ING Investment Management has celebrated its third, consecutive BENCHMARK Fund of the Year Awards 2012 within the Asian Bond category.
These awards are given to the funds that ranked highest across several performance criteria such as 1-, 3- and 5-year returns and 3-year Sortino Ratios. To qualify for the award, funds must have been ranked in the top 5 amongst peers in terms of total returns for the 12 months ending 31 October 2012.
ING IM EMD co heads Rob Drijkoningen and Gorky Urguieta stated:“We are very proud of this achievement and believe that this award proves our long term success in the Asian Bonds space and can be attributed to our dedicated investment approach and team spirit.”
ING Investment Management (ING IM) believes that investors will continue to recognize value in Asian fixed income helping the asset class perform relatively well in 2013.
Joep Huntjens, Portfolio Manager Asian Debt for ING IM in Singapore, says: “We believe that investors will continue to invest into the region to gain exposure to Asia’s strong fundamentals and relatively-attractive valuations. Asia continues to lead in terms of economic growth which is translating into increased wealth and domestic demand. As such, Asia’s reliance on exports is declining. Not only should sovereign fiscal situations remain healthy - particularly compared with Western countries - but this should provide a healthy operating environment for companies in the region. Asian currencies have upside potential from current levels, which provides an additional source of diversified returns for investors into Asian debt."
The asset manager notes that the lower yields in developed markets, on the back of global growth deceleration, make Asian bond yields more attractive. Headline inflation is muted in most Asian economies, though may inch higher as growth accelerates. In any event, it will not be a major concern for bond investors.
ING IM predicts that Asian growth is likely to have troughed and should pick up modestly from current levels. Likewise, it also anticipates that corporate earnings will improve from 2012, making it a good environment for bond investing despite low levels of yields.
Joep Huntjens concludes: “We expect structural inflows into the asset class to continue, which will support yields at current levels. While yields have declined over the course of 2012, we still see value opportunities in select corporate and sovereign issues and issuers. As such, we think 2013 will be a good year for bonds in general and a better year for investment managers that excel at security selection. Investments do not come without risks of course. The primary risks we see stem from events beyond our region, such as the US fiscal situation. Events such as these can put pressure on credit, but such downward moves in prices tend to