The US Treasury Department, has said it may allow a broader group of private investors to purchase toxic securities.

The Treasury said it may select more than five asset managers to co-invest with the government to purchase distressed real-estate investments. And it may allow firms with less than $10bn under management to qualify for the program.

'There are several ways smaller firms can partner with fund mangers, including as an asset manager, an equity partner or a fund-raising partner,' the Treasury said Monday. 'Other ways to participate include providing such services as trade execution, valuation and other important financial services.'

Some on Wall Street, primarily hedge funds, have criticised the Treasury's program as limiting access to a select few, such as Pacific Investment Management Co., a unit of Allianz SE, as well as BlackRock Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Wall Street Journal