Neuberger launches Asian debt fund

The vehicle will focus on US dollar-denominated fixed income debt investments, including government and corporate bonds.

Neuberger Berman, the US-headquartered investment manager, has launched an Asian fixed-income UCITS fund. The Asian Debt Hard Currency Fund will invest in government securities as well as corporate bonds and include a broad range of credits from investment grade to high yield, the firm said. 

Prashant Singh (pictured), senior portfolio manager (Asia) within Neuberger Berman’s emerging market debt team and co-manager of the new fund, said Asia has the deepest and most liquid capital markets in the emerging world. 

“Since 2008, growth of corporate bond markets has outpaced that of government bonds by nearly three times, and we anticipate local-currency corporates to be the fastest-growing sector in emerging Asia debt for the foreseeable future. Corporates already account for two-thirds of Asia’s hard-currency market, with China’s state-owned enterprises leading the way,” he said.

Singh added that despite some skepticism on the part of investors looking at the country, the opening up of China onshore markets will be sustained as new regulations and reforms take effect.

The vehicle is open to non-US investors which will be co-managed by Nish Popat and Jennifer Gorgoll alongside Singh. It is a sub-fund of Neuberger Berman’s Irish-domiciled UCITS fund umbrella. Investors in the UK, the rest of Europe and Asia can tap the offering. 

Neuberger Berman’s emerging markets debt team has invested in hard currency for more than 20 years. The firm is a private, employee-owned investment manager with equities, fixed income, private equity, hedge fund and private debt offerings. It managed $251 billion in client assets as of 30 June.