Foreign Closed-Ends With Growth Ahead

Article Excerpt

SWISS HELVETIA FUND $20.07 (New York symbol SWZ; CWA Rating: Conservative) invests mainly in large-capitalization Swiss stocks. The manager of the fund is Hottinger Group, which, as Banque Hottinger, dates back to 1786. The Swiss economy has slowed lately, along with the U.S., one of Switzerland’s largest markets. Switzerland’s growth rate may slow to 1.5% this year, after growing at 3.0% in 2006. Still, a longer-term recovery in the U.S. will help the export-oriented Swiss economy, particularly if it stimulates growth in Europe, its largest market. The fund’s top holdings are Roche Holdings (pharmaceuticals) at 13.3%; Nestle SA (food & beverages), 12.5%; Novartis AG (health care and pharmaceuticals), 11.8%; UBS AG (banking), 9.9%; Basilea Pharaceutica (biopharmaceuticals), 5.1%; Credit Suisse Group (financial services), 4.8%; Actelion NV (Swiss biopharmaceutical), 4.5%; BKW FMB Energie (Swiss electricity generator), 4.4%; Galenica Holding (Swiss pharmaceuticals), 3.8%; and Julius Baer (Swiss-based private bank), 3.4%. The industry exposure of the stocks in the $502.8 million fund is as follows: Pharmaceuticals, 26.0%;…

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