Scudder Investments Tuesday launched a closed-end management investment fund that invests mainly in equities affiliated with the commodities markets. The Scudder Global Commodities Stock Fund, which began trading at initial public offering price of $15 per share with $365.2 million of assets, is Scudder's third "non-traditional" closed-end fund offering. The firm previously released two closed-end real estate mutual funds. "By launching the Global Commodities Stock Fund, Scudder's aim is to provide investors with a new product option that enables them to diversify their holdings into non-traditional, low-market correlated asset classes," said Vincent J. Esposito, head of product development at Deutsche Asset Management, Scudder's corporate parent. Theresa Gusman, a portfolio manager for the new fund, said Scudder aims to minimize risk by hedging the fund's exposure to the commodities market by investing in equities issued by commodities companies. Investing in equities also provides greater opportunities for diversification. "By placing a majority of the fund's holdings into equities, we are seeking to add value through our stock-selection ability. At the same time, we are working to manage risk from the volatility associated with commodities, without sacrificing the potential benefits that can come from diversification into this asset class," she said. Lead underwriters of the fund, which is managed by Deutche Investment Management Americas, Inc., are Merrill Lynch, UBS Investment Bank, A.G. Edwards and Deutsche Bank Securities.

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