Mutual fund companies are taking steps to attract a share of the small but growing group of mutual fund investors who want tax-efficient funds.

Putnam Investments of Boston will begin on Friday to offer a novel tax-efficient fund - the Putnam Tax-Smart Equity Fund - the first product in what Putnam officials say will be a family of tax-efficient funds the company plans to offer. Pioneer Investment Management of Boston also filed a registration statement with the SEC on Sept. 16 for a new fund, the Pioneer Tax Managed Fund.

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