TSC Ratings Adds Coverage of 18 Stock Funds

Funds in international equities and utilities stand out as having strong potential.
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During the month of May, TSC Ratings added 18 stock funds to its universe of over 11,000 rated stock funds.

Of the funds that carry a TSC Rating of B or higher, there are three funds that stand out and provide opportunity in the near term -- the

ING Marisco International Opportunities Portfolio

fund

(IMISX) - Get Report

, the

ING MFS Utilities Portfolio Fund

(IMUSX)

and the

Julius Baer International Equity Fund II

(JETAX) - Get Report

.

IMISX invests in foreign stocks in countries like Switzerland (16.99%), France (10.86%), the U.K. (10.64%) and Brazil (7.35%). It allocates approximately 12.77% of assets to the U.S. market. It's quite broad sector-wise, covering the telecommunications, financial services, food, building materials, oil and gas and banking. For those wanting geographical and sector diversification this fund provides both.

IMUSX's focus is in the utilities sector predominantly investing in debt securities of electric (43.74%) and telecommunications (29.30%) companies as well as those oil and gas (14%). It invests mainly in the U.S. (60.72%) and has small allocations of 5% or so in each of the following Spain, Canada, France and the U.K.

Some of the companies in its portfolio include

NRG Energy

(NRG) - Get Report

,

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

,

Rogers Communications

(RCI) - Get Report

,

Williams Coal Seam Gas Royalty Trust

(WTU)

,

El Paso Corp.

(EP)

and

American Electric Power

(AEP) - Get Report

.

JETAX is invested in equity securities in international markets and may allocate 35% to emerging markets at any point in time. It is predominantly exposed to France (10.89%), U.K. (9.46%), Germany (8.35%), Japan (6.76%) and Russia (5.92%). JETAX's sector allocations favor banking (20.5%), with lesser exposure to oil and gas (9.52%), telecommunications (8.33%), mining (7.46%), engineering and construction (5.12%) and electric (4.68%).

JETAX's exposure to the international banking sector is of concern, should banking problems take root overseas as they have done in the U.S., remembering that the property bubble is a global event. One would hope that the mortgage underwriting standards overseas were not as lax as they were in the U.S.

Nonetheless, the bigger issue is the specter of a global slowdown and its possible effect in increasing bad debts on the balance sheets of banks worldwide.

Sam Patel, CFA, is the manager of mutual fund research for the TheStreet.com Ratings.

In keeping with TSC's Investment Policy, employees of TheStreet.com Ratings with access to pre-publication ratings data must pre-clear any potential trade through the legal department, and are prohibited from trading any security that is the subject of an unpublished rating revision until the second business day after the rating is published.

While Patel cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he appreciates your feedback;

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