Funds That Bet on Booming Emerging Markets
For a greater stake in sectors that stand to grow along with domestic economies, consider a fund with big holdings in consumer stocks in the emerging markets. ETF investors may prefer EGShares Emerging Markets Consumer (ECON), which tracks the Dow Jones Emerging Markets Consumer Titans 30 Index. Holdings include Brasil Foods (BRFS), a dominant supplier of meat and dairy products, and Lan Airlines (LFL), a Chilean company that serves growing markets in Latin America.
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For an actively managed mutual fund that has more than 30% of assets in consumer stocks, consider Oppenheimer Developing Markets (ODMAX). During the past ten years, the fund returned 17.6% annually and outdid 99% of competitors. Oppenheimer favors strong companies in growing sectors. The fund is particularly keen on retailing and consumer companies, says Alice Fricke, a client portfolio manager. "We want to own dominant companies that will take market share away from competitors," she says.
Another fund that focuses on domestic economies is Causeway Emerging Markets (CEMVX). During the past three years, Causeway has returned 30.1% annually outdoing 93% of peers. The fund holds some small and midsized companies that depend on local markets. Many of these stocks are growing faster than big companies that depend on sales to sluggish developed countries, says Causeway analyst Joe Gubler.
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Gubler concedes that the smaller companies can be volatile. To limit risk, the fund stays broadly diversified, holding more than 100 stocks. In addition, the portfolio managers own some big blue chips to provide stability during the periods when emerging markets sink. But the Causeway managers say that many of their best stocks have been small companies that benefit from the rush of emerging markets consumers to join the middle class.
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