Merrill Lynch Investment Managers is focussing on business-to-business technology stocks with the introduction of the MST Digital Europe Sicav.
Unlike run-of-the-mill European technology funds which invest directly in internet companies such as web retailers, this fund invests in technology-orientated companies that help other companies develop and deliver their services more efficiently.
European technology is still in its infancy compared to the US and may provide new investment opportunities at a time when many fund managers are still opting for US technology stocks.
Europe is more advanced than the US in mobile communications but lags behind in other areas. Investors who have had their fingers burnt by technology in the past could be put off by this geographical restriction because it means higher volatility.
The funds high risks make it unsuitable for novice investors but Merrill Lynchs reputation is likely to tempt experienced investors who are looking for some exposure to European technology as part of a wide portfolio.
According to Standard & Poors the Merrill Lynch Technology Portfolio is ranked 6th out of 12 funds, based on £1,000 invested on a bid-to-bid basis with net income reinvested over one year to September 25, 2000.