With the U.S.-China trade war again showing no sign of resolution, and combined with other geopolitical flashpoints, plowing into growth stocks is probably the last thing on many investors’ agendas. And while the U.S. markets have certainly printed some red ink recently, a growth-based strategy surprisingly isn’t completely insane. We just may be looking at the wrong place.
Stereotypically, Americans tend not to think much beyond their zip code, let alone their country. That’s perhaps the privilege of living in the greatest nation on earth. In this case, though, being self-absorbed has some tangible consequences. Looking beyond our borders, international growth stocks offer interesting plays for the risk-tolerant investor.
In full disclosure, I’ve been negative on both the domestic and global economies. Obviously, I’m not the arbiter of what happens next. And certain indicators, such as the economic surprise indices, suggest that global markets are stronger than advertised. This includes countries like Japan, Canada, China, and the Eurozone. If true, that bodes very well for international growth stocks.
Another factor potentially bolstering international growth stocks is that the U.S. markets are stretched. Shrewd investors want to see more bang for their buck. Likely, they’re not going to get much stateside. However, global markets offer upside, if you’re willing to stomach the risk.
If that’s you, here are seven international growth stocks to consider:
Barrick Gold (GOLD)
Headquartered in Canada, Barrick Gold (NYSE:GOLD) is easily one of the best international growth stocks to put on your short list. With fears rising about geopolitical flashpoints, as well as our own economic stability, GOLD stock is a perfect choice for those who want exposure to safe-haven assets, but don’t want the hassle of owning physical bullion.
Plus, if you’re pessimistic about the broader narrative, GOLD stock offers a hybrid play: you can indirect exposure to safe-haven assets while still participating in the financial system. Better yet, analysts project serious growth for the mining company. Next year, they anticipate growth of 46%, and nearly 34% per annum over the next five years.
While this sounds rather robust, it’s not at all unreasonable. Gold prices have been deflated for several years, so they’re due for a pick-me-up. Additionally, the catalysts – primarily fear and uncertainty – are evident in the markets. Thus, keep GOLD stock close to your chest. Something tells me you’ll be glad you did.
Sibanye Gold (SBGL)
I don’t intend to turn this list of international growth stocks into a mining-centric write-up. Nevertheless, the bullish narrative for Sibanye Gold (NYSE:SBGL) is, in my opinion, extremely powerful.
For starters, SBGL stock offers the same hybrid opportunity as Barrick Gold: you get the indirect protection that precious metals provide if we suffer economic hardship, as well as the convenience of plugging into the financial system. More importantly, though, the South African-headquartered mining firm specializes in platinum and palladium production.
Both metals are critical for the development of catalytic converters. Due to stricter emissions standards in the automotive industry, palladium demand has already skyrocketed. While electric vehicles aim to overturn traditional fossil-fueled cars, this complete transition won’t happen so quickly. This situation augurs very well for SBGL stock.
Moreover, we have to think about the political situation. Increasingly, climate change and its associated issues have taken center stage. For now, the best way to address earth’s climate is through more rigorous emissions standards. This will only spike up palladium and platinum demand, further bolstering SBGL stock.
Long playing second fiddle to consumer electronics king Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), my alma mater Sony (NYSE:SNE) offers an interesting play among international growth stocks. For one thing, I tend to believe in market cycles. As one organization dominates, they must provide increasingly compelling storylines to keep investors interested. Because SNE stock is on the outside looking in, they don’t have to worry about that pressure.
Fundamentally, SNE stock may be fortuitously well positioned. I say this because with peak smartphone, it’s become exponentially harder to excite customers. According to some sources, for instance, Apple’s new iPhone 11 isn’t all that great.
In contrast, I’m very excited about Sony’s upcoming product pipeline. Sure, I’m biased. But with something as powerful as the upcoming PlayStation 5, it doesn’t matter: it’s almost a guarantee that Sony’s flagship product will receive massive fanfare. Obviously, this is a net positive for SNE stock.
