QUARTERLY COMMENTARY | 31 December 2012 Mutual Global Discovery Fund vestment Team
• Post-election investor distress regarding the US “fiscal cliff” drove rapid movements in global financial markets for part of the fourth quarter. European equities benefited from an improved outlook, outperforming their • Three of the fund’s largest contributors to absolute performance were UBS, • In contrast, three of the fund’s main detractors from performance for the Peter A. Langerman
Philippe Brugere-Trelat
quarter were Vodafone Group, Exelon and Microsoft. PORTFOLIO MANAGER INSIGHT
Market Review

Post-election investor distress regarding the US “fiscal cliff” drove rapid movements in global financial markets for part of the fourth quarter as negotiations continued about how to postpone this set of imminent spending cuts and tax increases. In the US, consumers spent more, partly due to stronger income and hiring as the country’s real-estate recovery strengthened, but manufacturers teetered between growth and contraction during the quarter. The state of the global economy remained tenuous. While economies in China and Brazil began to gradually improve, Japan and India were still on the downslope. After China’s gross domestic product growth slowed to a three-year low point last quarter, an acceleration in factory output for October and subsequent expansion in industrial activity gave the country’s economic turnaround more credence. Brazil’s interest-rate cuts and tax breaks helped its economy to grow slightly in the third quarter after a prolonged stagnation, but industrial output fell in November. Japan again expanded its asset purchase program after a decisive general election victory for Shinzo Abe, making more aggressive currency easing and economic support likely to come. The eurozone remained in a deep economic downturn, but more cohesion in Europe relieved part of the longstanding market tension from the region’s sovereign debt crisis. Although many investors were disappointed by Spain’s reservations about requesting a sovereign bailout and Greece’s larger-than- anticipated financing gap, panic that had previously defined the crisis did not surface during the quarter. European equities benefited from that improved outlook, outperforming their US, Latin American and Asian peers for the quarter. Although an accord on the US fiscal cliff was reached shortly after quarter-end, weakness in US equities pressured developed-market equities to underperform Performance Review
During the fourth quarter of 2012, three of the fund’s largest contributors to absolute performance were UBS, Citigroup and General Motors. UBS is a global financial services company with a leading wealth management franchise. The market reacted favorably to the company's fixed income, currency and commodities restructuring plan, which will lower earnings volatility, reduce costs and improve the company's capital position. The LIBOR manipulation settlement announced in December had little impact on the stock price. We believe the fine, although large, will not have a material impact on the company’s performance The globally diversified financial services holding company Citigroup announced solid fiscal third-quarter results in October. In addition, Citigroup’s new CEO, Michael Corbat, announced a number of repositioning actions aimed at reducing expenses. Cost reduction actions were expected but the announcement came sooner and was broader than the market had anticipated, helping the stock to appreciate in December. In our view, the company remains attractive as it maintains exposure to fast-growing international markets and Shares of General Motors (GM) moved higher during the fourth quarter due to continued operational success, as well as the announcement that the federal government would begin to exit its stake in the company. The company’s third-quarter results exceeded consensus estimates as North American and International segments performed particularly well. Toward the end of the year, GM also announced that it plans to repurchase 200 million shares of its stock for $5.5 billion from the US Treasury, which is seeking to exit its position in GM over In contrast, three of the fund’s main detractors from performance for the quarter were Vodafone Group, Exelon and Microsoft. Vodafone Group is a global mobile telecommunications company that provides a range of services, including voice and data communications. The UK-based company struggled in the fourth quarter due to a combination of steeper-than-expected deterioration in revenue trends, ongoing economic weakness in Europe and the potential implications of a December Dutch spectrum auction. However, we believe there are several possible catalysts to potentially drive the stock to our estimated intrinsic value, including improving economic conditions in Europe, better revenue per customer as a critical mass of customers migrate to data- oriented plans, and a larger 2013 dividend payment from its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless. Exelon detracted from performance as management warned that it may cut the dividend if fundamentals do not improve and the ratio of funds from operation to debt deteriorates. Despite the short-term challenges, we see potential in Exelon due in part to its clean merchant power generation assets, and regulated entities in the Midwest, eastern Pennsylvania and metro D.C. areas. At current valuations, Exelon presents an attractive investment opportunity. The stock also provides the fund with solid dividend yield. Microsoft detracted from performance this period after announcing quarterly revenues and earnings that missed expectations. The softer-than-expected numbers were due largely to the sequential decline in Windows sales ahead of the pending Windows 8 release. We are optimistic that the recent launches of Windows 8 and the Surface tablet will be major drivers in improving operational performance during the next Outlook & Strategy
