Top 5 European Mutual Funds (April 2011)

One of the richest continents in the world, Europe consists of both mature 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.

Fidelity Europe (FIEUX) seeks capital appreciation over the long term. A large share of the fund’s assets is utilized to purchase European securities and other instruments with economic linkages to the continent. The fund focuses on acquiring common stock. The European mutual fund has a ten year annualized return of 6.13%.

Melissa M. Reilly is the fund manager and she has managed this European mutual fund since 2008.

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 32.05% in the last one year period.

The European mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $2,000 and an expense ratio of 1.41% compared to a category average of 1.70%.

Eastern European Equity A (VEEEX) seeks capital growth. The fund invests the majority of its assets in Eastern European companies or firms that have a significant portion of their operations in the region. It invests in three different countries from the region at any given time. The European mutual fund has a three year annualized return of 8.44%.

As of December 2010, this European mutual fund held 47 issues, with 18.02% of its total assets invested in Check Point Software Technologies, Ltd.

JPMorgan Intrepid European A (VEUAX) 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 returned 23.68% in the last one year period.

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 1.70%.

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 has a five year annualized return of 6.18%.

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

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

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