Once the darling of bond investors as Fed rates tended towards negative territory, rising 10-year US treasury yield rates have seen investors take a second look at emerging market investment-grade (EM IG) bonds. Once a “best of both worlds” option with high yields at relative safety, duration risks, unattractive valuations and tight spreads have weakened their lustre. 

“Given the firm performance of EM IG bonds in 2020, we believe that valuations relative to EM High Yield (HY) have become less attractive. EM IG also has a significantly higher duration relative to HY and therefore is more susceptible to the impact from rising rates, and finally the tighter spreads in EM IG also results in a smaller buffer against rising rates,” says Eli Lee, head of investment strategy at Bank of Singapore (BOS). 

This prognosis comes amid a healthy US jobs report last Friday, with markets optimistics that good times are coming back. Higher inflation and economic expectations thus drove rock-bottom 10-year US Treasury yields to the lofty heights of 1.60%. The BOS economics team have moved their 12-month forecast for 10-year US Treasury yields to 1.90% on the back of bullishness on the US economy. 

To continue reading,

Sign in to access this Premium article.

Subscription entitlements:

Less than $9 per month
3 Simultaneous logins across all devices
Unlimited access to latest and premium articles
Bonus unlimited access to online articles and virtual newspaper on The Edge Malaysia (single login)

Stay updated with Singapore corporate news stories for FREE

Follow our Telegram | Facebook