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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Franklin Unveils a New Fund

News summary by MFWire's editors

Franklin Templeton is launching a new fixed income fund. The company unleashed the Templeton Global Total Return Fund today. The fund will be managed by Michael Hasenstab, senior vice president and co-director of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group’s international bond department. The company first filed to launch the fund back in June, before the recent market turmoil.

Company Press Release

SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Franklin Templeton Investments today announced the introduction of Templeton Global Total Return Fund, a multi-sector global bond fund designed to capitalize on fixed income opportunities around the world. The Fund invests primarily in fixed- and floating-rate bonds of corporations, governments and government-related issuers worldwide, and will leverage the research capabilities and expertise of the over 100 investment professionals who comprise the Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group.

“Templeton Global Total Return Fund is an attractive option for investors looking for a one-stop, diversified global bond fund that has flexibility to invest across sectors, countries and currencies,” said the Fund’s portfolio manager, Michael Hasenstab, Ph.D., senior vice president and co-director of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group’s international bond department. “Our on-the-ground research capabilities around the globe really set us apart. In addition to our own travels and meetings with foreign government officials and corporate leaders, we are able to leverage the expertise of the broader Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group. We work very closely with the company’s local asset management investment professionals based in Brazil, India, China, Korea and U.A.E., as well as with our more than 70 sector specialists, whose geographic and sector expertise allow us to take full advantage of the Fund’s flexibility to strategically allocate assets using a truly diversified approach.”

In pursuit of total investment return, it is anticipated that the Fund will invest in a combination of investment grade and non-investment grade debt. Assets are allocated based on the manager’s assessment of value across countries and sectors, given changing market, political and economic conditions, as well as an in-depth evaluation of interest rates, exchange rates and credit risks.

“Global bonds are among those asset classes that can support portfolio diversification while benefiting from varying economic conditions around the world,” Hasenstab commented. “Today’s evolving environment provides global bond investors with the prospects to weather downturns in particular markets, reduce volatility and participate in selective currency and interest rate opportunities.”

Hasenstab has 10 years of investment experience with a Ph.D. in economics and specializes in global macroeconomic analysis with a focus on currency, interest rate and sovereign credit analysis of developed and emerging market countries. Hasenstab is also portfolio manager of the $10.9 billion Templeton Global Bond Fund, which has a proven track record in the global fixed income space. As of September 30, 2008, Templeton Global Bond Fund’s Class A shares received a 5-star overall Morningstar RatingTM, measuring risk-adjusted returns against 176, 160 and 108 U.S.-domiciled World Bond funds for the 3-, 5- and 10-year periods, respectively. (A fund’s overall rating is derived from a weighted average of the performance figures associated with its 3-, 5- and 10-year, if applicable, rating metrics.)1 Templeton Global Total Return Fund is intended to complement Templeton Global Bond Fund, which focuses its investments on government and sovereign debt.

Bond prices generally move in the opposite direction of interest rates. Thus, as the prices of bonds in the Fund adjust to a rise in interest rates, the Fund's share price may decline. The risks associated with higher-yielding, lower-rated securities include higher risk of default and loss of principal. Special risks are associated with foreign investing, including currency fluctuations, economic instability and political developments. Investments in developing markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors, in addition to those associated with their relatively small size and lesser liquidity. The Fund's use of foreign currency techniques involve special risks as such techniques may not achieve the anticipated benefits and/or may result in losses to the Fund. As a non-diversified fund, it may be more sensitive to economic, business, political or other changes affecting similar issuers or securities. These and other risk considerations are discussed in the Fund's prospectus.

Investors interested in Franklin Templeton’s global fixed income funds should carefully consider the Fund’s investment goals, risks, charges and expenses before investing. To obtain a prospectus, which contains this and other information, talk to your financial advisor, call 1-800/DIAL BEN (1-800/342-5236) or visit franklintempleton.com. Please carefully read the prospectus before you invest or send money.

Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN], is a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management solutions managed by its Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series and Fiduciary Trust investment teams. The San Mateo, CA-based company has 60 years of investment experience and over $507 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2008. For more information, please call 1-800/DIAL BEN® or visit franklintempleton.com.

1. Source: Morningstar® 9/30/08. For each fund with at least a 3-year history, Morningstar calculates a risk-adjusted return measure that accounts for variation in a fund’s monthly performance (including the effects of all sales charges), placing more emphasis on downward variations and rewarding consistent performance. The top 10% of funds in each category receive a Morningstar Rating™ of 5 stars, the next 22.5% receive 4 stars, the next 35% receive 3 stars, the next 22.5% receive 2 stars, and the bottom 10% receive 1 star. (Each share class is counted as a fraction of one fund and rated separately.) The Fund received Morningstar Ratings of 4, 5 and 5 stars for the 3-, 5- and 10-year periods, respectively. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Morningstar Rating™ is for Class A shares only; other classes may have different performance characteristics.

Edited by: Erin Kello

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