BELGIUM - The European Commission's Directorate-General for Internal Market and Services is looking to commission a €600k comparative analysis of investment funds in the European Union.

In a tender contract notice the EC announced it wants to conduct a study entitled "Investment funds in the European Union: comparative analysis of use of investment powers, investment outcomes and related risk features in both UCITS and non-harmonised markets".

The overall objective of the study is to gain a clear understanding of the "main topics related to investment powers for fund managers across the EU," the EC said.

The survey will consist of a sample of member states, including the ones where the asset management industry is the most active or representative and including at least one new member state.

Also, the study will survey "a very large and representative part of the [Undertakings for the Collective Investment of Transferable Securities] UCITS market", composed of two sub-samples covering UCITS launched before 2001 and after 2004.

Furthermore, it will cover non-harmonised fund industry, such as for instance guaranteed funds, real estate funds, nationally regulated single hedge funds and funds of hedge funds, and private equity funds.

Both parts of the study should be surveyed in the same member states and should be composed of a number of funds of funds and umbrella funds so that the samples are representative of the market reality.

According to the Commission the survey will categorise the assets in which investment funds may invest; however, nobody at the Commission was available to comment on why this move is being made now.

A maximum of five coordination meetings with the Commission are to be held in Brussels at the EC-headquarters; the time-limit for the receipt of tenders or requests to participate is November 24.

Tenders can be drawn up in Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish and Swedish.