NEW YORK--Merrill Lynch last month announced the launch of Biotech Holdrs, a new security representing 20 varied biotechnology companies, including several genomics companies. The price of the security was $109.18 each when trading began November 23 on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol BBH. 4.5 million Holdrs, representing undivided beneficial ownership interest in the common stock, were initially priced at a total of more than $490 million.
The company said it selected 20 of the largest and most liquid companies in the biotechnology industry, measured by market capitalization and trading volume. The security includes 46 shares of Amgen, 9 of PE Biosystems, 3 of Millennium Pharmaceuticals, and 2 shares each of Affymetrix, Celera, and Human Genome Sciences. Dow Jones Newswires reported that a purchase would likely require a minimum $10,000 investment.