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Fidelity Plans German Supermarket

Fidelity Investments plans to launch a new mutual fund supermarket in Germany by the end of the fourth quarter, according to company sources.

The new platform will likely include an estimated 300 to 400 funds when it first opens and will eventually expand to as many as 3,000, said Anke Limbach, Fidelity's associate director for FundsNetworks in Frankfurt, Germany. The company hopes to distribute all of Germany's sizable fund brands with some international funds thrown into the mix, she said.

The new supermarket effort has been driven by what Fidelity sees as a growing mutual fund market where it has already built significant presence, Limbach said.

The German supermarket, which could open as soon as November, is part of a larger European strategy for Fidelity. The company opened a fund supermarket in the U.K. last summer and plans to open more in other European countries, she said. She would not say what countries Fidelity might move into next, but said prospects include France and Italy.

Once a network of European supermarkets is established, the supermarkets might be managed from one central office, Limbach said. In the meantime, a team will oversee the new supermarket from Fidelity's Frankfurt location.

A fee structure for participating in the supermarket has been established, but Limbach would not disclose those costs.