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Northern Trust quits ETF business as Nets assets languish

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Northern Trust has announced the scheduled closing of Northern Exchange Traded Shares on 20 February 2009.

Northern Trust has announced the scheduled closing of Northern Exchange Traded Shares on 20 February 2009.

The Nets board of trustees’ decision was made after consultation with Northern Trust Investments, the investment adviser to the 17 funds, which had approximately USD33m in assets as of 31 December 2008.

The funds were launched in 2008 and are designed to track international, single-country benchmarks.

The board considered current market conditions, the inability of the funds to attract significant market interest since their inception, their future viability as well as prospects for growth in the funds’ assets in the foreseeable future.

The board determined that it was advisable and in the best interests of the funds and their shareholders to liquidate the funds, which are listed for trading on NYSE Arca.

Monday 9 February 2009 is scheduled to be the last day of trading for the shares of the funds on NYSE Arca.

Any person holding shares in the funds after the delisting date will receive a cash distribution equal to the net asset value of their shares as determined on 20 February, the date of liquidation pursuant to the funds’ valuation policies. Shareholders receiving this cash distribution will not incur transaction fees in connection with this distribution or the cancellation of their shares in the funds.

Northern Trust says it remains committed to its asset management business. With USD575bn in assets under management at 31 December 2008, Northern Trust is one of the world’s largest managers of passive equity and fixed-income index products including mutual funds, collective funds, common funds and separately managed accounts.

Secondary or after hours trading will cease when the funds are de-listed from trading on NYSE Arca before the open of trading on Tuesday 10 February 2009.

It is anticipated that the funds will continue to trade on the NYSE Arca until they are de-listed, which is expected to occur before the open of trading on 10 February. There will be a period of time between the de-listing date and 20 February, the final liquidation date, during which time investors will no longer be able to purchase or sell shares in the funds through brokerage transactions or purchase or redeem creation units of shares.

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