Swiss & Global launches investment grade EM bond fund

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Swiss & Global Asset Management has launched an investment grade, emerging market bond fund for Enzo Puntillo, Citywire Global can exclusively reveal.

The Luxembourg-domiciled JB Emerging Markets Investment Grade Bond Fund is intended to offer investors a diverse approach to developing world debt through high quality, hard currency bonds.

Enzo Puntillo, who is head of fixed income emerging markets at Swiss & Global, will combine management of the new fund with his role as lead manager on four other bond funds, including three emerging market debt strategies.

The most recently-launched of these being the JB Emerging Markets Corporate Bond fund, which was launched for the former Euro Stars A-rated manager and his team in September 2012.

In the new approach, which will be benchmarked against the JP Morgan Emerging Markets Bond Index Global Diversified Investment Grade, Puntillo will focus primarily on emerging market bonds with a BBB or higher rating.

The fund will have access to a variety of geographies and invest based on an assessment of a country’s fundamental framework and market valuations.

At launch, the fund will have an overweight position to Central and Eastern European regions. This is while adopting underweights in Latin American, Asian and African regions.

Commenting on the launch, Puntillo said: ‘This product is a diversifier from ‘traditional bonds’. It is a particularly useful allocation tool for investors looking for exposure to countries with strong fundamentals and low debt levels, but who want to maintain their exposure to bonds with high quality ratings.’

He added the fund was launched at a time when investors were both struggling to find yield and also seeking secure access to emerging market debt.

Puntillo said emerging market investment grade bonds currently offer yields of around 3.4%, which he said was particularly attractive given low nominal and negative real yields.