The reason behind the recent proposal of the New York Stock Exchange to limit how much investment companies can pay in closed-end listing fees is not clear, but chances are it's not out of kindness.

In July, the NYSE filed a proposal with the Securities and Exchange Commission to limit the total listing fees for new closed-end funds so that no company would have to pay them more than $1.25 million this year. Most closed-end funds listed on the Exchange are sponsored by one of a number of companies that specialize in the area, such as Morgan Stanley Van Kampen, Nuveen, and Merrill Lynch Asset Mgt., the three companies with the largest number of closed-end funds on the Exchange.

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