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Templeton fund manager reportedly holds over 10% of Hungary’s government debt

US-based investment firm Franklin Templeton holds more than HUF 1,000bn, or over 10%, of Hungary’s forint- and foreign-currency-denominated debt, the business daily Napi Gazdasag reported, citing unnamed market sources on Tuesday.

The share is actually less according to figures by Hungary’s Government Debt Management Agency (AKK), which show gross central budget debt stock of HUF 21,069bn at the end of September, including HUF 15,524bn in forint and foreign-currency- denominated securities.

The sources said that Templeton has made extensive purchases of Hungarian government bonds over the past six months, including purchases at auctions. They noted that the fund manager had overweighted Hungarian stocks in the past, but it had not been active in bonds earlier.

Hungary’s Government Debt Management Agency (AKK) is in direct contact with primary dealers only at the auctions and has no information on the ultimate buyers, AKK deputy head Laszlo Andras Borbely told the daily. Information AKK receives from the Central Depository and Clearing House Keler shows only the foreign-registered stock, Mr Borbely added.