The European asset manager announced yesterday that it has received authorisation from the Monetary Authority of Singapore to sell three “flagship funds” to retail investors in Singapore, bringing the total number of funds available to 33.
The $1.4bn Polen Capital Global Growth Fund is an equity product that invests in companies with sustainable competitive advantages and the potential to deliver above-average earnings and long-term free cash flow growth over the long term, according to a statement.
The $90m KBI Global Sustainable Infrastructure Fund also invests in equities, concentrating on sustainable infrastructure companies, with exposure to water and clean energy infrastructure, food storage and transportation and farmland.
The $2.3bn Amundi Funds Pioneer US Bond has a different objective altogether, with a mandate to invest in US dollar-denominated investment grade bonds, and attempting to achieve competitive returns without excessive volatility.
“Against a backdrop of low rates, low growth and low inflation, the flagship offerings can provide investors exposure to opportunities for diversification, quality value and post-Covid ESG themes,” said Vincent Mortier, deputy chief investment officer and Asia ex-Japan supervisor at Amundi, in a statement.
Amundi Funds Polen Capital Global Growth is a Luxembourg Ucits originally launched on 20 November 2018.
Since then, it has generated a cumulative return of 68.9% (in US dollars), compared with 49.2% by its benchmark MSCI All Country World Index, according to FE Fundinfo.
It has a 5-globe Morningstar Sustainability Rating, a ranking that allows investors to understand how the companies in their portfolios are managing their ESG risks relative to their peers.
The portfolio has overweight allocations to information technology, healthcare, consumer discretionary and communication services, and no exposure to financials, industrials, materials, energy, utilities or property. About 63% is allocated to the US and 12% to Hong Kong stocks, and major holdings include Microsoft, Alibaba, Abbott Laboratories, Adobe and Alphabet, according the fund’s factsheet.
The KBI Global Sustainable Infrastructure Fund, a sub-fund of an Icav domiciled in Ireland, was incepted on 27 January 2020 and is managed by Colm O’Connor. (KBI Global Investors has been part of the Amundi Group since 2016).
The fund has posted a 18.3% return since launch, compared with 12.4% by its equity – other specialist category average, according to FE Fundinfo.
The main sector allocations include clean energy, electrical grid, water utilities and agricultural transport. National Grid, Greencoat Renewables, Next Era Energy and Hydro One are among the fund’s top holdings. Most of the portfolio is invested in Europe (47%) and North America (43%), according to the fund’s factsheet.
“In addition, more than 80% of revenue from the fund directly supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals,” said an Amundi spokesman.
In 2018, Amundi set up a three-year plan to integrate ESG criteria in all actively managed open-ended funds by the end of 2021.
The firm, which manages €378bn ($459bn) in responsible investments, aims to reach 100% in ESG analyses for the securities in all of its portfolios and benchmarks, while 100% of proxy votes will take ESG issues into consideration, according to the spokesman.
Earlier this month, Amundi launched two new funds branded as “ESG Improvers”: the Pioneer US Equity ESG Improvers Fund, and the European Equity ESG Improvers Fund.
The products, which are unavailable to Singapore retail investors, target companies with ESG-related growth potential at an early stage, according to Amundi.
BONDS FOR STABILITY
The Pioneer US Bond is a Luxembourg-domiciled Ucits, originally incepted on 7 June 2019, and is co-managed by Kenneth Taubes, Bradley Komenda and Timothy Rowe. It is already authorised for ale to retail investors in Hong Kong.
The fund has achieved a 7.94% return since launch, compared with an 8.45% average return by US dollar fixed income funds available in Singapore, according to FE Fundinfo.
The average credit rating of the portfolio is single-A and its duration is 5.32 years, compared with AA and 6.05 years for its benchmark Bloomberg BarCap US Aggregated Bond Index, according to the fund factsheet.
“We see investment grade US bonds as a valuable and stable source of diversification to the investor’s portfolio,” the spokesman told FSA.
“In comparison with global fixed income, [the fund] offers an equally wider investment universe and with potentially higher yield and safer risk-return profile than Asian, European or emerging market fixed income,” he added.
A subsidiary of the Crédit Agricole group, Amundi manages around €1.7trn of assets, according to firm’s website.