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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Putnam Trustees Recommend

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Putnam's fund trustees are recommending a thumbs down vote on the possible open-ending of the firm's High Yield Municipal Trust (NYSE: PYM). Separately, they also said Tuesday that the annual meeting for the Putnam Managed High Yield Trust (NYSE: PTM) has been pushed back due to delays in the mailing of proxy materials relating to the proposed merger of the fund.

The annual meeting for the Managed High Yield Trust has been rescheduled from August 8, 2006 to August 25, 2006. The meeting has been called for shareholders to vote on a proposal to merge Putnam Managed High Yield Trust, a closed-end fund, into Putnam High Yield Trust, an open-end fund pursuing similar investment objectives and strategies.

Meanwhile, shareholders of the High Yield Municipal Trust will determine that fund's fate at its annual meeting scheduled for October 30. The trustees have recommended a "no" vote on the proposal that would open-end the fund. The trustees based their recommendation on the belief that the closed-end structures offers special advantages to shareholders.

The proposal was initialed by a provision in the fund's bylaws that require shareholders to consider a conversion if the fund has traded at a discount of more than 10 percent during the last 12 weeks of its fiscal year. This is not the first time the issue has been on the table. At last year's meeting just 11 percent of the funds shares voted in favor of open-ending the fund.  

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