Franklin Templeton announced today that it will close the Franklin MicroCap Value Fund to new investors when the fund’s total net assets reach $300 million. As of November 30, the fund’s total net assets were $258 million, the firm said.

The maximum market cap of securities that Franklin MicroCap Value Fund can purchase is $300 million, which limits the universe of companies that qualify as investment opportunities for the fund, the company said.

``Franklin MicroCap Value Fund's recent growth has strained our ability to deploy cash in a manner consistent with our value discipline,'' said Bruce Baughman, the fund’s portfolio manager.

Due to a renewed interest in value-style investing, between Dec. 29, 2000 and Nov. 30 of this year, the fund’s assets grew from $94.9 million to $258 million. The fund has returned 33.5% year to date.






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