27-03-2020 · Press release

Robeco partners with UOB Asset Management to offer its proprietary SDG Credit Income strategy to Singapore retail investors

Singapore, 27 March 2020 – Robeco today proudly announces its partnership with UOB Asset Management (UOBAM) to offer the RobecoSAM SDG Credit Income strategy to Singapore retail investors through the United Sustainable Credit Income Fund (USCIF), a retail fund managed by UOBAM.7 This marks the first time these investors have access to a multi-sector bond portfolio that supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The RobecoSAM SDG Credit Income strategy is an actively managed one that provides the flexibility to invest in all fixed income segments, including investment grade, high yield and emerging market corporate bonds. This enables the most attractive yield opportunities to be selected through the cycle. The strategy integrates financially material ESG information on the issuers in the fundamental analysis, applies an extensive values-based exclusion policy, and only invests in bonds of corporates that have a positive or at least neutral SDG rating2. Besides traditional bonds, the strategy also invests in green bonds with attractive performance potential and benefits from the expertise of dedicated active ownership specialists, who engage with companies on the different SDG themes. The result is an all-weather credit portfolio with a target dividend payout of 4 to 6%* per annum, that aims to facilitate positive change while delivering strong performance, compared to similar income funds.

According to Robeco’s research, over the past five years, sectors with a positive or neutral SDG rating have had a superior risk-return relationship compared with sectors with negative SDG scores. This holds for both investment grade and high yield credits.

Three dedicated teams work closely together on the SDG Credit Income strategy. The portfolio is managed by Victor Verberk and Reinout Schapers, who are part of Robeco’s Credits team – one of the most well-established credits teams in Europe, with deep industry and company knowledge. They are further supported by sustainability research specialists at RobecoSAM and the Robeco Active Ownership team, which engages with companies on material sustainability issues.

Mr Tom Keenan, CEO of Robeco Singapore and Regional Head of Wholesale Asia ex-Japan at Robeco:

“We are excited to partner with UOBAM to introduce the RobecoSAM SDG Credit Income strategy to Singapore retail investors. To Robeco, it is vital to consider the social and ecological effects of our investments, in addition to the traditional financial perspective. We are one of the first to develop a proprietary investing framework based on the SDGs. Applying this framework as a filter to our investment universe better enables us to screen out old-school business models that are becoming increasingly risky, and to identify those business models that are more future-proof.

We firmly believe that the future of ESG investing lies with those that can make sustainable investing mainstream, and in working with partners who are also committed to sustainable investing such as UOBAM enables us to bring this style of investing to even more investors. Robeco will continue working with RobecoSAM to introduce solutions that incorporate sustainability as well as deliver compelling investment cases that generate returns for our investors.”

Mr Thio Boon Kiat, Group CEO of UOBAM, said

At UOBAM, we believe in investing for purpose and providing positive returns. With more Singapore investors including ESG considerations in their investment decisions, we are excited to partner Robeco, a global leader in sustainable investing, to offer investors the opportunity to do good while also enjoying stable income amid current market volatility. As more investors around the region look for impact investment options, UOBAM will continue to sharpen our ESG capabilities and to provide more investment solutions that balance investment returns with ESG outcomes.”

The RobecoSAM SDG Credit Income strategy is available in a Luxembourg fund vehicle but in Asia only for professional investors in Hong Kong and accredited investors in Singapore.

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*The yield figure is for reference only. Dividend may pay out from capital.

1 For more information about the United Sustainable Credit Income Fund (USCIF), please refer to the UOBAM press release.
2 The proprietary SDG screening methodology is based on the RoebcoSAM SDG framework. The three-step methodology looks at what the company produces, how it does so, and whether it is involved in any controversies. For more information about the Robeco and RobecoSAM SDG framework and how we apply it to investing: https://www.robeco.com/sg/themes/sdg-investing/

Important information

This information is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an offer to sell or an invitation to buy any securities or products, nor as investment advice or recommendation. The contents of this document have not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”). Robeco Singapore Private Limited holds a capital markets services license for fund management issued by the MAS and is subject to certain clientele restrictions under such license. An investment will involve a high degree of risk, and you should consider carefully whether an investment is suitable for you.