13 Emerging Market Dividend Stocks Worthy of a Closer Look

by: Investment Underground

Too often income investors search for dividend yields only within U.S. borders and many times focus on just the domestic telecom and utilities sectors.

So we decided to shine some light on a few income opportunities outside the U.S. in emerging markets. We ran a screen for emerging market names that yield over 3.5% and we came up with a list of 13 names that span the globe from Argentina to China to Panama and the Philippines.

Of course, because all of these companies are in the developing world, risk of capital erosion is ever present as is a halting/sporadic nature of dividend payments, so please do your own due diligence before you consider investing in any of the names on our list.

Something else foreign dividend investors should consider is that many countries have various tax withholding rates, ranging from 10% in China all the way up to 30% in countries like Sweden and Australia. For a full list of tax withholding rates by country, click here.

And finally, unlike the majority of dividend payers in the U.S., some foreign companies pay dividends annually, semiannually or otherwise irregularly, which can impact your compound growth rate if you regularly reinvest your dividends.

For some relatively safer income opportunities, we came up with a list of 10 undervalued, wide-moat dividend “kings” last week that you can read here.

Here’s what we found on these stocks, plus some commentary on each company:

Phillipines Long Distance Telephone Co (NYSE:PHI): Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company provides a suite of telecommunication products and services to this Southeast Asian nation. Goldman Sachs grouped the Philippines in its “N-11” class of countries that have the highest potential of becoming the world’s largest economies along with the BRICS in the 21st century. For investors seeking exposure to this fast growing market, PHI offers attractive growth prospects and a very attractive 6.4% yield. And because PHI essentially has a stranglehold on its core market and over 50% market share in the domestic wireless space, we expect it to be able to generate good cash flow and operating profits in the near term. This is a good indicator the company will be able to maintain a dividend payment. The price at the time of writing was $54.83.

CorpBanca S.A. (BCA): Corpbanca provides commercial and retail banking services across Chile. As well, CorpBanca also offers insurance, mutual fund management and securities brokerage through a network of subsidiaries. A great way to play Chile’s red hot economy is through its banking sector. And if you’re going to go with one banking stock, we think CorpaBanca is it, as it has been the best performer in terms of returns over the past four years. The current dividend yield is 3.60% and shares trade at 75.89 at the time of writing. (Click here for four other bank stocks that are outdoing their peers.)

Alto Palermo S.A. (NASDAQ:APSA): This Argentine property manager tore up the markets in the second half of 2010, gaining over 95% between July and February of this year. APSA engages in the ownership, acquisition, development, leasing, management and operation of shopping centers throughout Argentina with a concentration in the capital, Buenos Aires. The stock yields 5.3% and trades at $16.60 at the time of writing.

Brasil Telecom S.A. (BTM): Westward in Brazil, BTM provides telecommunications services throughout the country. Yield is 6.10%. Price at the time of writing: $23.69.

Telecom Argentina (NYSE:TEO): One of our favorite stocks in the region, Telecom Argentina provides fixed-line telecommunications and 3G mobile coverage among other telephone related services. Additionally, the firm provides cellular services in Paraguay and has about 1.8 million users there. Not only has TEO had excellent EPS, revenue and cash flow growth over the past five years, but its dividend yield is 5.20%. Though we believe significant regulatory risk exists in Argentina and shares are probably fairly to slightly over-valued at $26.00, we think growth prospects in the region remain strong and TEO should be on every dividend investors watch list if and when an emerging market correction occurs.

BBVA Banco Frances S.A. (NYSE:BFR): Another Argentine name on this list, BBVA and its subsidiaries provide banking services to individuals and businesses within Argentina. Yield is 5.90%. Price at the time of writing: $11.23.

Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior, S.A (NYSE:BLX): Panama’s dollarized economy is one of the fastest growing in Latin America, with real GDP growing at over 5% last year. We think BLX is a great way to play the regional growth, plus you get the kicker of a 4.6% yield.

CPFL Energia S.A. (NYSE:CPL): A dividend monster, this Brazilian utility yields 7.70% and has been paying out since 2005. For risk tolerant investors seeking exposure to Brazil and its currency, we think CPFL is a great bet. The company serves 6.4 million customers in the states of Sao Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul, and, in total, the company commands a 13% share of Brazil’s power distribution market. Shares trade at 73.57 at the time of writing.

CTC Media, Inc (NASDAQ:CTCM): This Russian media company is sort of an outlier in this group of mostly banks, utilities and telecom companies. Headquartered in Moscow, CTC Media operates a group of television networks in Russia and the former Russian states. Yield is currently 5.70%.

Administradora de Fondos de Pensiones Provida SA (NYSE:PVD): PVD offers private pension fund administration and related services in Chile. Current yield is 7.1%.

China Nepstar Chain Drugstore (NYSE:NPD): Nepstar is essentially the Walgreens or the CVS of China. By number of stores, it’s the largest retail drugstore chain with more than 2,500 retail shops throughout China. Unlike many other drugstores in the mainland, Nepstar provides a more customer friendly experience, which increases customer retention. The company commands a 2% market share in terms of sales, so room for growth is ample in this fragmented market. Working in such a low margin industry, we think there are risks to Nepstar being able to maintain its dividend, however. Current yield is 6.4%.

Keyuan Petrochemicals (NASDAQ:KEYP): Keyuan manufactures and supplies petro chemical products in China. Keyuan recently underwent a reverse merger in April 2010, an action that has garnered some negative press. Yield is 7%.

YPF S.A. (NYSE:YPF): This energy company engages in the development, exploration and production of natural gas, crude oil and liquefied petroleum gas in Argentina. The company distributes natural gas to over 8 million customers throughout Latin America and Spain, and has interests in proven reserves over 5 billion barrels of oil and oil equivalent. Current yield is 5.6%.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.