Belgian firm Degroof Petercam Asset Management (DPAM) continues to expand its offer of sustainable investments via DPAM L Bonds Emerging Markets Sustainable fund, aiming to invest in emerging country debt markets by applying a sustainability filter, at all times avoiding non-democratic countries.
To date a total of 19 countries have been excluded from this fund (Gabon, Qatar, Belarus, Bahrein, Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Rwanda, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, China, Angola, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroun, Oman, Venezuela and Egypt).
It combines DPAM’s longstanding experience in sustainable investments, dating back to 2002, with the aim of balancing risk and return. This process is based on a fundamental analysis of economic, political and financial outlooks, as well as an overall assessment of the risks of bond issuing countries. DPAM manages over €3.3bn in portfolios based on sustainability criteria (at 31 August 2018).
It is managed by Michael Vander Elst and Carl Vermassen, emerging market bond fund managers.
The aim of this fund is to avoid bonds from countries that do not respect the five sustainability criteria (based on current and objective data provided by independent bodies such as the World Health Organisation, the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme). These five criteria are: education, democracy and transparency, environmental footprint, population health and distribution of wealth, economic growth and competitiveness.
Ophélie Mortier, responsible investment strategist at DPAM, commented: “The strategy continues to show the optimisation of risk and return. The sustainability analysis of the countries provides for a clear identification of risks and investment opportunities, based on a holistic and fundamental approach, independent of market indexes. During volatile periods, the filter provides a very important contribution given its relatively defensive profile.”