On the back of a 130% gain in 2006, China's Shanghai Exchange rose another 97% (in dollar terms) in 2007. Similarly, India's Bombay Exchange had a nice run last year -- it gained 47%.

According to Capital IQ, among the best-performing emerging American depositary receipts from Asia in 2007 were Baidu.com (Nasdaq: BIDU), Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL), and Solarfun Power Holdings (Nasdaq: SOLF), which gained 246%, 185%, and 179%, respectively.

Investors the world over have wondered whether this type of outsized growth is sustainable. Nowhere, perhaps, is the debate livelier than on Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's investing intelligence community, where more than 83,000 investors rate their favorite -- and least favorite -- stocks.

Despite the red-hot growth on the other side of the Pacific, no Chinese or Indian companies graced the top 100 list, as rated by CAPS investors.

Moving westward?
While Asian stocks are still generally favored among CAPS investors, stocks from other regions, including Europe and South America, have become more common in the top 100. Investor sentiment may be shifting westward for now, but the growth potential in Asia is still too great to ignore.

Without further ado, here are the top five Asian stocks, according to CAPS.

Company

Country

iShares MSCI Pacific ex-Japan Fund

Asia-General

Philippine Long Distance Telephone (NYSE: PHI)

Philippines

Korea Electric Power

Korea

Mitsui & Co.

Japan

Internet Initiative Japan

Japan

Please bear in mind that these stocks are not formal recommendations. Instead, they're offered as jumping-off points for further research. What's more, researching five-star CAPS stocks such as these can be an effective tool for investors.

The next Thrilla in Manila?
For the second month in a row, Japan's Mitsui and Internet Initiative Japan are in the Nos. 4 and 5 spots. Moreover, the iShares MSCI Pacific ex-Japan Fund once again managed to beat out individual Asian five-star CAPS stocks like Sify Ltd. (Nasdaq: SIFY) and Tata Motors (NYSE: TTM) -- and by a wide margin.

This month's most interesting newcomer hails from an archipelago: Philippine Long Distance Telephone. The large telecom provides wireless, fixed-line, and information and communications technology in the Philippines -- similar to the services of Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T here in the United States.

Since 2002, Philippine Long Distance Telephone's wireless business has generated the most revenue of its three segments, with more than $1.6 billion in sales in 2006. Having such a grip on an in-demand technology in a large, emerging economy that The Economist expects will grow about 5% in 2008 is a potential catalyst. Yet many CAPS investors are more pleased with the company's solid 4% dividend yield.

CAPS investor Crashlaster summarized these sentiments back in July:

Exciting high beta Philippine company with huge upside dominating Philippine market while paying huge dividend

Crashlaster isn't the only bull on the company over on CAPS: Fully 198 of the 202 players who have rated the stock believe it will outperform the S&P 500.

What do you think? Should investors dial in to Philippine Long Distance Telephone, or should they hang up now? To make your voice heard, join the CAPS community. It's 100% free, and we want to hear from everyone.

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Fool contributor Todd Wenning is ranked 288 out of more than 83,000 CAPS investors. He does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Baidu.com is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. The Fool's disclosure policy is well-traveled.