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Putnam does its homework for new fund

Putnam Investments is picking the brains of its best analysts with the introduction of the Putnam research fund.

Based in Dublin, the fund is an open-ended investment company (Oeic) that is aimed at investors who are looking for growth. The Oeic is based on an existing fund operated out of the US.

Putnam will rely on a 55 strong team of analysts and researchers. 35 will be based in the US, with 10 in London and the remaining 10 in Tokyo. These will pick a total of between 60 and 70 stocks that they feel are the most promising over the long term and which may have been selected previously. But the choices will be reviewed on a regular basis.

Looking at the initial breakdown of companies that the fund will invest in, these include firms like General Electric, Microsoft, Merck, Exxon Mobile, AOL Time-Warner, Bank of America and Citigroup in the consumer goods, technology, finance and healthcare sectors.

Many of these companies tend to be selected for other funds, so the Putnam research fund offers little that it new. However, the fact that the majority of the companies are based in America could be a plus. It is possible that the recent interest rate cuts by the American Government have done enough to fend off a recession. On May 21, 2001 the Dow Jones index soared to 11,337.92 points, its highest level for 16 months, following increasing confidence in the strength of the economy.

According to Standard & Poor&#39s the Putnam research fund is ranked 625 out of 1,701 funds in its sector, based on £1,000 invested on a bid-to-bid basis with gross income reinvested over one year to May 21, 2001.

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