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PowerShares to Mind QQQs

PowerShares Capital Management has been one of the big success stories in the ETF space, and the company continues to impress.

The latest example came Thursday, when the Illinois-based firm, a division of Amvescap (AVZ), announced plans to take over sponsorship of the Nasdaq 100 Trust (QQQQ) -- the most actively traded exchange-traded fund on the market -- in addition to five other ETFs from Nasdaq Global Funds.

Adding the products to the PowerShares roster will not only give a major boost to the company's reputation -- in one fell swoop, the deal is expected to expand PowerShares' assets more than threefold.

"For as many great products as we have, [this] really gives us some visibility within the marketplace and credibility as a major ETF provider," says PowerShares President Bruce Bond. "To have the most-traded security in the world be a PowerShares is an important thing."

PowerShares is currently the No. 2 company in terms of ETFs on the market. But with about $7.5 billion in assets, it has had to play catch-up with companies such as Barclays Global Investors, State Street Global Advisors and Vanguard Group, all of which have more assets under management.

The company has so far done a solid job, but with this deal, catching up to the big players will get easier.

If the transaction closes -- it requires approval from regulatory agencies -- PowerShares' assets will jump by more than $19 billion to about $26.5 billion. (That's not accounting for normal asset growth.)

The companies are not disclosing the financial terms of the deal.
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