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Franklin Templeton Early Exit Would Be Self-Defeating, Irish Say

Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Ireland’s bond agency Chief Executive John Corrigan said today he welcomed Franklin Templeton Investments view of the country and said that any large exit of its holdings in Irish government debt before they mature would probably be self-defeating.

“I don’t want to comment in too much detail on Franklin Templeton’s trading style but in assembling that portfolio they would have had to take a view as regards what their exit arrangements are and in that respect the idea that they could exit in size from before those bonds fall for maturity would be self-defeating,” Corrigan said in response to a question from lawmakers in Dublin today. Franklin Templeton owns about 8 billion euros ($10.3 billion), or 10 percent, of Irish government bonds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Franklin Templeton’s investment is “an outlier in terms of its large size,” according to Corrigan. The agency has seen sizeable purchases of Irish debt by other investors in European and U.S., Corrigan said.

Moody’s Investors Service non-investment grade rating of Irish government debt remains a “big impediment” to attracting back Asian investors, he said.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Brennan in Dublin at jbrennan29@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Finbarr Flynn at fflynn3@bloomberg.net

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