Franklin Templeton is set to re-open its $880m Frontier Markets fund to new investors at the end of May, after soft-closing the vehicle in 2013.
The Luxembourg-domiciled Templeton Frontier Markets fund had reached $2.1bn when it soft-closed but assets have now fallen to $880m, according to FE data; a drop Templeton's executive chairman Mark Mobius attributed to redemptions across its institutional client base.
Launched in 2008, the fund is now managed by Carlos Hardenberg, and invests in companies from across the market-cap scale that are incorporated in, or focused upon, frontier markets.
At the time, Franklin Templeton said the decision to soft-close was not a market capacity issue but the easiest way to manage flows it was seeing into its portfolios.
The re-opening of the fund on 31 May 2017 is based on improved relative returns for the strategy and absolute returns for the asset class as a whole, the firm said.
In addition, valuations in frontier markets are comparatively attractive to the manager, while delivering higher yields.
Hardenberg and Mobius also see improved opportunities in the frontier markets space, identifying Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Pakistan among the countries where they see the greatest potential.
In March, Mobius stood down from portfolio management duties on a number of Franklin Templeton funds, beginning a handover period that will ultimately see Hardenberg take on full responsibility.
Hardenberg recently detailed his thoughts on emerging markets opportunities, writing for Investment Week.
Over three years to 12 May, the Templeton Frontier Markets fund is up 30% compared to 21% for the MSCI Frontier Markets index, according to FE.
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