UK - Imperial Chemical Industries has doubled its exposure to emerging debt through two new mandates to improve the diversification of the fund's return-seeking assets.
Ashmore Investment Management has been awarded a £65m brief by ICI pension fund and a £5m mandate by ICI specialty chemicals pension fund, on the back of initial allocations made in 2003.
The mandates are being managed within Ashmore’s fund of funds.
Commenting on the move, an ICI pension fund spokesman said: “Having moved 80% of our fund into investment grade bonds a few years ago, our big risk management focus now – in line with the recommendations of the Myners report – is to improve the diversification of the fund’s return-seeking assets.
“We believe that, by switching a further £65m from equities into emerging market bonds, we can reduce equity concentration risks whilst managing future expected returns for this section of the portfolio.
“We have chosen to make the additional investment via the Ashmore fund of funds because this route gives the manager the maximum discretion to seek value wherever they can find it and, equally important, to avoid any emerging market risks that they may feel are poorly rewarded.”
Mark Coombs, Ashmore managing director, said: “Our Ashmore fund of funds invests in underlying Ashmore funds in all the different emerging market strategies we manage, and allows us to offer an element of balance to investors, but also, through active management of the allocations, to take advantage of the best opportunities available across the whole universe at any one time.”
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