American Express Co. (1.5% of net assets as of September 30, 2013) (AXP - $75.52 - NYSE)(AXP) is the largest closed loop credit card company in the world. The company operates its eponymous premiere branded payment network and lends to its largely affluent customer base. American Express has 104 million cards in force and over $63 billion in loans, while its customers charged nearly $900 billion of spending on their cards in 2012. The company's strong consumer brand has allowed American Express to enter the deposit gathering market as an alternate source of funding, while the company's affluent customers have picked up spending. Longer term, American Express should capitalize on its higher spending customer base and continue to expand into other payment related businesses like corporate purchasing, while also growing in emerging markets. Similarly, the company is looking at the growing success of social media as an opportunity to expand its product base and payment options.
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