Manulife Investment Management launches Asia-focused ESG fixed-income fund
Offering aims to capture opportunities from region’s long-term sustainability themes
18 Sep 2020 | The Asset

Manulife Investment Management has launched the Manulife Global Fund - Sustainable Asia Bond, its dedicated environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy, focused-on-Asian credit.

The fund aims to generate the best possible risk-adjusted returns by primarily investing in Asian bond issuers that demonstrate superior sustainability attributes, offering investors an alternative Asian fixed-income solution that can provide enhanced financial and social values.

The UCITS fund, which is currently registered for distribution in Singapore with plans for registration in other countries, leverages Manulife Investment Management’s regional credit research platform across 11 Asian markets.

The portfolio, which invests in bonds from companies that demonstrate superior ESG attributes, includes a dedicated allocation to green, social and sustainability bonds, and focuses on three major long-term sustainability themes  climate change, ageing population, and corporate governance.

“Sustainability is top of mind among global investors, and as a leading Asian fixed-income manager, we provide our clients with investment solutions that can also meet their sustainability goals,” says Endre Pedersen, deputy global fixed income CIO, and Asia, ex-Japan, fixed income CIO. “The fund is the result of our team’s years of research and successful integration of E, S, and G factors into our credit analyses, which enables us to gain a better understanding of the true worth of companies we invest in.”

The fund employs a proven and repeatable four-stage investment process that starts with assessing the global macro environment focusing on key factors, followed by analyzing and comparing a broad range of opportunities across sectors using a top-down approach and a proprietary global sovereign ESG model. Once attractive sectors and markets are identified, the fund's credit research team conducts bottom-up, fundamental research within its ESG framework, as well as absolute and relative value analysis in the context of equal alternatives on ESG impact.

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