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Specialist in Asia Pacific, Japan, China, India and South East Asia and Global Emerging Market equities.

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Specialists in equity portfolios in Asia Pacific, emerging markets, global and sustainable investment strategies

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This document is a financial promotion for The First Sentier Global Credit Strategy. This information is for investors in the UK and EEA and elsewhere where lawful. Investing involves certain risks including:

  • The value of investments and any income from them may go down as well as up and are not guaranteed. Investors may get back significantly less than the original amount invested.
  • Currency risk: the Fund invests in assets which are denominated in other currencies; changes in exchange rates will affect the value of the Fund and could create losses. Currency control decisions made by governments could affect the value of the Fund's investments and could cause the Fund to defer or suspend redemptions of its shares. 
  • Credit risk: the issuers of bonds or similar investments that the Fund buys may get into financial difficulty and may not pay income or repay capital to the Fund when due. 
  • Interest rate risk: bond prices have an inverse relationship with interest rates such that when interest rates rise, bonds may fall in value. Rising interest rates may cause the value of your investment to fall. 
  • Charges to capital risk: The fees and expenses may be charged against the capital property. Deducting expenses from capital reduces the potential for capital growth.
  • Derivative risk: derivatives are sensitive to changes in the value of the underlying asset(s) and/or the level of the rate(s) from which they derive their value.  A small movement in the value of the assets or rates may result in gains or losses that are greater than the amount the Fund has invested in derivative transactions, which may have a significant impact on the value of the Fund. 
  • Sovereign debt risk: the Fund may invest substantially in government debt which is exposed to political, social and economic risks. In adverse situations, sovereign issuers may not be able or willing to repay the principal and/or interest when due and the Funds may suffer significant losses. 
  • Below investment grade risk: below investment grade debt securities are speculative and involve a greater risk of default and price changes than investment grade debt securities. In periods of general economic difficulty, the market prices of these types of securities may decline significantly. 

For details of the firms issuing this information and any funds referred to, please see Terms and Conditions and Important Information.  

For a full description of the terms of investment and the risks please see the Prospectus and Key Investor Information Document for each Fund. 

If you are in any doubt as to the suitability of our funds for your investment needs, please seek investment advice.

Global Credit

We go beyond the limits of most credit analysis

Investments in global credit (corporate bonds*) offers investors access to assets that potentially offer a better rate of return than cash and government bonds, as well as the opportunity to diversify from commonly held equity investments. Discover how we go the extra mile to navigate risks and opportunities in global markets.

“We’re looking to construct well-diversified portfolios of global corporate bonds that can provide steady income over the full credit cycle.”

Tony Togher

Head of Short Term Investments and Global Credit

An active approach to managing risk through all market conditions  

20+ years

 For more than two decades, we have managed global credit portfolios through economic cycles and fluctuating market conditions. 

Broad coverage

 Our expertise extends across the full credit spectrum, from higher rated investment grade* bonds to lower rated high yield bonds*.

Best-in-class ESG integration

 All holdings undergo comprehensive analysis to help minimise investment risk, including environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks facing individual credit issuers.

We offer a range of actively managed strategies, including solutions for investors seeking a long-term investment approach, typically a 3-5 year horizon. All utilise a proven investment process, incorporating disciplined in-house credit analysis and aiming to exploit attractively priced investment opportunities from across global markets. 

Why invest with us in global credit?

  • A proven and differentiated investment philosophy: Returns tend to vary widely from one credit opportunity to another – we aim to ‘avoid the losers’ through rigorous credit analysis, combined with sophisticated portfolio construction focused on offering investors a diverse set of investment opportunities. 

  • Consistent long-term performance track record: Favourable risk-adjusted returns* over 3-5 year time horizons. Please remember past performance is not a guide to future performance. 

  • Multi-dimensional credit research: Credit research focuses on assessing the risks involved in particular credit investments, helping identify issuers with deteriorating creditworthiness. Our analysis considers a variety of risk factors, enabling an in-depth, broad assessment of credit opportunities.

  • Best-in-class Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) integration: We have a vigorous ESG process that is built in at both the company and product level. More importantly, ESG risk factors are an important consideration in the assignment of credit ratings* on individual issuers.

