T. Rowe Price Group has taken two of its high yield bond funds off the shelf, effective yesterday, including the Investor Class shares (PRHYX) and the Advisor Class shares (PAHIX) of the High Yield Fund and the separate Institutional High Yield Fund (TRHYX).

According to the firm, the funds were closed to protect the interests of existing investors. However, they will continue to accept additional investments from existing shareholders and direct rollovers from qualified retirement plans into new T. Rowe Price IRAs.

The High Yield Fund managed $9.2 billion and the Institutional High Yield Fund managed $2.5 billion as of March 31. They have expense ratios of 74 basis points and 50 bps, respectively.

The funds were last closed in February 2004 and reopened in February 2007. In the first three months of 2012, the High Yield Fund had $266 million in new cash flows, and the Institutional High Yield Fund had $361 million. During 2011, the High Yield Fund had $112 million in new cash flows, and the Institutional High Yield Fund had $709 million.

"If flows were to continue at this pace, though, it could eventually strain our ability to invest efficiently and result in an over-diversified fund with a less effective investment strategy," stated Mark Vaselkiv, portfolio manager of the High Yield Fund and head of the taxable high yield bond team. "We are committed to investing in a manner consistent with the funds' objectives."