Deutsche Bank is betting that U.S. customers are ready to span world for stock picks.
The German bank's New York-based subsidiary has applied to create nine funds, each linked to a different country's stock market.
The new index funds, dubbed CountryBaskets, will be tied to the bourses of Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, South America, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The bank, which already operates a number of funds that invest in German stock, has also filed with regulators to create five money market funds.
Executives at Deutsche Bank declined to talk about the new funds, saying the products were in a "quiet" period that precedes a securities offering.
But an application filed last month with the Securities and Exchange Commission and conversations with executives familiar with the bank's plans offered a number of insights.
*Deutsche Bank will offer customers two ways to purchase the funds: as open-end selections, with values calculated according to the underlying investments, or as closed-end funds that trade on the New York Stock Exchange and are valued according to customer demand.
*The offering is structured as a series to enable Deutsche Bank to roll out funds representing other countries.
*ALPS Mutual Fund Services, Colorado, will serve as fund distributor and State Street Bank and Trust Co. will serve as administrator.
Industry observers said Deutsche Bank's approach is another step toward making U.S. customers comfortable with overseas markets.
"This would appear to be a very simple way to gain exposure (to foreign countries) with minimum risk," said Geoffrey R. Bobroff, head of Bobroff Consulting, East Greenwich, R.I.
In other news, Carter McClelland, chief administrative officer at Morgan Stanley, joined Deutsche Bank last week as president of its securities sales subsidiary.