Written by Rebecca Lipman

Looking to invest in financial companies outside of the United States but unsure where to start? One way is to look at the investing activities of institutional money managers, like hedge funds and investment banks.

Institutions often invest hundreds of thousands of dollars or more at one time. Regular investors pay attention to what institutional investors do because if they are willing to handle such large amounts of money it is easy enough to assume that they know what they are doing - or at the very least know more than the average investor. This is why these investors are also sometimes referred to as "smart money."

Interactive Chart: Use the Compar-O-Matic to compare average analyst ratings for the stocks mentioned below:

Business Section: Investing Ideas

Foreign stocks typically offer unique investing opportunities because you are not only investing in a company, but an economy. If the country sees great strides in growth, it's likely their industries will share the benefits.

We ran a screen on foreign financial stocks for names seeing the most significant net buying from institutional investors in the current quarter, indicating they believe there is more upside to these names. Do you agree with their optimism? (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

1. Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:AHL): Provides insurance and reinsurance products and services worldwide. Bermuda. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 5.9M shares, which represents about 8.93% of the company's float of 66.07M shares

2. Credicorp Ltd. (NYSE:BAP): Provides a range of financial products and services in Peru, Bolivia, and Panama. Peru. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 3.0M shares, which represents about 5.91% of the company's float of 50.76M shares

3. Flagstone Reinsurance Holdings SA (NYSE:FSR): Operates as a reinsurance and insurance company worldwide. Luxembourg. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 2.3M shares, which represents about 4.98% of the company's float of 46.18M shares

4. Maiden Holdings, Ltd. (Nasdaq:MHLD): Provides non-catastrophe inland marine and property coverage reinsurance solutions to the regional and specialty insurers in the United States and Europe. Bermuda. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 2.8M shares, which represents about 5.49% of the company's float of 51.04M shares

5. Validus Holdings, Ltd. (NYSE:VR): Provides reinsurance and insurance coverage in the property, marine, and specialty lines markets worldwide. Bermuda. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 5.6M shares, which represents about 6.13% of the company's float of 91.32M shares.

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Disclosure: Kapitall's Rebecca Lipman does not own any of the shares mentioned above. Institutional data sourced from Fidelity.

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