Manulife Investment Management has launched a new ESG strategy focused on Asian credit.
Manulife Global Fund - Sustainable Asia Bond will primarily be investing in Asian bond issuers that demonstrate superior sustainability attributes and will focus on three sustainability themes: climate change, ageing population and corporate governance.
The product is a UCITS fund and is currently registered for distribution in Singapore with plans for registration in other countries.
Sustainability is top of mind among global investors"
"Sustainability is top of mind among global investors," said Endre Pedersen, deputy chief investment officer for global fixed income and chief investment officer for Asia ex-Japan fixed income.
With a team of over 70 fixed income investment professionals based across Asia-Pacific, Manulife Investment Management leverages its scale and resources necessary to actively analyze over 500 Asian credit issuers. Its credit analysts are tasked to evaluate how the ESG factors influence a company's credit long-term profile.
"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," Pedersen added.
The fund employs a four-stage investment approach. The process 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, its extensive credit research team then 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.