Dec. 15, 2004 — The AIM Small Cap Equity Fund/A (SMEAX) reopened to new investors this week after being closed for a year.

As a result of the action, the marketing and distribution, or 12b-1 fee, on the fund’s class A shares was increased to 0.35%, an AIM spokesman said. The fee had been lowered to 0.25% while the fund was closed.

The spokesman, James Aber, said the fund began accepting new investors again because its new managers believe they can handle more assets than the fund’s previous managers felt they could oversee.

The fund was closed because its assets had increased to the point where it was becoming difficult for its managers to find acceptable investments, AIM said in December 2003. The fund, which was shut when its assets reached $500 million, currently has about $500 million in assets, Aber said.

Aber said portfolio managers Juliet Ellis and Juan Hartsfield think more assets will not cause problems because their proprietary stock ranking system enables them to identify sufficient potential investments. Ellis and Hartsfield joined the fund in August, succeeding a team lead by Paul Rasplicka, who continues to oversee other Aim funds.

AIM Small Cap Equity returned 7.3% through November this year, while its small-cap blend fund peers gained 14.5%. The portfolio is ranked 3 Stars by Standard & Poor’s.

Contact Bob Keane with questions or comments at: bkeane@investmentadvisor.com.