BNPP AM sets up Asia-based fixed income team

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BNP Paribas Asset Management has made several hires in Hong Kong and Singapore and plans to hire more people in mainland China, according to Bryan Carter, London-based head of emerging market fixed income.

BNPP AM sets up Asia-based fixed income team
Bryan Carter, BNP Paribas Asset Management

“By having investment experts based in the region, as well as undertaking more trading locally, we are able to provide a more multi-faceted emerging fixed income offering,” Carter told FSA.

Previously, the firm’s whole emerging market fixed income team, including portfolio managers and analysts, was based in London. The only exception is Karan Talwar, Hong Kong-based emerging market fixed income investment specialist, who joined the firm in September last year and reports to Carter.

The firm hired two Hong Kong-based corporate credit analysts: Dennis Lee, who was previously from S&P Global Ratings and Sherry Zhang, previously from Moody’s. Lee and Zhang, who joined in late April, will cover high yield and financials as these sectors have heavy Asia participation, Carter explained.

Both analysts report to Alaa Bushehri, London-based global head of emerging markets corporates.

Besides the Hong Kong-based analysts, the firm appointed Tay Ek Pon as Singapore-based portfolio manager for emerging market fixed income. Tay, who assumed his role early this month, is responsible for contributing to the team’s global macro discussions and bringing its views and products to Asian investors, Carter said.

He is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of the team’s mandates as well as the management of the firm’s flagship emerging markets fixed income funds. He reports to Jean-Charles Sambor, London-based deputy head of emerging markets fixed income.

Before joining the firm, Tay was the head of international fixed income at Singapore-based NTUC Income Insurance. Before that, he managed Blackrock’s absolute return Asian fixed income funds from 2011-2016, according to Carter.

The build-out in the region comes at a time when major sovereign bond indices are likely to see significant additions from Asia. Countries like China and India are expected to be included in major bond indexes and Bloomberg announced that it will be including onshore Chinese government and policy bank bonds in the mainstream Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Bond Index in April next year, Carter said.

China hires

The firm also plans to hire two more analysts who will be based in Shanghai. Carter expects to fill these roles by the end of the year, adding that it gives the firm credibility in managing assets, including its renminbi bond fund that was launched in 2010.

Carter explained that as a global investor, the firm would require more insight by having local people cover the market. “It is key that we expand our research and investment teams across the fixed income space in China to undertake the necessary level of due diligence on China bond markets.”

At the moment, the firm does not have onshore fixed income capabilities in its wholly-owned foreign enterprise (WFOE) in Shanghai despite managing an onshore renminbi bond fund. However, the firm has onshore capabilities through its China joint venture, HFT Investment Management.

The firm already has an onshore Chinese equity team, which is also expanding in Shanghai, Carter noted.

The Asia build-out follows the firm’s hiring of Carter and Sambor in 2016, in a move to centralise its global emerging market capabilities.

Both Carter and Sambor are lead managers for the firm’s all global emerging market fixed income strategies. Supporting them are portfolio managers who focus on specific sub-asset classes, such as hard currency and local currency sovereign bonds, corporates, foreign exchange and local rates.

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