This Sub-Fund invests primarily in corporate bonds, denominated in hard currencies and issued by emerging market corporate issuers with sound ESG practices.
It promotes environmental (E) and social (S) characteristics but does not have as its objective sustainable investment. However, it will have a minimum proportion of 5% of sustainable investments.
The E and S characteristics are measured relative to those of the Emerging Market (EM) corporate bond universe, as measured by the JP Morgan Corporate EMBI Diversified index, and include:
· better ESG practices, as measured by a higher ESG quality score
· a lower weighted average carbon intensity
· a greater respect of international norms such as the UN Global Compact.
The index is a standard reference representing the Sub-Fund’s universe but is not aligned with the environmental and social characteristics promoted by this Sub-Fund.
This Sub-Fund invests part of its assets in sustainable investments whose objectives may include
· environmental objectives such as, but not limited to, climate mitigation, water and waste management, sustainable agriculture
· social objectives such as, but not limited to, nutrition, small and medium-size enterprise financing, microfinance, sanitation.
To ensure sustainable investments that this Sub-Fund intends to make do not cause significant harm, the Investment Manager assesses whether these companies do no harm through an internally designed methodology which covers principal adverse impact, controversies, misalignment with SDGs and ESG/governance quality.
The investment strategy relies on credit and macroeconomic assessment, environmental, social and governance (ESG) analysis as well as on relative value.
The ESG approach starts with the filtering of the investment universe, which includes norm-based screening and the exclusion of some controversial activities as well as of issuers with the worst ESG practices.
The ESG selectivity process leads to a reduction of the investment universe of at least 20%.
It is followed by the integration of ESG considerations into the issuers’ qualitative credit assessment conducted internally, as the Investment Manager believes that sound ESG credentials can help improve issuers’ creditworthiness.
The assessment of issuers’ governance is essential and is fully integrated in the Investment Manager's ESG and credit analysis, as it can have a significant impact on a company’s ability and willingness to pay back its debt.
The Investment Manager takes into consideration and seeks to minimize the following potential principal adverse impacts of its investments: 1) GHG Intensity of Investee Companies, 2) Violations of UN Global Compact principles and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and 3) Exposure to Controversial Weapons.
ESG analysis, combining both internal and external ESG research, covers at least 90% of the Sub-Fund's portfolio.
At least 70% of net assets of this Sub-Fund are aligned with the environmental and social characteristics promoted by the strategy, including at least 5% invested in a mix of environmentally and/or socially sustainable investments, depending on investment opportunities.
The binding criteria used to attain each of the environmental and/or social characteristics promoted by the Sub-Fund are integrated in control systems, to ensure pre- and post‑trade checks. Compliance is monitored by the Risk department on an ongoing basis.
The Investment Manager may use data reported directly by issuers or sourced from third-party data providers such as MSCI ESG Research or Sustainalytics. The service and data quality provided by third-party ESG data providers are reviewed regularly.
Depending on the metric considered, some data may be estimated by data providers. Although the Investment Manager applies a thorough selection process of third-party providers, their processes and proprietary ESG methodology may be flawed. As a result, there is a risk of incorrectly assessing an issuer, resulting in an inappropriate capture of ESG risks and potential incorrect inclusion or exclusion in the product. This is expected to have limited impact on the overall environmental and/or social characteristics promoted by the product.
The investment due diligence process ensures that the investment decisions comply with the objectives and the investment strategy of the Sub-Fund. The consideration of sustainability-related risks is integrated into the investment decision-making process to ensure better-informed investment decisions as well as awareness of the risk exposure. The first level of due diligence is conducted by the Investment Manager, while the second level is conducted by the Risk department.
Engagement with investee companies may occur. It can be conducted collaboratively as well as, on an ad-hoc basis, directly by the Investment Manager, as part of its overall ESG assessment.
No reference benchmark has been designated for the purpose of attaining the environmental or social characteristics promoted by this Sub-Fund.
For more information, please see the fund’s Sustainability-related disclosures.