Investors' hunger for technology stocks is prompting an unusual move by Fifth Third Bancorp.
The Cincinnati banking company said it would keep its Strategic Communication and Technology Trust-a unit investment trust invested in 44 telecommunications, Internet, and software stocks-open indefinitely to meet demand.
Unit investment trusts are usually open only for up to 90 days. Unlike mutual funds, these trusts invest in a limited number of securities and have a fixed maturity date.
Since its launch in October, the Fifth Third trust has seen its shares soar "a touch over 90%," to $19, said G. Douglas Voelz, a vice president and national syndicate manager at Fifth Third/Ohio Co. "We've continued to have good interest in it every day," he said. The trust has a five-year maturity.
Banks have not been big participants in the unit investment trust market, and Fifth Third got its know-how from Ohio Co., the brokerage it bought in June. The trust is sold through Fifth Third/Ohio Co. and Fifth Third Securities.