Federated Investors of Pittsburgh filed a registration statement with the SEC Sept. 18 to launch its first ever closed-end fund, the Federated International Small Company Opportunity Fund.

The fund would be the only small company closed-end fund on the market, said Ramy Shalaan, fund analyst with Wiesenberger/Thomson Financial of Rockville, Md.

The fund will invest predominantly in the stocks of small foreign growth companies in the developed markets of Canada, Japan and Western Europe as well as in the emerging markets of Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Far East, said the fund's registration

statement. Federated Global Investment Management Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Federated Investors, will manage the fund.

A Federated spokesperson declined to comment on the fund, citing the quiet period before the SEC approves a newly-registered fund.

The fund has an automatic conversion privilege which means it can be opened if the closed-end fund trades at a five percent or greater discount to its net asset value for 20 or more consecutive business days at any time after the fund's two-year anniversary.

Federated is forgoing its usual front-end sales charges for this fund and is offering it as a no-load fund. Federated has formed a partnership with Putnam Lovell Finance, a unit of Putnam Lovell Securities in San Francisco, to finance the up-front five percent commission payments to selling brokers. According to the agreement, Putnam Lovell will recoup commission costs monthly through a 1.22 percent annual "shareholder installment plan" that will be assessed on shareholder accounts. If the fund is opened, this finance plan converts to a 0.70 percent 12b-1 distribution plan.

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