In the competitive world of index funds, even a tiny cut in expenses can be significant. Fidelity Investments of Boston is moving to cut a sliver of the expenses from its already low-cost Spartan Market Index Fund by changing the legal arrangement among Fidelity, the fund and the fund's sub-adviser, Bankers Trust Company of New York.

Fidelity wants to separate its securities lending contract with Bankers Trust from the sub-advisory contract which governs how Bankers Trust runs Spartan Market Index. The fund tracks the S&P 500. As a result of the new arrangement, the cost of the securities lending agreement would no longer be included in the fund's expense ratio. The amount at stake, less than .01 percent of fund assets, is so small that it is not detectable in the fund's expense ratio due to rounding.

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