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Published: Sunday 13 October, 2013

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MONEY Magazine When it comes to emerging markets, theres almost no end to the bad news. After a disastrous 2000, when they shed 30% of their value, stock outlet online shopping markets in Latin America, Africa and Asia continued to tumble further this year, thanks to the global slowdown. Then came Sept. 11. In the wake of the terrorist attacks, the Morgan Stanley Capital International MSCI emerging markets index joined the S 500 in its nosedive. stocks recover, emerging markets hover well below Sept. 10 levels. The MSCI emerging markets index has lost 19% for the year as of Oct. 25. More bad news seems likely. estimates that emerging economies will grow only 2.8% in 2001just half of last years rate.



The long selloff, however, has left emerging markets even cheaper than usual: The average price/earnings ratio for emerging markets is 10.8, compared with 20.6 for the S 500. Of course, these markets have tempted investors with low prices beforeonly to crush their hopes. Whats different now? The events of Sept. and Europe into recession, yet some emerging markets continue to thrive. Chinas economy is expanding at a robust 7% this year and is expected to maintain a similar rate even in 2002. And countries like India and South Korea should continue growing even in this tougher global environment because theyve been pushing through economic and corporate reforms in recent years. Generally, managements are becoming more transparent, and companies are getting better, says David Herro, comanager of Oakmark International. Its also worth remembering that when these markets do rebound, they can produce spectacular returns. After the 1998 collapse, they soon soared to gain 66% in 1999. In fact, emerging markets have outperformed the S 500 from the start of 1999 through Oct. 25, 2001, losing 6.1% to the S loss of 10.5%.



Theres still plenty of riskno more than 5% of your portfolio should be invested in this volatile sectorso its important to invest carefully. Those who do best differentiate not only among countries but also among sectors within a country. Consider: While Asias emerging markets are down 15% so far this year, Korea is up 9.5%. Thats a solid performanceyet Matthews Korea Fund is up 31% this year because its managers reduced their exposure to Korean techs and telecoms.



For those willing to bet on another emerging markets revival, here are some guidelines, followed by some of the funds that know these markets best.



As the American economy cools, its appetite for foreignmade goods is falling off sharply. Thats bad news for Asias fastgrowing tigers like Taiwan and Malaysia, which rely heavily on tech exports. Yet the drop in exports wont be such bad news for the worlds elephantsdensely populated countries whose enormous internal markets for the staples of life help insulate them from the global economy. Think India and Brazil. The latter has numerous problems, notably an electricity shortage and a crumbling currency, but Dreyfus Emerging Markets manager Kirk Henry says Brazil and its 174 million people are being excessively punished by investors worried about a meltdown in neighboring Argentina. Brazils stock market has fallen 36% for the year, and its average price/earnings ratio is a paltry 7.4.



The worlds second most populous country, India is modernizing its socialist economy and has been one of Asias top performers of late, expanding its gross domestic product 6.2% annually from 1996 to 2000. Investors in India face profound challengesentrenched bureaucracies and a constant state of tension with nuclear rival Pakistanbut heres the upside: With the Bombay exchange down 45% since early 2000, prices are cheap in a country thats set to grow 5% next year.



Nothing excites global investors as much as finding a pupa, a oncebackward country thats transforming itself into a butterfly. One breeding ground for new butterflies is Eastern Europe. Julius Baer International Equity comanager Richard Pell predicts that interest rates should decline in countries like Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic as they converge economically with their more prosperous Western neighbors. Thats good news for all businesses in Eastern Europeparticularly the banks.



Another potential wingflapper: South Korea. After the financial crisis of 199798, many investors wrote off Korea. Yet under its dissidentturnedpresident Kim Daejung, last years Nobel Peace Prize winner, the country is fixing its banking sector and reforming its corporate practices. Matthews Korea comanager Mark Headley points to a former clunker like Hyundai Motors, Koreas biggest car maker. Low prices and 10year warranties have made Hyundai and its Kia subsidiary among the fastest growers in the American car market. Their combined market share here is now 4%.



The best global funds give you a fair amount of emerging markets exposurewhile shielding you from the full volatility of the sector. Here are two diversified favorites, followed by two pure plays for investors who can stomach more risk.



OAKMARK INTERNATIONAL. This MONEY 100 fund has about 17% of its assets in emerging markets, while spreading the rest across Western Europe and Japan. Herro and his comanager buy ultraresilient stocks like Unibanco UBB on the New York Stock Exchange, a $4.7 billion Brazilian bank that Herro says has survived military coups, hyperinflation and currency devaluations to keep churning out profits. At a recent $16, its 43% below Herros estimated value of $28. The funds oneyear return through Oct. 26 is 2.46%, and its threeyear return is 12.81%. Expense ratio: 1.30%. Telephone: 8006256275.



JULIUS BAER INTERNATIONAL EQUITY. Its tough for individual investors to buy into Eastern Europea region with few ADRs and many restrictions on foreign investorsbut one way is through this MONEY 100 fund, which has 10% of its assets in the region. Comanager Pell is buying financials like Ceska Sporitelna, the Czech Republics largest savings bank. The funds oneyear return: 17.26%; threeyear: 14.12%. The expense ratio is 1.37%, and their phone is 8004354659.



DREYFUS EMERGING MARKETS. Manager Henry has taken big bets on all the right countriesSouth Korea 13% of his portfolio, India 12% and Brazil 10%. Henry buys dirtcheap stocks like Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited VSL, NYSE, a $1.3 billion telecom that offers overseas phone calls to Indias 1 billion residents. Only 2% of Indian homes have phones, giving this debtfree company ample room to expand its revenue. Oneyear fund return: 4.54%; threeyear: 12.51%. Expense ratio: 1.85%. Phone: 8003739387.



T. ROWE PRICE EMERGING MARKETS STOCK. Another MONEY 100 fund, it tends to hold on to its picks twice as long as its peers. Comanager Chris Alderson likes Reliance Industries, an Indian textile and petrochemical conglomerate with $6 billion in sales. Long considered one of Indias bestrun companies, Reliance has boosted its earnings per share an annualized 12.5% over the past five years. Oneyear fund return: 23.65%; threeyear: 6.49%. Expense ratio: 1.5%. Phone: 8006385660.



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LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer.



Morningstar: 2013 Morningstar, Inc. Disclaimer



The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM 2013 is proprietary to Dow Jones Company, Inc.



Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer



LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enter outlet online shopping prises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer.



Morningstar: 2013 Morningstar, Inc. Disclaimer



The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM 2013 is proprietary to Dow Jones Company, Inc. outlet online shopping

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