Evli, the Finnish manager, has added awards from Lipper and Morningstar this year in respect of its fixed income work - building on the recognition from winning the Specialist Group of the Year category at the InvestmentEurope Fund Manager of the Year Awards 2017/18 - again putting a spotlight on the Nordic corporate bond sector.
One of the unique facets of the asset class is its ability to offer an additional 50-150 bps compared to rated euro corporate bonds at similar risk levels, Evli notes. Additionally, the significant share of unrated Nordic corporate bonds held by local institutions over time has led to relatively low volatility levels - with the asset class providing additional diversification benefits for those looking for pan-European exposure.
Evli estimates the overall Nordic corporate bond market as some 500 issuers, and volume of around €225bn. More than half, 54% of issuers are unrated, accounting for some 29% of volume - meaning some 262 issuers and €65bn in volume.
Recently, the manager won Best Group Bond - Overall Small Company in Europe at the Lipper European Fund Awards. The Evli Short Corporate Bond fund, managed by head of Fixed income Juhamatti Pukka, was awarded Best Fund over 3 years and Best Fund over 5 years in the Bond EUR Corporates Short Term category.
At the Lipper Fund Awards in France and Germany, which took place in the past couple of months, the manager won Best Group Bond - Overall Small Company, while Morningstar Spain awarded it Best Fixed Income Manager.
Mikael Lundström, CIO, said: "We are very grateful for the awards. They are a testimonial to the strong competitiveness of our fixed income expertise in Europe and the strength of our funds. Evli has done uncompromising work in the fixed income asset class for 20 years and it is great to see the results."
Evli's Credit Update report of 29 April, noted in its 12 month outlook that "spreads are now on a level that has always had good return on a 3 year horizon. We see most potential in Nordic corporate bonds and stable senior high yield bonds."