Fidelity Investments, the U.S. mutual fund company, is expanding sales of its funds through Japan's Asahi Bank.

The U.S. company said it sells its funds through six Asahi branches and plans to add two more. Fidelity also sells its funds through three other Japanese banks, including Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan Ltd., Sanwa Bank Ltd., and Sumitomo Bank Ltd.

The company said it hopes to be profitable on its Japanese mutual fund sales within three years. Competition in the Japanese mutual fund sector is expected to heat up in December, when Japan will allow banks to sell their own mutual funds. Both Citicorp and Bankers Trust plan to sell mutual funds in Japan.

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