The October issue of our Money Fund Intelligence reflected an unprecedented number of changes in the money market mutual fund industry during September. The dramatic moves weren't just reflected in asset flows. Several fund complexes changed their name, a number were merged, and of course some were removed or footnoted to reflect the fact that they either "broke the buck" or were put into liquidation mode.

One large shift involved the BNY Hamilton Funds being shifted into new Dreyfus Institutional Reserves Funds. BNY Hamilton MF - Agency (BMAXX), Classic (BHCXX), Hamilton (BNHXX), Instit (BHIXX), and Premier (BNPXX) are now Dreyfus Institutional Reserves Money Fund - Agency (DRGXX), Classic (DLSXX), Hamilton (DSHXX), Instit (DSVXX), and Premier (DERXX), respectively. BNY Hamilton Treasury MF Classic (BYCXX), Hamilton (BYNXX), Inst (BHRXX), and Premium (BHTXX) are now Dreyfus Institutional Reserves Treasury Fund (DRRXX, DSSXX, DHLXX, and DNSXX). Fitch also recently assigned AAA/V1+ ratings to the new Dreyfus Institutional Reserves Government, Treasury, Treasury Prime and Money Fund.

Among fund families changing their names are: Lehman Brothers, which switch to Neuberger Berman on all its funds, ABN Amro/Aston, which is now Fortis, and Phoenix Insight, which is now Virtus Insight. The Neuberger change reflects the company's separation from Lehman, while the Fortis label reflects the new parentage of the former ABN Amro funds. The symbols on all these families' funds remain unchanged.

In other ratings news, Moody's downgraded a couple more ultra-short funds. The NRSRO dropped RidgeWorth Ultra-Short Bond Fund's rating to A/MR3 from Aa/MR1. The release says, "The fund is a bond fund and as such it is not eligible for the US Treasury's Temporary Guarantee Program for Money Market Funds. The downgrade of the fund rating to A was prompted by the fund's exposure to bonds issued by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. On a par value basis, the fund's Lehman holdings are approximately 1% of the fund's total par value."

Moody's Investors Service also downgraded the ratings of three very small "enhanced yield funds managed by JP Morgan Asset Management". `The release says that the "credit risk rating of one fund was downgraded to reflect its exposure to a defaulted security, while the market risk ratings of all three funds have been downgraded due to declining valuations in the asset-backed sector, increasing shareholder concentration, and substantial outflows. The following fund ratings were downgraded: US Dollar Enhanced Yield fund, whose asset size is $37 million: to Ba/MR5 from Aa/MR3; Euro Enhanced Yield fund, whose asset size is E40 million: to Aa/MR5 from Aa/MR2; and, Sterling Enhanced Yield fund, whose asset size is GBP53 million: to Aa/MR5 from Aa/MR1." Moody's also put NGA Institutional LIBOR Fund on review for downgrade.

Email This Article

Use a comma or a semicolon to separate

captcha image