Global Emerging Markets Sustainability

Global Emerging Markets Sustainability

The Global Emerging Markets Sustainability strategy invests in between 30-75 high-quality companies that are contributing to a more sustainable future.

Our Global Emerging Market Sustainability strategy was launched in 2009 and invests in between 30 to 75 high-quality companies that are contributing to a more sustainable future. The strategy’s bottom-up approach allows us to find only the very best businesses from an investable universe of some 65,000 companies. We are looking for companies well positioned to contribute to long-term sustainable development; businesses with high quality management teams, franchises, and financials. 

Strategy highlights: a focus on quality and sustainability

  • Companies must contribute to sustainable development. Portfolio Explorer >

  • We invest in high-quality companies with exceptional cultures, strong franchises and resilient financials. How we pick companies >

  • We avoid companies linked to harmful activities and engage and vote for positive change. Our position on harmful products >

  • Our approach is long-term, bottom-up, high conviction and benchmark agnostic

  • We focus on capital preservation as well as capital growth – we define risk as the permanent loss of client capital

Latest insights

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For illustrative purposes only. Reference to the names of example company names mentioned in this communication is merely for explaining the investment strategy and should not be construed as investment advice or investment recommendation of those companies. Companies mentioned herein may or may not form part of the holdings of Stewart Investors. Holdings are subject to change.

Certain statements, estimates, and projections in this document may be forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon Stewart Investors’ current assumptions and beliefs, in light of currently available information, but involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual actions or results may differ materially from those discussed. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. There is no certainty that current conditions will last, and Stewart Investors undertakes no obligation to correct, revise or update information herein, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Source: Stewart Investors investment team and company data. Securities mentioned are all investee companies* from representative Asia Pacific Sustainability Strategy, Asia Pacific & Japan Sustainability Strategy, Asia Pacific Leaders Sustainability Strategy, European Sustainability Strategy, European (ex UK) Sustainability Strategy, Global Emerging Markets Leaders Sustainability Strategy, Global Emerging Markets Sustainability Strategy, Indian Subcontinent Sustainability Strategy, Worldwide Sustainability Strategy and Worldwide Leaders Sustainability Strategy accounts as at 30 September 2023. *Assets that the strategies may hold which an active decision has not been made, and sustainability assessment does not apply, include cash, cash equivalents, short-term holdings for the purpose of efficient portfolio management and holdings received as a result of mandatory corporate actions. Holdings of such assets will not appear on Portfolio Explorer.

The Stewart Investors supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The full list of SDGs can be found on the United Nations website.

Source for Climate Solutions and impact figures: © 2014–2023 Project Drawdown (drawdown.org). Source for Human Development Pillars: Stewart Investors investment team.

Source for climate solutions and human development analysis and mapping: Stewart Investors investment team. Contributions are defined by the team as demonstrable contributions to any solution, either direct (directly attributable to products, services or practices provided by that company), or enabling (supported or made possible by products or technologies provided by that company).

Investment terms

View our list of investment terms to help you understand the terminology within this document.

Proxy voting: Q3 2023

Global Emerging Markets Sustainability proxy voting: 1 July - 30 September 2023

Proxy voting by country of origin

Proxy voting by proposal category

During the quarter there were 169 resolutions from 20 companies to vote on. On behalf of clients, we voted against four resolutions.

We voted against the election of the Chair of the Nomination Committee at Hangzhou Robam in support of encouraging better gender diversity. At present the company has no female directors, and we believe the Chair of the Nomination Committee has an important role in facilitating a more gender diverse Board of Directors. (one resolution) 

We voted against a related party transaction at Kingmed Diagnostics Group which would transfer 73% ownership of a subsidiary pharmaceutical company to the Deputy General Manager of the listco. We could not find any reasons behind the sale nor the valuation at which the transaction would happen. (one resolution)

We voted against Philippine Seven’s request for management to approve all other business matters before the annual general meeting (AGM) of shareholders. We consider ourselves active shareholders and prefer to vote on such matters at the AGM. (one resolution)

We voted against the appointment of the auditor and the company’s ability to set auditor fees at Vitasoy as they have been in place for over 10 years and the company has given no information on intended rotation. We believe rotating an auditor on a relatively frequent basis (e.g. every 5-10 years) helps to ensure a fresh pair of eyes are examining the accounts, and follows best practice. (one resolution)

Source for company information: Stewart Investors investment team and company data. This stock information does not constitute any offer or inducement to enter into any investment activity. Portfolio data shown is from representative strategy accounts of the strategy shown above. Proxy voting chart numbers may not add to 100 due to rounding. SHP means: Shareholder Proposal.

