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By Tim McLaughlin BOSTON (Reuters) - Mutual fund companies, including No. 2 Fidelity Investments, have slashed fees on their most popular funds by shifting billions of dollars into collective trusts not regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The growing shift to collective trusts could prove a weapon for actively managed mutual funds losing out to low cost passive investment products such as the exchange-traded funds offered by rivals such as Vanguard Group, the biggest mutual fund company. "CITs are more opaque to the outside world because reporting requirements are not as stringent," said Michael Rawson, manager of research at Morningstar Inc. Retirement plans sponsored by Delta Air Lines Inc cut fees by 23 percent last year when they shifted an estimated $1 billion in assets managed by Fidelity's Contrafund into a collective investment trust (CIT).
By Mariam Karouny BEIRUT (Reuters) - Leaders of Syria's Nusra Front are considering cutting their links with al Qaeda to form a new entity backed by some Gulf states trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad, sources said. Sources within and close to Nusra said that Qatar, which enjoys good relations with the group, is encouraging the group to go ahead with the move, which would give Nusra a boost in funding. The exercise could transform Nusra from a weakened militia group into a force capable of taking on Islamic State at a time when it is under pressure from bombing raids and advances by Kurdish and Iraqi military forces. While it awaits the final word from its decision-making Shoura council, Nusra is not wasting time.