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Morningstar Fund Ratings: The Weekly Update

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The Morningstar Analyst Rating for the C (acc) USD clean share class is upgraded to Bronze from Neutral, while other share classes range between Silver and Neutral, depending on fees. The upgrade is driven by the People Pillar moving up to Above Average from Average. This is attributed to the experience and portfolio management skills of the lead managers where decisive top-down calls have helped drive returns in a variety of market climates. The tenures of the comanagers and the access to wide range of resources are additional positive attributes here.

Our increased conviction in JPMorgan Japanese Investment Trust’s lead manager Nicholas Weindling has driven an upgrade in the People rating to High from Above Average. Weindling has proved himself to be one of the most impressive Japanese equity portfolio managers within our coverage, and he has delivered a stellar long-term track record since he took over this strategy in 2007. Besides, the 25- member Japanese equity team that supports this strategy is one of the most well-resourced Japan- dedicated investment teams under our coverage. We also remain confident in the investment process, which continues to earn a Process rating of Above Average. This is underpinned by the strength of the underlying EMAP, or Emerging Market and Asia Pacific, investment process, which has been thoroughly and consistently applied by the team over the years. As such, the Morningstar Analyst Rating of the investment trust has been upgraded to Gold from Silver.

Jupiter European I – Silver from Bronze

Bhavik Parekh, CFA

Our conviction in the team setup on Jupiter European has grown. Since 2019, when Mark Nichols and Mark Heslop joined from Columbia Threadneedle, the team has grown appropriately in size and seems to be working well together so far. The combination of a more settled team and an experienced lead manager means we have increased the People pillar to Above Average. Coupled with the distinctive, high-quality focus to the approach, which we continue to have confidence in, the Morningstar Analyst Rating on the I share class is therefore upgraded to Silver from Bronze. Other classes are rated Bronze or Silver, depending on fees.

Robeco Euro Credit Bonds – Silver from Bronze

Shannon Kirwin

Morningstar has upgraded the Process Pillar score for Robeco Euro Credit Bonds from Above Average to High, resulting in an upgrade of the fund’s C and F clean share classes from Bronze to Silver. The change reflects our growing conviction in the strategy’s investment process, which hinges on a combination of top-down credit beta management and bottom-up security selection. Longtime managers Victor Verberk and Reinout Schapers have consistently added value through both channels thanks to a structured macro research process and by leaning on a large and experienced credit analyst team. The fund’s People pillar remains at Above Average, reflecting our conviction in the experienced team’s ability to skillfully execute their strategy, though we regard Verberk’s workload with some caution as he balances his responsibilities here and as Robeco’s CIO of fixed income.

Downgrades

Xtrackers MSCI AC Asia ex Japan ESG Swap UCITS ETF – Negative From Neutral

Jackie Choy, CFA

Xtrackers MSCI AC Asia ex Japan ESG Swap UCITS ETF (previously the Xtrackers MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Swap UCITS ETF) tracks the MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Low Carbon SRI Leaders Index (before 12 May 2022, it tracked the MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Index). Incorporating measures of ESG strength and carbon exposure increases concentration risk and reduces the benefits of diversification relative to peers tracking broad market indexes. Considering the fund’s now narrower portfolio and accounting for the fact that its fee is above the median of its passive peers, we have downgraded the fund’s Process pillar rating to Below Average from Average, which results in a downgrade to its overall Morningstar Analyst Rating to Negative from Neutral.

https://www.morningstar.co.uk/uk/news/221494/morningstar-fund-ratings-the-weekly-update.aspx

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