Unit investment trusts drew $4.86 billion in deposits during the first six months of 1994, 4.5% ahead of last year's growth rate, the Investment Company Institute said.

During June, unit trust investments rose $736.3 million, the institute reported.

Unit trusts are similar to mutual funds. But while investment managers can - and routinely do -.trade the securities in a mutual fund portfolio, the makeup of a unit trust portfolio is fixed. Also, mutual funds can be cashed in at any time, while unit trusts have a set maturity date.

Tax-free bond trusts are still the most popular offering, They garnered a total of $2.06 billion this year, down from $2.52 billion in 1992.

Equity trusts grew by $1.89 billion in the first six months of 1994, up from $1.25 billion during the comparable period last year. Taxable bond trusts had attracted $903.9 million by midyear, down from $873.2 million 12 months earlier.

-- William Plasencia

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