A mutual fund managed by Central Carolina Bank was the top-performing North Carolina tax-free bond fund in the 12 months ending March 31, the bank announced.

The North Carolina Municipal Securities Fund, part of the 111 Corcoran family of funds, returned 2.66% in the year, better than any of the other 16 funds in its class, according to data supplied to the Durham, N.C., bank by Lipper Analytical Services, Summit, N.J.

The fund, introduced two years ago, has total assets of $45.5 million. It is marketed chiefly to traditional trust customers, said portfolio manager Jim Agnew, a senior investment officer in Central Carolina's trust and investment management division.

The fund is more stable than many in its category because it invests in bonds with a shorter-than-average maturity of 12 1/2 years, Mr. Agnew said.

-- Debra Cope

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