NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Latin American stocks have underperformed U.S. shares in the past three months, with the iShares S&P Latin America 40 Index ETF (ILF) returning barely 1% versus a 9.5% increase in the S&P 500. But some fund managers say select Latin American companies may rebound once commodity demand strengthens.
"We are looking at Latin America and focusing on Brazil in particular because the country has displayed fiscal and monetary restraint in the last few years, providing a more stable investment environment. Plus, the abundance of natural resources in Brazil makes it a long-term secular play with regards to increasing Chinese demand," says Paul Attwood, manager of the Huntington Global Select Markets Fund (HGSAX).
TheStreet searched for lucrative Latin American stocks with Attwood and David Marcus, manager of the Evermore Global Value Fund (EVGBX).
Coca-Cola Femsa (KOF)Mexico-based Coca-Cola Femsa bottles and distributes Coke products across Central and South America. The company has a $15 billion market cap and carries about $500 million in debt. In Marcus' view, the company has a track record of success, and he is also a fan of the ownership structure, which includes a 32% stake by the Coca Cola Co. (KO). "This is the world's largest Coca Cola bottler outside the U.S and an excellent way to play consumer spending in emerging markets," says Marcus, who adds that it dominates Mexico now, but will soon take over the rest of Latin America. "The potential for growth in Brazil, Panama and Columbia is huge. They recently signed a deal with the Coca Cola Co. to sell noncarbonated beverages including juices and sports drinks throughout Latin America," says Marcus.
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