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Best Stock Pickers Trawl Frontier Markets as U.S. Funds Lose

Stock pickers focused on the least-developed markets are trouncing their benchmark index and producing annual returns at least seven percentage points higher than mutual fund managers around the world.

Mark Mobius’s Templeton Frontier Markets Fund and 12 peers investing in countries from Vietnam to Nigeria and Romania earned an average 24 percent last year, topping the 8.4 percent gain in the MSCI Frontier Markets Index. They beat the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, the Topix Index and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index even as funds in the U.S., Europe, Japan and emerging markets trailed the benchmark gauges.