Merrill Lynch has introduced the world financials fund.
World financials is a Luxemburg-domiciled SICAV that has been designed with the experienced investor in mind.
The fund will invest in 70 to 100 companies in a wide range of areas in the financial sector. These include banks, insurance, savings and loans, investment banking brokers, insurance brokers, and companies that use innovative financial technology.
Seventy per cent of the fund will be invested in the US, with the rest invested in Europe, Japan and Canada.
World Financials will be managed from New York by James Ellman, who joined Merrill Lynch Investment Managers in 1999. Ellman also manages the Merrill Lynch global financial services fund.
The company feels that now is a good time to invest in the financial sector because changes in the market, like company mergers and takeovers and the move to more internet-related administration can drive down costs. It also points to the fact that falling interest rates will encourage more investment by these companies as they borrow to invest in projects that had previously been on hold because borrowing rates were considered too high.
According to Standard & Poor's the Merrill Lynch global financial services is ranked 18 out of 107 funds, based on £1,000 invested on a bid to bid basis with net income reinvested to April 16, 2001.