John Hancock Funds will ask shareholders of its International and International Equity funds to permit the funds to enter into lending agreements through which the funds can borrow from or lend money to other Hancock funds, according to preliminary proxy statements Hancock filed with the SEC last week.

Fund complexes increasingly have sought expanded borrowing authority from shareholders and the SEC in the past 18 months. (MFMN 8/23/99) John Hancock does not have an inter-fund loan program now but is seeking approval from shareholders should it decide to institute a loan program in the future, a spokesperson said. The proxy proposals are part of John Hancock's efforts to revise the investment restrictions on all of its funds, the spokesperson said.

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