OppenheimerFunds had a spectacular year in 1997. Despite turmoil in some markets, its varied array of global mutual funds racking up enough big gains to win the top performance rating in its group from Morningstar, the fund evaluation service.

"This victory is a bit of a surprise," said Morningstar in noting the No. 1 performance. "Oppenheimer is the invisible fund family. Maybe that should change."

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