Salomon Brothers Asset Management said that the Salomon Brothers Emerging Markets Debt Fund began trading on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday. The new fund offering is a non-diversified, closed-end fund that will focus primarily on total return with high current income as a secondary objective, the New York fund manager said.

The fund plans to invest in a portfolio of debt securities of emerging markets issues. In an effort to maximize its returns, the fund may employ leverage through borrowings and often up to 33% of its total assets. This also means that the fund is subject to greater volatility in the net asset value of its shares.

The fund raised roughly $552 million through the initial public offering with Citigroup Global Markets serving as the lead underwriter. The timing of the IPO coincides with a widespread scandal in the mutual fund industry, one that has prompted many investment pundits to tout exchange-traded funds as a cheaper alternative to traditional mutual funds.

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