This Sub-Fund aims to deliver performance by investing in bonds issued primarily by emerging market (EM) sovereign and supranational issuers denominated in local currencies, while offering a greater overall Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) quality than its investment universe.
The Sub-Fund 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 improved ESG quality is measured relative to the JP Morgan ESG GBI-EM Global Diversified Index using the MSCI ESG Research “ESG Quality Score”. 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.
The Investment Manager also uses the following Principal Adverse Impact (PAI) indicator to measure the promotion of social characteristics:
· Number of Investee Countries subject to Social Violations
This Sub-Fund invests part of its assets in sustainable investments, including but not limited to, green, social and sustainability bonds of issuers whose activities contribute to the environment or the society, such as but not limited to:
on the environmental side:
· climate change mitigation and adaptation
· the sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources
· pollution prevention and control
· the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems.
on the social side:
· human capital
· health levels
To ensure sustainable investments that this Sub-Fund intends to make do no cause significant harm, the Investment Manager assesses whether the issuers of these bonds do no harm through an internally-designed methodology which covers principal adverse impact, controversies and overall ESG/governance quality.
This Sub-Fund investment strategy relies on ESG, credit and macroeconomic assessment in order to combine a financial risk-adjusted performance in line or above that of the EM sovereign local bond market over the investment horizon, with ESG characteristics better than its reference index.
The investment process includes ESG analysis which combines internal and external research conducted by a variety of ESG data providers including, but not limited to, MSCI ESG Research, RepRisk as well as recognized organizations like the World Bank or Transparency International. In particular, the Investment Manager has developed a proprietary ESG sovereign scoring model, which combines historical ESG data and forward-looking sentiment to rank countries in terms of their relative ESG quality.
Negative screening includes the exclusion of issuers with the worst ESG performance, leading to a reduction of the investment universe of at least 20%.
This Sub-Fund has a minimum 20% allocation to bonds denominated in EM or Frontier local currencies which are:
· either sustainability-focused bonds such as, but not limited to, Social, Green, Sustainable or Blue bonds issued by supranational, EM sovereign or EM corporate issuers or
· issued by supranational agencies, international organisations or development banks such as, but not limited to, the World Bank, the IFC or the EBRD which help finance sustainable development in emerging countries.
The Investment Manager takes into consideration and seeks to minimize the following potential principal adverse impacts of its investments: 1) Number of investee countries subject to social violation 2) Companies in breach of UN Global Compact principles and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (excluded) and 3) Companies exposed to Controversial Weapons (excluded).
ESG analysis, combining both internal and external ESG research, covers at least 90% of the Sub-Fund's invested portfolio.
This Sub-Fund will invest at least 70% of its assets in bonds from sovereign or, to a lesser extent, corporate and quasi-sovereign issuers that are aligned with its environmental or social characteristics, 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, sourced from recognised organisations like the World Bank or 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 issuers 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.