A class-action suit charges the Templeton Vietnam Opportunities Fund with securities law violations and breach of fiduciary responsibility. The closed-end fund had $105 million under management as of Sept. 30, the most recent data available.
The suit alleges Templeton International officials promised investors that if the fund was unable to invest at least 65% of its assets in Vietnamese companies by Oct. 1, 1997, a shareholder vote would be called to either liquidate the fund or change its name and investment mandate. The fund never invested more than 15% in Vietnamese stocks, and no shareholder vote was held, according to the suit.
The suit, filed on behalf of fund shareholders in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., claims that by failing to allow shareholders to liquidate the fund when promised, Templeton caused shareholders to lose more than $30 million as the share value fell during last year's Asian turmoil.
A spokeswoman for Franklin Templeton said the company believes the complaint has no legal or factual merit and intends a vigorous defense.
AMVESCAP formed a new global retirement services operating division that will develop and manage the global distribution of defined contribution plan services outside the U.S. A unit within the division will focus on developing markets overseas for INVESCO, AIM and Chancellor LGT products.
U.S. defined contribution services will remain a separate unit.