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Friday, February 17, 2006

Fidelity To Close International Fund

by: Armie Margaret Lee

Fidelity Investments is shutting one of its international equity funds to new investors to keep it from growing too large to manage.

The Boston Behemoth is closing the Fidelity Japan Smaller Companies Fund to new accounts at the close of business on February 28.

The fund registered "three straight years of robust investment returns, which has led to strengthening cash inflows and a growing asset base," said Eric M. Wetlaufer, chief investment officer overseeing international investments for Fidelity Management & Research Company, in a statement.

Managed by Kenichi Mizushita since December 1996, the fund had assets of over $2.3 billion at the end of January, up from $1.3 billion at the end of 2004, Wetlaufer said.

The recent growth, coupled with the potential for strong inflows in the coming months, prompted Fidelity officials to close the fund to new investors, he added. 

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