Manulife launches Sustainable Asia Bond Fund in Europe

AJ Gonzalez | February 16, 2021

Institutional Asset Manager, 15/02/2021 – 11:14AM

Manulife launches Sustainable Asia Bond Fund in Europe. The fund seeks to invest in Asian fixed income securities with superior sustainability attributes. 

Manulife Investment Management’s Asia Fixed Income platform includes 11 Asian markets with more than USD65 billion in Asian Fixed Income assets. The firm was also included in the PRI Leaders’ Group 2020 for demonstrating responsible investment excellence in its responses to the PRI Reporting Framework with specific distinction in climate reporting.

Manulife Global Fund (MGF) Sustainable Asia Bond Fund takes advantage of the ongoing global trends in sustainable and responsible investing. The region is undergoing an important sustainability evolution that Manulife Investment Management believes will lead to compelling investment opportunities in fixed income. Investors are becoming more aware and accepting of the competitive financial returns that can be generated alongside social and environmental progress and are beginning to embrace international standards of sustainability. The sustainability of business in Asia is increasingly important to various investors and stakeholders, creating compelling opportunities for investment across Asia-Pacific markets.

The MGF Sustainable Asia Bond Fund is led by Murray Collis, Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Fixed Income, Asia ex-Japan, and supported by the management team of Endre Pedersen, Alvin Ong, Jimond Wong and Neal Capecci.

By taking an active approach, the fund makes use of the firm’s extensive on-the-ground proprietary Asian credit research and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) capabilities to select issuers to outperform traditional Asian bond peers. The team believes that attractive risk-adjusted returns can be generated by investing in Asian corporate and government bond issuers that demonstrate superior sustainability attributes. This UCITS fund is Luxembourg domiciled.

Endre Pedersen, Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Global Fixed Income, and CIO, Fixed Income, Asia ex-Japan, Manulife Investment Management, says: “Sustainable and responsible investing is fast becoming one of the most important investment criteria globally, and as one of the largest fixed income house in Asia, and a global leader in ESG integration, we believe we’re well-positioned to capture the growth potential of both Asia and ESG and deliver it to our clients.”

The availability of MGF Sustainable Asia Bond supports Manulife Investment Management’s priority to deliver its broad range of global investment solutions to clients in Europe. Alongside MGF Sustainable Asia Bond Fund, two additional Lux-based UCITS funds have also been made available for sale in Europe: MGF Dragon Growth Fund and MGF Asia Total Return Bond Fund were previously only available to investors in Asia via the MGF platform. Manulife Investment Management anticipates additional funds from the MGF platform will be launched into the European market this year.

The MGF Dragon Growth fund, managed by Kai Kong Chay, aims to provide long-term capital growth by adopting an “All China” perspective and also aiming to identify emerging winners and disruptors in secular growth areas. The fund launched in December 1996.

MGF Asia Total Return Bond fund, also headed by Endre Pedersen, aims to provide total return from a combination of income and capital appreciation by investing in a collective investment scheme with investment focus on fixed income securities. The fund launched in September 2009.

Andrew G Arnott, Head of Wealth and Asset Management, Manulife Investment Management, United States and Europe, says: “We are excited to launch a fund that combines two of our strongest capabilities for clients who have interest in Asia and ESG integration in fixed income. Additionally, the availability of MGF Dragon Growth fund and MGF Asia Total Return Bond fund now offers a regional product suite for European investors looking to add diversity and exposure to their portfolio.”

The three funds are currently registered for sale in the UK, Germany, and Italy. Manulife Investment Management expects to file in Switzerland in the near term.

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