Franklin Templeton is looking to raise $300 million for a fourth private equity fund that will provide growth capital to companies in emerging markets, the head of private equity at its emerging markets group said on Tuesday.

The fund, which will have a six-year lifespan like previous funds, will have a sub-tranche for Asia investments, Managing Director Ong Tek Khoan told Reuters.

About one-third of the Asian tranche is likely to be invested in China, with the balance split equally between India and Southeast Asia, he added.

The new fund, whose first closing is targeted for the end of April, will also look for investments in Central and Eastern Europe, which has been hit by the euro zone debt crisis.

"It's very good for private equity to come in as the banks are not lending (as much)," said Ong.

Franklin Templeton has previously launched three private equity funds focused on emerging markets. The first two returned more than 100 per cent at the end of their six years, while the Templeton Strategic Emerging Markets Fund III is fully invested.

The most successful investments of the funds include China High Speed Transmission Equipment Group, a maker of mechanical transmission equipment, and Estapar, which operates parking lots in Brazil.

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