As with Latin America a few days ago, I am continuing my analysis of international dividend opportunities with the best income plays in Asia. The Asian markets may experience some slowdown due to measures such as rate increases in China and India that are intended to hold back inflation. However, in the long run, the Asian countries can provide long term growth and higher yields. Below are three of Asia's leading companies that have yields above 2%.
Tata Motors (NYSE:TTM) - Tata Motors is the leading automobile producer in India. Priced at $2,500 the Tata Nano is the cheapest car in the world and has opened up the opportunity of driving to many lower to middle class Indians. They also own the Jaguar and Land Rover brands that drive international sales. Tata's dividend yield is solid, but is the lowest on the list at 2.17%. However, they also have the highest growth potentials with earnings expected to rise 35% annually over the next five years with the growth of driving in India and the company's movement to international markets.
China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) - China Mobile is China's leading cell phone company. Even with the growth in China, their market is pretty saturated, so do not expect too much growth in earnings or the share price. On the bright side, this also reduces the volatility of the stock which has a low beta 0.6 and also has less accounting fraud risk versus other Chinese companies. Most importantly for income investors, the stock pays a generous dividend with a 3.98% yield. Due to bearish technicals, wait for CHL to fall below $46 a share before buying.
Canon (NYSE:CAJ) - Canon is a Japanese company that specializes in cameras and imaging products. Although smart phones and a weakening economy may have taken a bite out of camera sales, Canon is still in good shape as it has cemented a reputation of top quality products for individuals and photography professionals. Japanese stocks in general have been beaten down in price by the earthquake and Canon is no different. The company has no long term debt and has turned earnings growth back into the black. They are also moving their printing business into the cloud which can drive global growth higher. Canon pays a high dividend at a 3.21% yield
For income oriented investors, these are the three of the best stocks to buy in Asia. When it comes to Asian (particularly Chinese) stocks, investors need to watch out for accounting fraud issues and high volatility. Personally, I would not buy any of these companies right now, but I have them on my watch list once the markets finish reacting to the debt mess in the west and the coming slowdown in China. However, keep these on your watch list as buy opportunities will come within the next few months.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.