Alternatives   |   Aug 14, 2019

Asia Deserves Some Credit

When considering investment in Asia, the first thought is often towards equities, which isn’t surprising, given the growth of equity markets in the region. However, there also exists a lesser known, yet massive, Asian corporate credit market.

Robert Petty
Robert Petty

This $50 trillion asset class has the potential to provide significant benefits for those seeking exposure to the geographical engine of world growth, including reduced correlation to traditional equity and credit markets, and higher potential returns. Below, we discuss the supply and demand imbalances that have recently created significant opportunities in this under-the-radar sector of the fixed income market.

The World’s Growth Engine

Before diving into Asian corporate credit as an asset class, it’s worth exploring the macro view of the region (which, for our purposes, notably excludes Japan ). Asia is the fastest growing region in the world and has been for the last few decades, making it the undeniable engine of global GDP growth over the long term. Since 2010, Asia has contributed, on average, about 60% of yearly global growth – that’s up from about 43% in the 2000s . Perhaps most importantly, Asia’s growth has been resilient during periods of economic weakness. For example, in 2009, world GDP fell by 0.1%, with the U.S. and European economies shrinking by 2.5% and 4.8% respectively. Meanwhile, that same year, Asia’s GDP grew by 6.4%.

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Disclosures

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investments involve risk including loss of principal.

GENERAL DISCLOSURES
Fiera Capital Corporation is a global asset management firm with affiliates in various jurisdictions (collectively, “Fiera Capital”). The information and opinions expressed herein relate to Fiera Capital’s investment advisory services and investment funds and are provided for informational purposes only and may not be relied upon in evaluating the merits of investing in any Fiera Capital investment vehicle or portfolio. In the UK, this document is issued and approved by Fiera Capital (UK) Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The information provided is proprietary to Fiera Capital and it reflects Fiera Capital’s views as of the date of this presentation. Such views are subject to change at any point without notice. Some of the information provided herein is from third party sources and/or compiled internally based on internal and/or external sources and are believed to be reliable at time of production but such information is not guaranteed for accuracy or completeness and was not independently verified. Fiera Capital is not responsible for any errors arising in connection with the preparation of the data provided herein. No representation, warranty, or undertaking, express or implied, is given as to the accuracy or completeness of such information by Fiera Capital or any other person; no reliance may be placed for any purpose on such information; and no liability is accepted by any person for the accuracy and completeness of any such information. These materials are not intended as investment advice or a recommendation of any security or investment strategy for a specific recipient.

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FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
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PERFORMANCE
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IMPORTANT NOTES TO HYPOTHETICAL INFORMATION
The information shown is hypothetical and does not reflect actual trading. Hypothetical performance results are shown for illustration purposes only and should not be relied upon. Investors would be subject to fees and expenses that would reduce returns, the charts herein which use hypothetical data were prepared with the benefit of hindsight, do not account for financial risk, and do not take into account costs of hedging or leverage. All statistical measures and calculations shown are based on the hypothetical performance information. Hypothetical performance results have many inherent limitations, some of which are generally described below. They are generally prepared with the benefit of hindsight, do not involve financial risk or reflect actual trading by the Fund and therefore do not reflect the impact that economic and market factors may have had on Fiera Capital’s investment decisions for the portfolios. In fact, there are frequently sharp differences between hypothetical results and the actual record subsequently achieved. Another limitation is that investment decisions reflected in the hypothetical results are not made using the portfolio assets or under actual market conditions and therefore cannot completely account for the impact of financial risk on the manner in which the portfolio would have been managed. For example, the ability to withstand losses or to adhere to a particular trading program in spite of trading losses are material points which can also adversely affect actual trading results. There are numerous other factors related to the markets in general or to the implementation of any specific trading program which cannot be fully accounted for in the preparation of hypothetical performance results and all of which can adversely affect actual trading results. No representation is made that the scenario will or any investor will or is likely to achieve results comparable to the hypothetical results shown or will make any profit or will not sustain losses.

INDEX DEFINITIONS
Information related to indices and benchmarks has been provided by, and/or is based on third party sources, and although believed to be reliable, has not been independently verified. No representation is made that any benchmark or index is an appropriate measure for comparison. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Investors pursuing a strategy similar to an index may experience higher or lower returns and will bear the cost of fees and expenses, which will reduce returns. Index results assume the re-investment of all dividends and capital gains.

MSCI Emerging Markets Asia Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure equity market performance in the Asian emerging markets.

ICE BofAML Asian Dollar High Yield Corporate Index tracks the performance of sub-investment grade US dollar denominated securities issued by Asian corporate issuers in the US domestic and Eurobond markets

ICE BofAML US High Yield Index tracks the performance of below investment grade, but not in default, US dollar- denominated corporate bonds publicly issued in the US domestic market, and includes issues with a credit rating of BBB or below, as rated by Moody’s and S&P.

ICE BofAML Asian Dollar Investment Grade Corporate Index tracks the performance of investment grade US dollar denominated securities issued by Asian corporate issuers in the US domestic and Eurobond markets

ICE BofAML US Corporate Index tracks the performance of US dollar denominated investment grade corporate debt publicly issued in the US domestic market.

ICE BofAML Global High Yield Index provides a broad-based measure of the global high-yield fixed income markets. The Global High-Yield Index represents that union of the U.S. High-Yield, Pan-European High-Yield, U.S. Emerging Markets High-Yield, CMBS High-Yield, and Pan-European Emerging Markets High-Yield Indices and tracks the performance of USD, CAD, GBP, and EUR denominated below investment grade corporate debt publicly issued in the major domestic or Eurobond markets.

Barclays Universe Global USD Hedged Index contains investment grade and high yield credit securities from the Multiverse represented in US Dollars on a hedged basis, (Multiverse is the merger of two groups: the Global Aggregate and the Global High Yield).

MSCI USA Index is designed to measure the performance of the large and mid-cap segments of the US market. With 624 constituents, the index covers approximately 85% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in the US.

MSCI EAFE Index is a stock market index made up of approximately 909 constituents. It is often used as a common benchmark for international stock funds. The index comprises the MSCI country indexes capturing large and mid-cap equities across developed markets in Europe, Australasia and the Far East, excluding the
U.S. and Canada.