(Adds details on holdings, bonds in Russia)
April 21 Templeton Global Bond Fund manager
Michael Hasenstab maintained exposure to Ukraine in his largest
fund during the first quarter, a fund disclosure showed on
The holdings were in keeping with optimistic comments
Hasenstab made earlier this month about Ukraine's outlook
despite the crisis roiling its relations with Russia.
According to a fund disclosure posted on the website of
parent Franklin Resources Inc, the fund had 4.8 percent
of its assets invested in Ukraine infrastructure and government
securities on March 31 compared with 4.7 percent on Dec. 31. The
largest position as of March 31, in Ukraine 2017 bonds, was
valued at $695.7 million.
With $70.7 billion in assets, Templeton Global Bond Fund
is closely watched as a bellwether of Western investor
sentiment toward emerging markets.
Hasenstab on April 9 praised the Ukraine government's
handling of short-term issues and the structural reforms it had
put in place.
Hasenstab did not discuss the fund's portfolio in detail,
however. A company spokeswoman did not immediately respond on
Monday to questions about the latest holdings.
Data already released by Franklin Resources had shown the
top holdings of Hasenstab's fund on March 31 were in Irish and
Polish bonds, in similar amounts as he held in December.
Monday's disclosure also showed the fund held slightly fewer
amounts of two Russian foreign bonds. On March 31 they made up
0.93 percent of Templeton Global Bond Fund's portfolio, down
from 1 percent on Dec. 31.
(Reporting by Ross Kerber; Editing by David Gregorio and Tom