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Romania's Fondul eyes foreign investors with London listing

Published 29/04/2015, 13:54
© Reuters.  Romania's Fondul eyes foreign investors with London listing

By Karin Strohecker

LONDON (Reuters) - Romanian investment fund Fondul Proprietatea (BX:FP) hopes foreign investors will hold at least 15 percent of the fund through its secondary listing in London, its manager Greg Konieczny said on Wednesday.

Set up in 2005 to compensate Romanians whose properties were seized under communism, Fondul holds minority stakes in a slew of state-owned companies and is managed by Franklin Templeton.

Fondul launched its secondary listing on the London Stock Echange's specialist fund market on Wednesday, aiming to attract greater investment in Romanian assets

The listing comes in the form of Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) that can amount to no more than a third of the fund's total value.

"We'd love to see this GDR capacity filled by at least 50 percent," Konieczny said.

Fondul is the fifth-largest listed fund in London with a total next asset value (NAV) of $3.2 billion.

Franklin Templeton, which manages Fondul, has encouraged successive governments in the European Union's second-poorest country to list state companies to strengthen its capital markets.

Konieczny said there is agreement between Fondul and the government that a planned 2016 initial public offering of state power producer Hidroelectrica should come in form of a dual-listing in Bucharest and London.

Among Fondul's other holdings are OMV Petrom (BX:ROSNP), Romgaz (BX:ROSNG) and unlisted state-controlled assets such as Bucharest Airport and the port of Constanta.

For the latter two and salt monopoly Salrom, the government has begun preparations for initial public offerings, Konieczny said.

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