Four International Dividend Stocks

05/08/2014 10:00 am EST

Focus: GLOBAL

Marshall Hargrave

Contributing Editor, Wyatt Investment Research

Investors remain hungry for yield; the average dividend yield for the S&P 500 is less than 2% and the 10-year Treasury yield is a mere 2.7%. One place that is offering superior dividend yields is the international market, explains Marshall Hargrave in Daily Profit.

Diversification isn't just about owning stocks in different industries, it also involves looking for stocks in different geographical locations. And investors can get access to faster growing economies by looking for investments outside the US.

Fortunately for investors, investing in international markets also offers superior dividend yields.

Here are four top international dividend stocks that investors should own today; they provide investors with solid income, while also giving them exposure to a number of fast growing markets.

HSBC Holdings (HSBC)

HSBC is the largest bank in Europe. Unlike the majority of banks in the US, HSBC offers a relatively high dividend yield. Its current dividend yield is 4.7%. The bank managed to pay a dividend throughout the financial crisis.

Despite having to cut its annual dividend payment in half in 2009, the bank has grown its dividend payment at an annualized 7% since then. That type of dividend growth should only continue, as HSBC finds new ways to grow earnings.

The bank has a strong presence in Asia, which is a very fast growing market for high net worth individuals and businesses. Over half of its operations are tied to fast-growing emerging markets. For investors looking to gain exposure to the banking industry, while also getting a high dividend yield, HSBC is a top choice.

Total SA (TOT)

Total is one of the most overlooked oil and gas supermajors. Unlike many of its peers, Total has very little exposure to the highly competitive North American market. It actually has the lowest exposure to North America of all the supermajors.

But it does operate in some of the fastest growing oil and gas markets in the world. Less than 5% of Total's production came from North America last year. But over 50% came from Africa and the Middle East. The stock offers a 4.7% dividend yield.

British American Tobacco (BTI)

The UK-based British American Tobacco is the second largest tobacco company in the world; its key brands include Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike, and Pall Mall, and its products are sold in over 180 markets.

Its dividend yield is 4%, which is below a couple of the major US tobacco companies. However, while the US firms are duking it out for market share in the saturated US tobacco market, British American Tobacco is setting its sights on developing markets.

This includes the largest tobacco market in the world, China. The country accounts for over 40% of global tobacco consumption. British American inked a deal with China National Tobacco last year that created a joint venture that has worldwide rights for China's leading brand, Shuang Xi.

Petroleo Brasileiro Petrobras SA (PBR)

Petroleo Brasileiro Petrobras is the largest energy company in Brazil. It's also the largest publicly-traded Latin American oil company. It's dividend yield is 5.1%.

The Brazilian government is Petroleo Brasileiro Petrobras' majority shareholder. But shareholders and the government's interests are aligned for now. The company produces nearly all of Brazil's oil and gas and is the closest thing to a monopoly you'll find in the markets.

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