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American Century Adds Funds, C Class Shares

American Century Investments of Kansas City, Mo. announced last week that it is introducing seven new funds and is adding C shares to 23 of its funds.

Two of the new funds, the American Century New Opportunities II and American Century International Opportunities funds, are small-cap equity funds with minimum investments of $10,000, the company said. The company decided to bring them out now because it currently does not have open funds in those areas and it believes there is currently a demand for small-cap funds, according to Laura Kouri, a spokesperson for American Century.

The five other funds are additions to American Century's series of funds used in variable annuity and variable life insurance contracts, called Variable Portfolio, according to the company. The new funds are the VP Global Growth fund, the VP Growth fund, the VP Ultra fund, the VP Vista fund and the VP Prime Money Market fund.

The C shares include a fee designated to compensate brokers and advisors for providing service and advice, according to the company. Although the company plans to introduce the shares June 1, they will be offered through American Express Financial Advisors of Minneapolis, Legg Mason of Baltimore, and Linsco/Private Ledger of San Diego during a 31-day subscription period that began last week, the company said.

The C shares are an extension of American Century's multi-class structure, which the company introduced in 1996, according to Kouri. They are being added to 23 of the more than 75 American Century funds based on those funds' popularity, but the company will probably add the class to more of its funds in the future, she said.