After a surprisingly bad year, international funds—which sank an average of 45% in 2008—could be ripe for big gains later this year, some managers say.

"We think 2009 will be a good year," Gary Motyl, chief investment officer of Templeton Global Equity Group, part of Franklin Resources Inc., told The Wall Street Journal. "You can't have enjoyed the fruits of globalization over the past 10 years and not expect" a downturn. Motyl said international funds are on sale and many are poised for a comeback.

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