Vanguard Group announced plans to introduce exchange-traded shares for five of its mutual funds.

The new shares - called the funds' Viper shares - will trade at market prices on the American Stock Exchange.

The Valley Forge, Pa., fund group plans exchange-traded shares for its Vanguard 500 Index Fund, Vanguard Growth Index Fund, Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund, Vanguard Value Index Fund, and Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund, which manage a total of $147.5 billion.

The new share classifications must still be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission, said a spokesman for the firm.

Vanguard expects the exchange-traded shares to appeal largely to short-term shareholders, whose trading will now have less impact on long-term traditional shareholders of the funds.

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