May 16, 2002

Evergreen to Close Small Cap Value Fund

May 15, 2002 -- Another fund that invests in undervalued stocks of small companies is set to close to new investors.

Evergreen Investments said the $794 million Evergreen Small Cap Value Fund (ESQAX) will shut its doors to new investors when its assets reach $900 million.

The fund's assets have grown by more than $500 million over the last three years, and that growth has made its managers' search for investments "more challenging," Evergreen said.

The fund was up 11.5% this year through the end of April, while the average small-cap value fund rose 9.7%. Evergreen Small Cap Value returned 17.5% last year, compared with a gain of 14.1% by its peers.

Funds that invest in cheap stocks of small companies have attracted money from investors over the last two years as they have outperformed the average U.S. stock fund. That has led a number of companies to shut small-cap value funds to new investors this year.

Most recently, this month, T. Rowe Price said it will shut its T Rowe Price Small Cap Value Fund (PRSVX), and Fidelity Investments said it will temporarily close Fidelity Low Priced Stock (FLPSX).

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