Stock Quotes in this Article: PHI, EPHE

 The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet’s guest contributor program, which is separate from the company’s news coverage. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

SAN FRANCISCO (Stockerblog) -- Did you know that the literacy rate in the Philippines is 93.4%, according to the latest information provided by the Philippines National Statistics Office? The country has an approximate gross domestic product of $189 billion, making it the 46th-largest economy in the world. In 2007, the GDP growth was 7.1%. Goldman Sachs included the Philippines in its Next 11 list, which means it has a high potential of becoming one of the world's largest economies in this century, along with the BRIC countries.


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    At, we’ve identified over a dozen stocks based in the Philippines that trade in the U.S.

    Probably the most popular with U.S. investors is Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PHI) due to the fact that it yields 4.8%. This telecommunications, wireless and Internet company trades at 11.4 times current earnings and 11.2 times forward earnings. The company's current dividend payout of $499 million is easily covered by its operating cash flow of $1.82 billion.

    Another way to play the Philippines market is through an ETF, the iShares MSCI Philippines Investable Market Index (EPHE), which has a goal of matching the performance of equity securities in the top 99% in market capitalization of Philippine equity markets. This ETF was up 13.52% for the last three months, vs. only 8.27% for the Pacific/Asia Stock Index.

    For a list of the major Philippines stocks available to U.S. investors, which can be downloaded, sorted, and updated, visit

    At the time of writing, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

    Fred Fuld III, the publisher of stock and bond investing blog Stockerblog and founder of WallStreetNewsNetwork, has been in the financial services industry for over 20 years, working as an investment advisor, options market maker at the Pacific Stock Exchange, vice president of a San Francisco money management firm, university faculty member and wholesaler for the New Alternatives Fund (the first environmentally conscious mutual fund). He is the author of the books Investing in Brazil Stocks and The Green Light on Green Stocks.