Citicorp has applied for regulatory clearance to provide custodial services to the growing number of U.S. mutual funds that are investing in Russia.

The bank already provides custodial services for large institutional investors.

"This will extend our existing activities to the mutual funds arena," said a spokesman for Citicorp in New York.

As part of the move, the New York-based bank sought permission from the Securities and Exchange Commission late last month to help mutual funds and closed-end funds wend their way through the Russian clearance and settlement process. Stephen Hayes, a Citicorp senior counsel in Washington, saidclient requests for these services spurred the application.

Morningstar, a Chicago-based company that tracks mutual fund data, reportedthat U.S. mutual funds had invested $600 million in Russian equities by the end of October, up from $259 million at the end of 1995. Citicorp opened a fully owned subsidiary in 1994 in Moscow, Citibank TO, which has a branch in St. Petersburg.

-Bloomberg Business News

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