Templeton launches high-yield Korea fund

The Korean Development Bank has injected W350 billion into a fund it hopes will jumpstart Korea''s high-yield bond market.

Today Thursday Franklin Templeton Investment Services launches a W350 billion $270 million fund seeded entirely by the Korean Development Bank KDB that will invest in domestic high-yield debt in a bid to jolt the secondary market to life. Good Morning Securities is the fund's distributor.

Franklin Templeton approached KDB about three months ago to propose the fund, says Kim Dong-il, Franklin Templeton's head of fixed income. The government-owned policy bank has helped underwrite debt for much of corporate Korea and its bottom line has become a deep hole in tandem with the increase of domestic bankruptcies. Because the Republic has no secondary market to speak of, KDB has been saddled with unwanted high yield paper....

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