Amid Ukraine turmoil, Hasenstab maintains exposure in small bond fund

BOSTON, April 16 Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:03pm EDT

BOSTON, April 16 (Reuters) - Templeton bond fund manager Michael Hasenstab, a major investor in Ukraine debt, maintained his exposure to the crisis-torn country in one of his small emerging-market funds.

Hasenstab is an influential voice in the international dispute as manager of the $70.7 billion Templeton Global Bond Fund, which held roughly $3.1 billion worth of Ukraine bonds at the end of 2013, its latest disclosure for the country.

Hasenstab's $15 million Templeton Emerging Markets Bond Fund had 8.03 percent of its assets in a pair of Ukraine bonds at the end of March, up from 7.68 percent at the of February, according to data posted on a company website. The two bonds mature in 2022 and 2023.

Among four funds in which Hasenstab held Ukraine debt late last year, the highest percentage was in the Templeton Emerging Markets Bond Fund, according to data from Lipper, a Thomson Reuters unit.

Hasenstab has not given interviews in recent months as the country's struggles with Russia became an international standoff. In prepared remarks released on April 9, Hasenstab said he is confident Ukraine can flourish and that its current government has done an "exceptional job" of tackling issues. [ID:nL2N0N120Z ]

A spokeswoman for Templeton parent Franklin Resources Inc said on Wednesday she could not immediately comment on the smaller fund's latest disclosures. (Reporting by Ross Kerber; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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