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Asian Fixed Income Investment Center

Uncover the vast income and growth potential of Asian fixed income

Asian markets are fundamentally sound and well placed to weather potential global market shocks. The region leads the recovery and will rise as a key beneficiary to economic activity restart amidst the pandemic. Explore how you can capture these opportunities with our range of Asia fixed income solutions.

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Helping our clients invest sustainably

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Akina Fong: Welcome to the China Bond Weather Centre. With ongoing low interests rates in developed markets, we are seeing a drought in the search for yields. Let’s turn to Freddie to see what he thinks.

Thank you, Freddie. Interest rates are expected to remain low for awhile. Alex, where do you think we can seek higher income in this drought environment?

Alex Lee: Let’s look at the satellite image. China’s bond market looks like a potential safe haven from the drought. For investors seeking higher yield at lower volatility, China’s bond market is one of the attractive options as Chinese bonds make up more than 60% of the global fixed income universe yielding more than 2.5%. In addition to higher yield, Chinese bonds are less volatile than other fixed income asset classes. It is worth noting that the China onshore credit market has one of the lowest 5-year annualized volatility. 

Akina: Investors often don’t realize Chinese bond’s resilience to extreme global market conditions. China’s is the world’s second largest bond market with a market size of over US$16 trillion, but its foreign ownership stands at only 3%, leading to low correlation between the onshore China bond market and other global assets. 

Alex: That’s right. Even during thunderstorms or periods of market uncertainty, the China onshore bond market remains resilient. For example, China onshore bonds generated positive returns despite a deep market sell-off during the 2018 US-China trade tensions and the pandemic-induced global market rout in the first quarter of 2020, Chinese bonds can provide investors with an opportunity to diversify risks at a time of market uncertainty, and offering resilience to your portfolio. Although investors often hear about individual credit events in the China credit market, we believe China onshore default risks remain manageable. Having an in-depth understanding of an issuer's creditworthiness is paramount in managing default risk. The default rate in China is expected to stay low at about 2%, lower than emerging markets and the US. We believe the PBoC is committed to stabilizing the market, injecting sizable liquidity when needed to mitigate any systematic credit risks.

Akina: Looks like investing in China bond market will become a major theme. How should we choose among China bonds?

Alex: BlackRock China Bond Fund has the ability to invest tactically across all China bond markets, including the onshore and offshore RMB bond markets, as well as the offshore hard currency China credit market. The Fund was launched in 2011 and has generated positive return every year since then. The Fund also pays an attractive annual dividend yield of 5-6%.

Akina: Thank you Alex. Investors can consider China bonds to deliver potential diversification benefits and added resilience to a global portfolio to help you get through this income drought. 

Unleash the potential of China bonds

In this low for longer interest rate environment across developed markets, income-seeking investors can look outside of core markets and consider China bonds to deliver potential yield opportunities and diversification benefits, and add resilience to a global portfolio.

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