Deutsche Morgan Grenfell/C.J. Lawrence Inc. received SEC approval to offer ``CountryBaskets,'' which are open-end index equity funds that will seek to match various country indexes through stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading is expected to begin March 25.
The funds will be in continuous offering, but still trade publicly, which is a new investment structure, said Herbert Blank, senior portfolio manager for CountryBaskets and Deutsche Morgan Grenfell.
The funds will seek to avoid trading at a discount by allowing institutions to arbitrage positions against the portfolio if a market discount to net asset value gets too deep, he said. They are U.S. dollar-denominated and fully exposed to each country's currency, Mr. Blank said.
Funds will be offered matching Financial Times/Standard & Poor's indexes for the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan and South Africa.
Institutions could use the funds to equitize cash, or to adjust overall investment exposure to a particular country.