Franklin MicroCap Value Fund Closes

Jan. 15, 2004 -- Franklin Templeton Investments closed its Franklin MicroCap Value (FRMCX) to new investors, effective January 14.

The company explained that "given the small universe of companies that qualify as investment opportunities for the fund, the fund's managers believe it is in the best interest of fund shareholders to limit new investments in the fund at this time."

In addition, Franklin Templeton noted that, effective February 8, the fund will raise the maximum market cap of securities considered to be micro-cap from $300- million to $400-million, "as is consistent with the industry's current definition of 'microcap.'"

Co-managed by William J. Lippman and Bruce C. Baughman, the $382.6-million fund gained an average annualized 26.1% for the three years ended Dec. 31, 2003, versus 12.6% for the average small-cap value portfolio. The fund has a 5-Star ranking from Standard & Poor's.

As reported, the fund was re-opened to new investors last June, after having been closed since January 2002.

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