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Fremont Funds Uncover Market Timing

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Nov. 24, 2003 — Fremont Investment Advisors has uncovered instances of rapid-fire trading in its mutual funds.

Fremont said an internal review found “market timing arrangements with a few clients that may have been inconsistent with” polices of the firm and the Fremont Funds.

The last arrangement was terminated more than a year ago, Fremont said in a statement on the funds’ web site, adding that the aggregate trading activity lost money for the investors involved in them. The in-house investigation has found no evidence of late trading in the funds, according to Fremont.

Fremont said the “few management personnel” it believes “may have initiated, negotiated or approved” the rapid trading left the firm for reasons unrelated to market timing. “Most” of its funds were not affected by the trading, the company said.

A spokeswoman for Fremont declined to name the funds, the investors, or the former personnel involved in the rapid trading. Fremont offers 13 funds.

Fremont said the Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Attorney General’s office have asked the company for information about its trading activities and it is cooperating with the securities regulators.

The company said the funds’ board has authorized a special committee of independent directors to conduct a comprehensive review of the funds’ trading practices. In addition, Fremont said it has taken steps to “reinforce” its policies and procedures for detecting and preventing market timing and will consider additional remedial actions.