Exotic Blue Chips

Companies in developing countries are worth owning as well-run, profitable, global businesses.

The ranks of the largest and most dynamic businesses in the world are being bolstered by companies in the developing world. Last year, for instance, the Fortune Global 500, a list of the publicly traded firms with the highest revenues, included 35 companies from China, India and Brazil. That's up from 24 companies just two years earlier -- a gain of almost 50%.

By contrast, in 2007 the U.S. and Japan -- far and away the top two contributors to the list -- accounted for 229 of the 500 largest global companies, down from 257 in 2005.

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James K. Glassman
Contributing Columnist, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
James K. Glassman is a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. His most recent book is Safety Net: The Strategy for De-Risking Your Investments in a Time of Turbulence.