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Hurricane Fran Blocks Filing of Some Funds' Net Asset Values

September 07, 1996|From Bloomberg Business News

Some of the nation's biggest mutual funds were unable to report their net asset values to the National Assn. of Securities Dealers on Friday because an AT&T Corp. fiber-optic cable was knocked out by Hurricane Fran.

As a result, the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers across the country did not receive the data to report the price of a number of funds, including many from Merrill Lynch & Co., Smith Barney Inc. and Dreyfus Corp., NASD spokeswoman Cameron Brown said. Accordingly, tables published in The Times today and Sunday will be incomplete, with an "NA" appearing where data could not be received.

The problem came at the NASD's data-collection center in Rockville, Md., where 16 of 35 fiber-optic cables were knocked out.

Flooding caused by Hurricane Fran washed out an AT&T fiber- optic cable between Parkersburg, W.Va., and Washington at 1:06 p.m. PDT, said AT&T Network Operations spokesman Dave Johnson.

Mutual funds need to report their net asset values to the NASD by about 2:40 p.m. PDT each day, but that deadline was extended until 3 p.m. because of the communication breakdown.

In addition, as many as 25 NASD employees called mutual funds to collect their closing prices manually. Some mutual fund companies used backup, dial-up services to deliver their prices.

Roughly half the nation's 5,600 mutual funds report their net asset values to the NASD's data center in Rockville, with the other half reporting to a site in Trumbull, Conn. The Connecticut location was unaffected.

Earlier Friday, a communications flaw at MCI Communications Corp. prevented 18 brokerage firms in Florida and Georgia from making markets in dozens of individual stocks, the Nasdaq Stock Market said.

The brokerages were forced to stop offering to buy and sell shares because of problems updating price quotes on computer workstations.

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