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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 (REBAX - MF report) seeks current income, with a secondary objective of capital appreciation. The majority of its assets are invested in fixed income securities issued from emerging markets. A maximum of 25% of its assets may be utilized to purchase instruments issued by any single foreign government. The international bond mutual fund returned 21.29% 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) invests a large share of its assets in emerging markets securities and other instruments with economic linkages to developing economies. It is non-diversified and focuses on purchasing debt securities. The international bond mutual fund returned 21.8% 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) seeks appreciably high income and capital growth. The fund invests the majority of its assets in securities issued by government and corporate entities from emerging markets. The fund’s portfolio can be denominated in dollars or other currencies. . The international bond mutual fund returned 21.23% in the last one year period.

As of September 2012, this international bond mutual fund held 367 issues, with 7.04% of its total assets invested in Russian Federation 7.5%

Goldman Sachs Emerging Market Debt A (GSDAX - MF report) invests heavily in government and corporate debt securities and in fixed income securities issued from emerging markets. The fund invests in securities regardless of their credit rating. The international bond mutual fund returned 21.76% in the last one year period.

The Fund Manager is Samuel Finkelstein and he has managed this international bond mutual fund since 2003.

Federated Emerging Market Debt A (IHIAX - MF report) seeks high current income. The fund invests a large share of its assets in fixed income securities from emerging markets. It invests in securities regardless of their maturity period. The international bond mutual fund is non-diversified and returned 22.06% in the last one year period.

The international bond mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $1,500 and an expense ratio of 1.25% 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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