Where value investor Bill Nygren sees opportunity

Nygren: Large opportunity in Europe
Nygren: Large opportunity in Europe   

There is an "unusually large" opportunity in Europe right now because of skepticism about the market, noted value investor Bill Nygren said Thursday.

"We look at good, global companies in Europe that we think are selling even cheaper than they are when they are based inside the U.S." the portfolio manager and U.S. investment analyst for Oakmark Funds said in an interview with CNBC's "Closing Bell."

That opportunity is not the only usual thing occurring in the market right now, according to Nygren, and it's reflected in his portfolios. Names like Amazon, Google and MasterCard among his funds' top holdings—stocks that he said are not typically seen in a value manager's portfolio.

"We think there is still an usual opportunity to buy very high quality businesses and not have to pay much of a premium for them."

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Nygren is the lead portfolio manager of the Morningstar five-star rated Oakmark Fund, and is also the lead manager of Oakmark Select Fund and Oakmark Global Select Fund. He oversees a total of $27.1 billion in assets.

He also believes the financials are undervalued. In addition to Mastercard, names such as Citigroup, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase are among the top holdings in his funds.

While investors were burned by financial stocks six year ago, these days they have twice the equity to assets than they used to have, Nygren noted.

"We don't think they're nearly as risky. Loans they've made in the last seven years have been based on good old-fashioned lending standards," he said.

The stocks sell at less than book value, less than 10 times expected earnings, and that makes them "pretty attractive."

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