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The best in Asian local currency fixed income investment
In our 22nd annual rankings, Greater China is added as a new category to reflect the latest market trend
24 Jun 2021 | The Asset Benchmark Research

Manulife Investment Management, the insurance-affiliated asset manager, scored big wins in both the Astute Investor and the Top Investment House rankings of the Asset Benchmark Research announced today. In Hong Kong, Paula Chan and Ken Yung take the top two spots in the newly created Greater China category.

In Indonesia, Ezra Nazula, a nine-year veteran of the firm, recaptures the top rank in Indonesian rupiah bonds, while colleague Syuhada Arief is in the top five. Illustrating Manulife’s reach across the region, portfolio managers Alvin Ong in Singapore and Jean De Castro in the Philippines also maintain their Astute Investor status.

Manulife Investment Management fared the best among all regional asset managers. It takes the top spot in the asset manager rankings in Hong Kong and Indonesia, is fourth in the Philippines, and highly commended in both Malaysia and Singapore.

Another insurance-affiliated asset manager, Eastspring Investments, continues its dominance in its stronghold, taking the second place in Singapore, and is highly commended in Indonesia and Malaysia. Wei-ming Cheong, who joined Eastspring in November 2005, is ranked sixth in the Pan-Asia category, while Danny Tan is highly commended. Hengky Tambunan is also highly commended in Indonesia rupiah bond market.

Greater China

As onshore China bonds will be included in the World Government Bond Index (WGBI) of FTSE Russell from later this year, foreign investors’ interest in China’s onshore bond market is expected to accelerate. As a result, a Greater China category has been created to recognize outstanding investors focusing on the onshore renminbi bond market and at least one of the Taiwan dollar, Hong Kong dollar or offshore renminbi bond markets.

Across the region, 330 fixed income sellside individuals voted in this year’s survey nominating a total of 640 investors for their investment acumen, of which 152 scored sufficient points to be ranked as Astute Investors. To be eligible to vote, the sellside individuals had to have been nominated by investors taking part in the annual The Asian Local Currency Bond Benchmark Review.

In 2021, the categorization of most Astute Investors has been slightly changed. In previous years, investors were ranked according to their location. This year, investors are ranked according to the main local currency bond market(s) that they cover during the survey period. However, the change does not affect the tabulation results of the top investment houses.

The Asian Local Currency Bond Benchmark Review covers 11 markets including China (onshore and offshore), Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. It has been conducted annually since 1999. It provides a wealth of data on the product needs of investors and the market penetration of banks that are active in local currency bonds. It also provides detailed analysis of investors’ buying behaviour when selecting their counterparties, giving unprecedented access into the minds of investors.

To view the rankings of the most Astute Investors in Asian local currency bonds for 2021, please click here.

To view the rankings of top investment houses in Asian local currency bonds for 2021, please click here.

To find out more about Asset Benchmark Research and our work, please click here.

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