include financial services, automobiles, electric appliances, telecommunications, and textile. Home to Shanghai Volkswagen and Volvo China, Jiading is an international auto city in China. The Shanghai International Circuit is best known as the venue for the annual Chinese Grand Prix. For more information, please visit www.jiading.gov.cn.