Morningstar of Chicago, a provider of investment information and analytical devices, announced last week that Morningstar Europe is expanding its free web-based information service to the Netherlands and Italy. Italian investors will have access to information on almost 3,400 mutual funds, while Dutch investors will have access to information on more than 900 funds, according to the company.

Morningstar will provide holdings-based portfolio analysis, total returns, and the Morningstar Rating on the sites. The sites will also include news, feature stories, and fund data.

"Our goal is to offer comprehensive coverage of mutual funds available for purchase in Western Europe," said Hans Fjarem, CEO of Morningstar Europe, in a statement. "Morningstar launched its first European investment information site in the U.K. in March, and our launches in the Netherlands and in Italy follow our success in England."

In April 2000, Morningstar opened its European headquarters in London. The company currently employs about 50 people in Europe and expects to start websites in Germany and Spain this summer, the company said.

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