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MFMarketNews Weekly Web Flash

Didn't log on to last week? Here are some Web exclusives you missed:

* INVESCO Funds Group has announced that American Express Financial Advisors has added INVESCO variable annuities to its product line. Since building an institutional sales team in June of 2000, INVESCO has secured distribution agreements for its variable annuity products with 26 companies, according to Tom Kolbe, manager of institutional sales for INVESCO Funds Group.

* The number of offshore funds with rising management fees is increasing, according to Fitzrovia International, a London-based fund research company. Furthermore, the fee increases are greater than years past, according to the firm. Of the offshore funds that Fitzrovia tracks and which raised annual management fees in 2000, the average increase was 10%. In 1999, the average increase was only 1%.

* The average 401(k) account balance from the end of 1999 to the end of 2000 was virtually unchanged for investors who held accounts throughout the period, according to the Investment Company Institute and the Employee Benefit Research Institute. The average fell just 0.1% from $58,850 to $58,774 last year. Account balance fluctuation varied a great deal by age, according to the ICI/EBRI report. Average account balances actually grew 26.9% for 401(k) participants in their 20s and 5.1% for those in their 30s. Conversely, average account balances fell 2.3% for investors in their 50s and 5.8% for investors in their 60s.