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Loomis Sayles sets up Asia credit team

The Natixis IM affiliate is expected to launch its first Asia-focused fixed income fund managed out of Singapore, according to Matt Eagan, portfolio manager for fixed income.

Loomis Sayles has hired five staff in Singapore to focus on Asia credits, Eagan said at a recent media briefing in Hong Kong.

Boston-based Eagan is co-manager of three Loomis Sayles funds for sale in Asia: High Income, Multi Sector Income and the Strategic Alpha Bond.

Currently, the Singapore-based fixed income team includes one Asia-focused credit portfolio manager and four analysts.

The team set up a fund last year with seed money from its parent Natixis, Eagan said. Without providing any details, he said that the fund will be launched this year, noting that the firm will be making an announcement in July.

The strategy will be the firm’s first Asia-focused product. A majority of the firm’s fixed income and equity strategies invest in either US or global markets, according to data from FE Analytics.

Another Natixis affiliate, Ostrum Asset Management, is also expected to hire an Asia-based fixed income portfolio manager by the third quarter. The firm has three credit analysts in Singapore – one of whom relocated from Paris in 2015 and two others hired in 2016. It also has an equity team in the Lion City.

Chinese onshore bonds

Separately, Loomis Sayles is considering making its first investments in Chinese onshore bonds, according to Eagan.

“We are in the process of putting in place the infrastructure to invest in onshore bonds through the bond connect programme,” he said.

He did not say, however, if there are plans to hire dedicated analysts that will focus on onshore Chinese bonds, adding that “any strategic direction would have to be coordinated with the parent company”.

If parent Natixis were to acquire a manager with onshore bond expertise, the firm would also have the option of outsourcing to another affiliate.

“Our parent company [has always] had the desire to buy assets here locally,” he said.

The Strategic Alpha Bond Fund vs benchmark and sector – 3 years

Source: FE. In US dollars. The fund is available for sale in Singapore and has been co-managed by Eagan since 2010.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.