Foreign Closed-ends With Long-term Appeal

Article Excerpt

SWISS HELVETIA FUND $16.50 (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 picked up lately, despite slower growth in the U.S., one of Switzerland’s largest markets. Switzerland will likely show growth of 2.5% in 2007, just under its 2.6% growth in 2006. Still, a longer-term recovery in the U.S. will help the export-oriented Swiss economy even further. The fund’s top holdings are Nestle SA (food & beverages), 10.7%; Roche Holdings (pharmaceuticals) at 9.7%; UBS AG (banking), 6.9%; Novartis AG (health care and pharmaceuticals), 6.3%; Galenica Holding (Swiss pharma), 5.6%; Actelion NV (Swiss biopharma), 5.4%; Basilea Pharaceutica (biopharma), 5.2%; Credit Suisse Group (financial services), 4.4%; OC Oerlikon Corp. (Industrial technology), 3.8%; and Syngenta AG (agribusiness), 3.0%. The industry exposure of the stocks in the $666.7 million fund is as follows: Pharmaceuticals, 16.0%; Biotechnology, 14.3%; Food & beverages, 12.9%; Banks,…

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