Franklin Templeton apologises to SEBI for CEO’s ‘misreported’ comments

Suresh P Iyengar Mumbai | Updated on May 08, 2020 Published on May 08, 2020

Franklin Templeton has claimed that the comments made by its President & CEO Jenny Johnson on SEBI guidelines was quoted ‘out of context’ by the media, and diluted the essence of her responses to a question made in the quarterly earnings conference call recently.

In statement issued on Friday, Sanjay Sapre, President, Franklin Templeton said media reports suggested that Johnson stated that the SEBI guidelines on unlisted securities were the main reason for closure of six debt schemes by the fund house.

“This is neither factually correct nor substantiated by the comments made at the earnings call. Jhonson was providing a background regarding Franklin Templeton’s experience in the Indian market beforethe Covid pandemic,” he said.

The reference to the regulations around unlisted securities was to provide a background to an audience unfamiliar with the Indian markets, he said.

“We deeply regret any an unintended slight that may have caused to SEBI... and unconditionally apologise for the same,” said Sapre.

The primary reason which forced the decision to wind up the six debt schemes was the severe market dislocation caused by the Covid pandemic and related lockdown, which led to severe market illiquidity particularly for papers rated below AAA, combined with heightened redemptions during this period.

“Franklin Templeton would like to highlight that every possible option to avoid this difficult decision was considered, but it was concluded that this was the only viable option to protect value for investors in these funds,” he said.

Published on May 08, 2020

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