Top 5 European Mutual Funds (Feb. 2011)

Among the most prosperous regions on the planet, Europe is made up of both developed markets and emerging economies. The European Union represents the largest economy in the world and is expected to grow at a rapid pace as more countries join the regional bloc. Its developed nations offer safe destinations for investors’ capital, emerging markets offer exciting growth prospects for those willing to take on a higher degree of risk. Mutual funds focusing on Europe are back in favor again as the region offers healthy prospects for investors.

Below we will share with you 5 top rated European mutual funds. Each has earned a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) as we expect these mutual funds to outperform their peers in the future.

Columbia European Equity A (AXEAX) invests a large proportion of its assets in equity securities of growth0oriented European companies. It focuses on acquiring securities issued from mature markets, but may also invest in emerging market stocks. The European mutual fund returned 25.95% in the last one year period.

Dan Ison is the fund manager and has managed this European mutual fund since 2009.

JPMorgan Intrepid European A (VEUAX) seeks capital appreciation over the long term. The fund focuses on acquiring equity securities of companies with significant business operations in Western Europe. Up to 20% of its assets may be invested in debt securities which are not dollar denominated. The European mutual fund has a ten year annualized return of 7.0%.

The European mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $1,000 and an expense ratio of 1.49% compared to a category average of 1.72%.

Fidelity Nordic (FNORX) invests primarily in securities with economic linkages to the Nordic region. Not more than 35% of its assets may be allocated to an industry which makes up more than 20% of the Nordic market. The European mutual fund returned has a five year annualized return of 5.58%.

As of December 2010, this European mutual fund held 49 issues, with 6.68% of its total assets invested in Novo-Nordisk A S.

Metzler/Payden European Emerging Markets (MPYMX) seeks long-term capital growth. The fund invests heavily in companies located in European emerging market countries. It focuses on acquiring equity securities that are tradable and pay dividends in foreign currencies such as the euro. The European mutual fund returned 17.7% in the last one year period.

Markus Brueck is the fund manager and has managed this European mutual fund since 2002.

T. Rowe Price Emerging Europe & Mediterranean (TREMX) invests at least 80% of assets in emerging-market securities. The fund invests in companies without regard to their size or market capitalization. It focuses on purchasing common stocks of companies located in or having primary operations in emerging markets. The European mutual fund has a ten year annualized return of 15.54%.

The European mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $2,500 and an expense ratio of 1.41% compared to a category average of 1.76%.

To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all European mutual funds, then click here.

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