Plus, Sony isn’t just riding the PlayStation horse. They’ve got other viable platforms, such as artificial intelligence-based video-content creators, as well as next-generation “pro-sumer” digital cameras. It all makes for a strong contrarian candidate among international growth stocks.
President Donald Trump may not always show his appreciation, but Mexico is a vital partner to the U.S. Of course, because of the current political situation, this relationship is unfortunately strained, to put it mildly. But that shouldn’t dissuade you from considering Cemex (NYSE:CX) among your list of international growth stocks.
Since July of 2017, CX stock has unfortunately suffered substantial volatility. Some of the harsh rhetoric from the White House has spilled over into our trade agreements with Mexico. As such, many investors have chosen to dump Cemex.
But with shares down so much since then, I think it’s time to put CX stock on your radar. First, the U.S. isn’t Mexico’s only trading partner. Thanks to modernization initiatives and various efficiencies, Mexico represents an attractive place for business. Unsurprisingly, foreign direct investment dollars have flowed in from Japan and the European Union.
Finally, keep in mind that Mexico features very favorable demographics. Currently, almost half of the country’s population is what we would term working age. Also, because of their robust population growth, Mexicans aged zero to 14 years represent almost 27% of the country’s tally. Thus, you’re looking at a very important global labor market, which is net positive for CX stock.
With Chinese growth stocks at the forefront of the U.S.-China trade war, this sector seems inevitably doomed. Again, in the interest of full transparency, I’ve recently adopted a less-than-positive stance on China. As the word of words continue to heat up, it’s hard to imagine that companies like Tencent (OTCMKTS:TCEHY) can emerge from the muck without a trade deal.
That said, TCEHY stock is a name you shouldn’t ignore. Although many investors like to put tags on Tencent, such as China’s Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), it’s much more than that. For example, Tencent owns the WeChat app, which has more than a billion monthly users. That’s second only to Facebook’s WhatsApp and Messenger platforms.
But a more critical point boosting the bullish thesis for TCEHY stock is WeChat’s comprehensive nature. Like any messaging app, it’s any easy way to connect with family, friends and colleagues. However, WeChat also arranges payments and books flights and hotel rooms.
As China continues its push toward full modernization, WeChat will play a pivotal role. Therefore, you’ve got to keep TCEHY stock on your short list, irrespective of how you feel about the trade war.
And there’s really no question that Ericsson is a speculative name. For context, back during the tech bubble, ERIC stock once had a triple-digit price. Today, with shares firmly priced under $10, those glory days are long gone.
Ordinarily, most conservative investors wouldn’t give a second thought to Ericsson. However, with the telecom industry’s 5G rollout, the long-embattled company suddenly has a lifeline. Through key global partnerships, Ericsson has provided the equipment necessary to implement this next-generation technology. As this rollout continues, ERIC stock may attract more investor dollars.
Analysts project growth of 35.1% next year, and nearly 64% per annum over the next five years. It’s an interesting opportunity. However, just be careful that ERIC has a history of wild volatility.
Admittedly, the idea of incorporating Credicorp (NYSE:BAP) into this list of international growth stocks is fraught with risk. As Peru’s largest financial holding, BAP stock immediately loses credibility. If you haven’t heard, the country is chest-deep in a political crisis. To very briefly summarize, Peru’s president and vice president each claim to be the nation’s rightful leader.
So, why even think about BAP stock? For one thing, Peru has endured massive structural changes over the last few decades. While this present crisis is indeed worrisome, the Peruvian people have a long history of dealing with these high-level shenanigans. While I’m not trying to make light of the situation, it’s not unreasonable to believe that the nation will eventually resume business as usual.
When it does, Peru has interesting characteristics that could help lift BAP stock. Primarily, the country’s GDP is mostly tied to the services sector. Because of that, Peru needs a robust workforce, which they have. Their population pyramid is very favorable, featuring a very large allocation of young people.
As of this writing, Josh Enomoto is long gold bullion and SNE stock.