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Rating:A Host of Law Firms Attack Two Oppenheimer Muni Bond Funds Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Host of Law Firms Attack Two Oppenheimer Muni Bond Funds

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Class-action law firms are dragging OppenheimerFunds into court again, this time over a pair of muni bond funds, Oppenheimer Rochester National Municipals and Rochester Fund Municipals. At the end of February, LA-based Glancy Binkow & Goldberg filed a class-action lawsuit over Rochester Fund Municipals (which uses municipal bond securities exempt from Federal, New York State and New York City taxes), with Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, Johnson Bottini, the Rosen Law Firm and Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins following suit in the past month and a half. And last month Chestnut Ridge, New York-based Kantrowitz, Goldhammer & Graifman unveiled its own class action targeting the Oppenheimer Rochester National Municipals Fund (which uses muni bond securities exempt from Federal income taxes).

A spokesperson for the MassMutual subsidiary could not immediately be reached for comment for this story.

All of the lawsuits appear to revolve around the two funds' performance woes stemming from their use of so-called "inverse floaters" derivatives. Rochester Fund Municipals, which held $6.9 billion on March 31, is down 27.41 percent over the past five years and down 25.89 percent over the past year, while it is up 10.4 percent year-to-date, to $12.74 at close on Wednesday. The Oppenheimer Rochester National Municipal Fund, which held $4.1 billion on March 31, is down 54.34 percent over the past five years and down 45.94 percent over the past year, yet it is up 2.33 percent year-to-date, to $5.26 on Wednesday. Both funds are managed by Ron Fielding and his Rochester team.

Separately, OppFunds also faces lawsuits over its Oppenheimer Core Bond Fund and its Oppenheimer Champion Income Fund (see MFWire, 2/13/2009, 3/5/2009, 3/12/2009 and 4/14/2009). 

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