TEMPLETON, a United States-based fund, has accumulated a two per cent shareholding in banking giant HSBC Holdings. Its stake was worth $4.56 billion at last week's closing price. The Prudential Corp group of companies and Legal & General were the group's two biggest shareholders at the end of 1993, holding 3.03 per cent and 3.08 per cent respectively, according to the bank's 1993 annual report. New faces on the list of substantial shareholders will be revealed in HSBC Holdings' 1994 annual report, which will be released on Friday. The two per cent shareholding has been built up over a period, according to Steward Aldcroft, marketing and sales director of Templeton-Franklin Investment Management. 'It's been a long-term process,' he said. The Asian equity fund managed by Templeton has investments totalling US$6 billion, split between its Singapore and Hong Kong office. Apart from HSBC Holdings, the fund holds a number of blue chips in its portfolio but all its shareholdings are below the 10 per cent disclosure threshold. The Securities (Disclosure of Interests) Ordinance states individual investors' shareholdings must be declared if they exceed 10 per cent. Mr Aldcroft said the fund had also recently bought shares in Giordano and K Wah International. It holds about 11 per cent of K Wah, according to Steven Tong, company secretary of the local construction materials supplier. Mr Tong said the fund had started to accumulate its shares early last year. The Templeton portfolio is varied, including: Peregrine Investment Holdings, Gold Peak Industries, Great Wall Electronic, Tungtex Holdings, Hang Lung Group, Sing Tao Holdings and Yaohan Hong Kong. Templeton specialises in emerging market funds and claims to be the biggest US-based investment fund house outside the United States. All the global equity investments managed by the fund are placed under the umbrella of Franklin Resources, Templeton's parent company. Mr Aldcroft said the fund's equity investments were long-term, usually lasting five years. 'Our investments are updated regularly, and we have our own research team,' he said. Templeton has a long investment history in the local market, having been active in the territory for more than 10 years.