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Mutual Fund Commentary

Investors have gradually begun to recognize the opportunity that the international bond market has come to represent. Though the U.S. bond market continues to attract investors, it has featured only infrequently among the best performing international markets. Today international markets represent more than half of the world’s fixed income investment opportunities. With the advantages of widely diversified holdings and professional management, mutual funds offer a secure route for those looking to invest in the international bond market.

Below we will share with you 5 top rated international bond mutual funds. Each has earned a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) as we expect the fund to outperform its peers in the future.  To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all international bond funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.

Columbia Emerging Markets Bond A invests the majority of its assets in fixed income securities issued from emerging markets. Not more than one-fourth of its assets may be utilized to purchase instruments issued by any single foreign government. The international bond mutual fund is non-diversified and returned 11.08% in the last one year period.

The Fund Manager is Jim Carlen and he has managed this international bond mutual fund since 2008.

Fidelity New Markets Income (FNMIX - MF report) seeks high current income. The fund invests the majority of its assets in emerging market securities and other instruments related to such markets. The fund may also invest in other instruments and is non-diversified. The international bond mutual fund returned 15.07% in the last one year period.

The international bond mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $2,500 and an expense ratio of 0.86% compared to a category average of 1.26%.

T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Bond (PREMX - MF report) invests a large share of its assets in emerging market debt securities. These could be both government securities and those issued by corporate entities. Both dollar and non-dollar denominated securities make up the fund’s holdings. The international bond mutual fund returned 11.39% in the last one year period.

As of June 2012, this international bond mutual fund held 358 issues, with 7.66% of its total assets invested in Russian Federation 7.5%

Federated Emerging Market Debt A (IHIAX - MF report) seeks high current income. The fund invests a large proportion of its assets in debt securities issued from emerging markets. These securities may be dollar-denominated or may be issued in foreign currencies. The international bond mutual fund returned 12.88% in the last one year period.

The Fund Manager is Roberto Sanchez-Dahl and he has managed this international bond mutual fund since 2000.

JPMorgan Emerging Markets Debt (JEMDX - MF report) invests the majority of its assets in debt securities issued in emerging markets. These securities may be dollar-denominated or may be issued in foreign currencies. The fund is non-diversified and may also purchase securities rated below investment grade. The international bond mutual fund returned 12.99% in the last one year period.

The international bond mutual fund has an expense ratio of 1.00% compared to a category average of 1.26%.

To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all international bond mutual funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.

About Zacks Mutual Fund Rank

By applying the Zacks Rank to mutual funds, investors can find funds that not only outpaced the market in the past but are also expected to outperform going forward. Learn more about the Zacks Mutual Fund Rank at http://www.zacks.com/funds.

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