Proxy voting: Q2 2023

Global Emerging Markets Sustainability proxy voting: 1 April - 30 June 2023

Proxy voting by country of origin

Proxy voting by proposal category

During the quarter there were 364 resolutions from 36 companies to vote on. On behalf of clients, we voted against 26 and abstained on four resolutions.

We voted against Aavas Financiers' request to reprice options granted under various equity stock option plans for employees due to a share price fall. We do not believe this request is in shareholders’ interest. (three resolutions) 

We voted against BRAC Bank’s request to increase authorised share capital by more than 100%, as the company had not given any justification for why they are doing this at the time of voting. (one resolution)

We voted against Dino Polska’s accounts and reports because the auditor has been in place for over 10 years and the company has given no information on intended rotation. We also voted against their remuneration report as we believe the scheme is too short term. (four resolutions)

We voted against the appointment of the auditor at EPAM Systems, Foshan Haitian Flavouring, Glodon and Yifeng Pharmacy Chain as they have been in place for over 10 years and the companies have given no information on intended rotation. We believe rotating an auditor on a relatively frequent basis (e.g. every 5-10 years) helps to ensure a fresh pair of eyes are examining the accounts, and follows best practice. (four resolutions)

We voted against Foshan Haitian Flavouring’s request to approve connected transactions entered into between the Company and related entities and their respective annual caps. We do not believe these requests are in shareholders’ interests. (two resolutions) 

We voted against Raia Drogasil’s request to adopt cumulative voting and to recast votes for the amended Board and supervisory council slate, as well as for permission to re-consider voting instructions should the meeting be held on second call. We do not believe these requests are in shareholders’ interests. We abstained from voting on the request to hold a separate election for Board members and for a minority candidate as we prefer to support the Board. (four resolutions against, two resolutions abstained)

We voted against Techtronic Industries’ share award and options scheme as the company had not disclosed how options are awarded other than at the absolute discretion of the Board, who also award options to themselves, family members and non-executives. (two resolutions) 

We voted against Totvs’ remuneration policy and long term incentive plan as in our opinion it is excessively diluted and we would prefer for the Founder/Chair not to receive a performance based remuneration like the management team. We also voted against and abstained from voting on proposals relating to the company’s request to establish a supervisory council as we did not have sufficient information to know who we would be voting for. (three resolutions against, one resolution abstained)

We voted against Vinda International’s request to issue shares without pre-emptive rights and issue repurchased shares, as the share discount rate had not been disclosed. (two resolutions) 

We voted against WEG’s request to recast votes for the amended supervisory council slate, as we preferred to vote in favour of the female candidate nominated by minority shareholders and who has been on the fiscal council for two years. We abstained from voting on the election of the supervisory council as we preferred to support the minority candidate. (one resolution against, one resolution abstained)

Source for company information: Stewart Investors investment team and company data. This stock information does not constitute any offer or inducement to enter into any investment activity. Portfolio data shown is from representative strategy accounts of the strategy shown above. Proxy voting chart numbers may not add to 100 due to rounding. SHP means: Shareholder Proposal.

Proxy voting: Q1 2023

Global Emerging Markets Sustainability proxy voting: 1 January - 31 March 2023

Proxy voting by country of origin

Proxy voting by proposal category

During the quarter, there were 97 resolutions from 14 companies to vote on. On behalf of clients, we voted against three resolutions.

We voted against Amoy Diagnostics’ request to increase share capital and share count as we did not have sufficient information at the time of voting for the justification of these amendments to articles. (one resolution)

We voted against Banco Bradesco’s remuneration policy as we believe it lacks long-term alignment with company performance and market best practice. We also voted against the company’s request to recast votes for an amended slate of directors as we do not believe this is in shareholders’ interest. (two resolutions)

Source for company information: Stewart Investors investment team and company data. This stock information does not constitute any offer or inducement to enter into any investment activity. Portfolio data shown is from representative strategy accounts of the strategy shown above. Proxy voting chart numbers may not add to 100 due to rounding. SHP means: Shareholder Proposal.

Proxy voting: Q4 2022

Global Emerging Markets Sustainability proxy voting: 1 October - 31 December 2022

Proxy voting by country of origin

Proxy voting by proposal category

During the quarter there were 51 resolutions from 12 companies to vote on. On behalf of clients, we voted against one resolution.

We voted against the election of a director to the supervisory board at Foshan Haitian Flavouring as we do not believe they are truly independent. (one resolution)

Source for company information: Stewart Investors investment team and company data. This stock information does not constitute any offer or inducement to enter into any investment activity. Portfolio data shown is from representative strategy accounts of the strategy shown above. Proxy voting chart numbers may not add to 100 due to rounding. SHP means: Shareholder Proposal.