In the fourth quarter, investors focused on headlines as the state of the global economy remained uncertain. Europe’s sovereign debt crisis continued to steadily move in the right direction; China’s economy showed signs of improvement, while nervousness regarding the US “fiscal cliff” returned after the presidential election. We expect investors to remain somewhat cautious amid the uncertainty surrounding the strength of the global Heading into 2013, we also expect further progress will be made toward the construction of a European solution to the sovereign debt crisis but recognize that the process is complex and cumbersome and requires market pressure to force progress. We cannot predict the timing and manner of a complete and final resolution to the European debt crisis but believe more than ever that the euro will survive. From our perspective, the situation remains politically—not financially—driven. Therefore, we believe opportunities exist in Europe for patient and discerning investors. Indeed, it appears that investors are increasingly seeing Europe as we do with the region’s stocks soundly outperforming the US over the second half of 2012. In the US, we remain hopeful that politicians on both sides of the aisle can reach a constructive agreement to address the issues surrounding the federal government’s fiscal imbalances. However, the process in December was disappointing and significant policy differences between Republicans and Democrats remain. A protracted political battle over raising the federal debt ceiling—officially reached at the end of 2012—and spending reductions could continue to hinder a fragile US economic recovery. We will also continue to watch China closely given the potential global ramifications of the country’s slower economic growth and leadership transition. The extent and form of new stimulus adopted will be an important short-term driver of the outlook but we are also interested in how China’s new leaders act on the need for greater domestic consumption so that growth becomes more sustainable and less volatile. While these headwinds will carry into 2013 to various degrees, we did find a new reason for increased optimism as 2012 wound down. Fundamentals appeared to play a greater role in the price of some individual stocks during the late stages of the year, and we believe this trend will intensify during the course of 2013. Overall, we view undervalued securities with catalysts for value realization as an attractive opportunity for Today’s investment environment may still be considered challenging, but we have been able to find what we view as solidly undervalued companies with potential catalysts to unlock value in the future. We will continue to look for quality companies that have been, in our opinion, unduly penalized by investors, while also maintaining a clear focus on risk. After all, we recognize that even a deep-value, fundamental investing philosophy cannot disregard today’s economic and political realities. CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are trademarks owned by CFA Institute. The information presented herein is considered reliable at the present time, however, we do not represent that it is accurate or complete, or that it should be relied upon as such. Speculation or stated beliefs about future events, such as market and economic conditions, company or security performance, or other projections represent the beliefs of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Franklin Templeton Investments Corp. General business, market, economic and political conditions could cause actual results to dif er materially from what the author presently anticipates or projects. The information presented is not a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any securities. The historical annualized rates of return for the Mutual Global Discovery Fund Series A, as of December 31, 2012 are 1 year 12.60%, 3 years - 5.40%, 5 years -0.30%, and 5.60% since inception (17 February 2003). Indicated rates of return include changes in unit or share value and reinvestment of all distributions and dividends and do not take into account sales, redemption, distribution or optional charges or income taxes payable by any security holder that would have reduced returns. Please refer to the prospectus for further details. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. 2013 Franklin Templeton Investments. Al rights reserved.


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