Our Strategies

Floating rate Global Credit strategy

  • Our ‘flagship’ and longest-running strategy, launched more than 20 years ago
  • Invests primarily in higher rated investment grade credit (corporate bonds), with selective investments in lower rated high yield credit to provide diversification across industries
  • Ignores benchmark index constituents, actively seeks investment opportunities
  • Invests in floating rate credit investments – these are corporate bonds with income that are linked to broader interest rates and designed to provide protection against interest rate rises. Any further sensitivities to interest rate changes that may impact portfolio bond prices are also mitigated.
  • Highly diversified portfolio containing approximately 400 investments

 

Fixed rate Global Credit strategy

  • Predominantly investment grade, with some high yield exposure
  • Considers benchmark constituents, actively seeks attractively priced investment opportunities across global markets.
  • Fixed rate standard credit benchmark*

 

Investment Grade Credit strategy

  • Investment grade credit investments only
  • Long-term investment time horizon, ignoring benchmark constituents and infrequent portfolio trading
  • Fixed rate ‘smart’ credit benchmark*

We’re obsessive about risk management

In our view, investing in credit is as much about risk management as it is about return management. Credit market returns are asymmetric: investors typically face greater risks that investments will fall rather than rise. As investors we seek attractively priced opportunities and apply an unrelenting focus on risk management. By completing thorough credit research, we aim to identify credit issuers with deteriorating credit worthiness. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) assessments also form a critical component of the research process. 

In credit investment selection and portfolio construction, we aim to combine the most compelling risk-adjusted* opportunities into well diversified portfolios 

  • We have world class ESG research capabilities and our responsible investment (RI) processes are highly rated by global consultants. 
  • Specialist analysts share information around the globe to support a global suite of credit products.
  • Internal Credit Ratings* directly influence portfolio construction decisions, underlining the importance of disciplined research. 
“ESG issues have a direct impact on an issuer's risk and therefore its probability of default. If a company manages ESG risks poorly, we don’t have confidence that other risks are being well managed.”

Ky Van Tang

Co-Head of Credit Research

Case study

General Electric – losing power?

US-based conglomerate General Electric (GE) has been beset by questionable corporate governance practices, lack of transparency and a string of unexpected strategic announcements. The broader market appears to have extended GE some goodwill due to its ‘brand name’ rather than assessing the firm on underlying facts, though this appears to be changing gradually. 

Our ESG risk rating on the company was initially raised in late 2017 and again in late 2018. Consequently, internal credit ratings have been consistently below the external ratings agencies. Our assessment on the credit and ESG risks, along with uncertainty on the company’s strategy and future credit profile prompted us to sell GE bonds in our global credit portfolios. 

Risk assessment:

- GE reduced the size of its Board amid significant operating deterioration, underlining the governance risks present. There have been repeated changes in leadership, which disrupt the business and can result in continual shifts in company strategy. Repeated negative surprises and management changes are red flags in terms of internal controls and suggest a lack of cohesion in strategy. Accordingly it is difficult to envisage what the company might look like in the medium term. 

- Our greatest concern is that cash flow will be insufficient to service the company’s enormous debt load. At this stage we are unconvinced that the firm’s current plan to retain the Power, Renewable Energy and Aviation subsidiaries – along with parts of GE Capital – will remain intact. This is a serious concern from a credit perspective as underlying businesses face serious headwinds and as management priorities are spread thinly. Further, GE Capital’s debt is now guaranteed by the parent. We think GE Capital could be breakeven at best and could require significant capital contributions in the near term. 

 

For illustration purposes only. Reference to specific securities (if any) is included for the purpose of illustration only and should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell the same. All securities mentioned herein may or may not form part of the holdings of First Sentier Investors portfolios at a certain point in time, and the holdings may change over time.

“Our credit analysts are tasked with monitoring the credit risk profile of individual borrowers. The aim is to remove deteriorating issuers from portfolios before default risk starts to affect valuations.”

Mike Arnold

Co-Head of Credit Research

Glossary

Corporate bonds / credit

Corporate bonds - otherwise referred to as 'credit' investments - are a type of loan that a company issues to investors in exchange for a fixed rate of return or interest, also known as a coupon, over a specified timeframe, known as its maturity date. 

Investment grade bonds

When government or corporate bonds are assessed for their creditworthiness, by independent companies known as credit ratings agencies, they are broadly placed into one of two groups: a higher rated, more creditworthy 'investment grade' group; or a lower rated, less creditworthy 'high yield' group. 

High yield bonds

Valuation

A valuation is the economic value of an investment placed upon it by analysts and fund managers in order to determine what they think is a fair price.

Credit rating

Government or corporate bonds will be assessed for their creditworthiness and given a relavent 'credit rating', by independent firms knowns as credit ratingas agencies. Higher rated, more creditworthy bonds are referred to as 'investment grade'; and lower rated, less creditworthy bonds as 'high yield'.

Risk-adjusted returns

A risk-adjusted return is the return an investor receives relative to the given level of risk they are taking in a particular investment. Higher returns relative to other investments may not equal a higher risk-adjusted return if the investments being made involves taking more risk. 

Meet the Investment team

Tony Togher

Head of Fixed Income, Short Term Investments and Global Credit

Ky Van Tang

Co-Lead, Credit Research

Craig Morabito

Senior Portfolio Manager

Ben Samuel

Portfolio Manager