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Stewart Investors Quarterly Client Update Q3 2023

1 July - 30 September 2023

Risk factors

This material is a financial promotion for the Stewart Investors Sustainable Funds Group strategies – Asia Pacific and Japan Sustainability, Asia Pacific Leaders Sustainability, Asia Pacific Sustainability, European Sustainability, European (ex UK) Sustainability, Global Emerging Markets Sustainability, Global Emerging Markets Leaders Sustainability, Indian Subcontinent Sustainability, Worldwide Sustainability and Worldwide Leaders Sustainability – and is intended for professional clients only in the UK, Switzerland and EEA and professional clients elsewhere where lawful.

Within the EU/EEA and Switzerland, the European (ex UK) strategy is only available to investors via a segregated mandate account.

Investing involves certain risks including:

  • The value of investments and any income from them may go down as well as up and are not guaranteed. Investors may get back significantly less than the original amount invested.
  • Emerging market risk: Emerging markets tend to be more sensitive to economic and political conditions than developed markets. Other factors include greater liquidity risk, restrictions on investment or transfer of assets, failed/delayed settlement and difficulties valuing securities.
  • Indian Subcontinent risk: although India has seen rapid economic and structural development, investing there may still involve increased risks of political and governmental intervention, potentially limitations on the allocation of the strategy’s capital, and legal, regulatory, economic and other risks including greater liquidity risk, restrictions on investment or transfer of assets, failed/delayed settlement and difficulties valuing securities.
  • Specific region risk: investing in a specific region  may be riskier than investing in a number of different countries or regions. Investing in a larger number of countries or regions helps spread risk.
  • Currency risk: the strategies invest in assets which are denominated in other currencies; changes in exchange rates will affect the value of the strategies and could create losses. Currency control decisions made by governments could affect the value of the strategies’ investments and could cause the strategies to defer or suspend redemptions of shares.
  • Concentration risk: the European Sustainability and Worldwide Leaders Sustainability strategies referred to in this material invest in a relatively small number of companies which may be riskier than a strategy that invests in a large number of companies.
  • Smaller companies risk: investments in smaller companies may be riskier and more difficult to buy and sell than investments in larger companies.

Where featured, specific securities or companies are intended as an illustration of investment strategy only, and should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any security.

If you are in any doubt as to the suitability of our strategies for your investment needs, please seek investment advice.

Investment philosophy

  • We are stewards: Our role is to allocate society’s capital to productive uses, in accordance with our Hippocratic Oath
  • We are long term: Our time horizon is measured in years, not weeks, and we value companies accordingly
  • We invest only in companies contributing to a more sustainable future: We engage constructively as owners to help companies on their sustainability journeys
  • We invest only in high-quality companies: We seek out companies with exceptional cultures, strong franchises and resilient financials
  • We believe capital preservation is important for capital growth: We define risk as the possibility of the permanent loss of client capital

Investment objective

To generate attractive long-term, risk-adjusted returns by investing in the shares of high-quality companies that are particularly well positioned to contribute to, and benefit from sustainable development.

Important information

This material is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute investment or financial advice and does not take into account any specific investment objectives, financial situation or needs. This is not an offer to provide asset management services, is not a recommendation or an offer or solicitation to buy, hold or sell any security or to execute any agreement for portfolio management or investment advisory services and this material has not been prepared in connection with any such offer. Before making any investment decision you should conduct your own due diligence and consider your individual investment needs, objectives and financial situation and read the relevant offering documents for details including the risk factors disclosure. Any person who acts upon, or changes their investment position in reliance on, the information contained in these materials does so entirely at their own risk.

We have taken reasonable care to ensure that this material is accurate, current, and complete and fit for its intended purpose and audience as at the date of publication but the information contained in the material may be subject to change thereafter without notice.

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To the extent this material contains any expression of opinion or forward-looking statements, such opinions and statements are based on assumptions, matters and sources believed to be true and reliable at the time of publication only. This material reflects the views of the individual writers only. Those views may change, may not prove to be valid and may not reflect the views of everyone at First Sentier Investors.

Past performance is not indicative of future performance. All investment involves risks and the value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and you may not get back your original investment. Actual outcomes or results may differ materially from those discussed. Readers must not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as there is no certainty that conditions current at the time of publication will continue. 

References to specific securities (if any) are included for the purpose of illustration only and should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell the same. Any securities referenced may or may not form part of the holdings of First Sentier Investors’ portfolios at a certain point in time, and the holdings may change over time.

References to comparative benchmarks or indices (if any) are for illustrative and comparison purposes only, may not be available for direct investment, are unmanaged, assume reinvestment of income, and have limitations when used for comparison or other purposes because they may have volatility, credit, or other material characteristics (such as number and types of securities) that are different from the funds managed by First Sentier Investors.

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is ultimately owned by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG). Certain of our investment teams operate under the trading names FSSA Investment Managers, Stewart Investors and Realindex Investments, all of which are part of the First Sentier Investors Group.

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