What You Need to Know
- The Matthews Asia Emerging Asia and Asia Small Companies funds are being combined into a new emerging markets fund.
- FTSE Russell is adding Chinese government bonds to its World Government Bond Index.
- Pacer ETFs and AllianzIM roll out the April series of buffer ETFs.
Matthews Asia is merging its $144 million Matthews Emerging Asia fund into the $234 million Matthews Asia Small Companies fund on or near April 30, 202,1 in a tax-free reorganization following approval by the firm’s board of trustees.
The succeeding fund will be named the Matthews Emerging Markets Small Companies Fund, which aims to invest at least 80% of its net assets in the common and preferred stocks of small-capitalization companies located in emerging market countries.
These generally include every country in the world except the U.S., Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and most of the countries in Western Europe.
The reorganization, which does not require shareholder approval, is designed to address the fact that Asia now represents roughly 75% of the emerging markets small capitalization universe, which resulted in an increasing overlap between the investment strategy of the firm’s emerging markets Asia fund and small company fund.
Further changes are possible if they’re required by the SEC to approve the amendment to the registration statement.
Robert Harvey, lead manager of Matthews Emerging Asia Fund, will become a co-manager of the new fund, along with Jeremy Sutch, who had been a senior research analyst at Matthews Asia. Vivek Tanneeru, who had been lead manager of Matthews Asia Small Companies Fund, will be the lead manager of the new fund.
CFRA Launches 5 ESG-Focused Model Portfolios
CFRA, a leading provider of independent investment research, has rolled out five new ESG-focused model portfolios, which join an existing roster of 15 equity and ETF model portfolios.
The five new model portfolios include U.S. and Europe Climate Change Friendly Model Portfolios, U.S. and Europe Women’s Participation Model Portfolios and a Global ESG Asset Allocation Model Portfolio.
The climate change friendly portfolios focus on companies that “have lower carbon exposure, are less dependent on fossil fuels, and meet our rigorous internal screening and analysis processes,” said Paul Beland, head of equity research at CFRA.
The included companies rank in the top two ratings (four or five star) of CFRA’s STARS (Stock Appreciation Ranking System) framework, a qualitative stock selection methodology based on fundamental equity research conducted by CFRA’s equity analysts.
The women participation portfolios include four- and five-star companies that also receive CFRA’s highest proprietary forensic accounting scores and most important, have women in key leadership positions.
The Global ESG Asset Allocation ETF Model Portfolio includes both stock and bond ETFs selected from a universe of more than 125 indexed and actively managed ESG funds based on assessments of risk, reward and cost attributes and seen as having the highest likelihood of outperforming its respective asset category.
All the new model portfolios will be managed by CFRA’s expert Portfolio Management Committee, a 12-member team with an average of more than 20 years’ relevant experience per person.
FTSE Russell Adjusts World Bond Index
FTSE Russell will be adding Chinese government bonds to the FTSE World Government Bond Index (WBCI) over a 36-month phase-in period beginning Oct. 29, 2021.