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Home > Feature Article > > Content
Morningstar Europe/Asia Category Changes
Editorial & Research Team, Morningstar Asia Ltd. 2010-12-10

As part of our continued effort to offer robust, relevant fund peer groups to our clients and end users, we are pleased to tell you that our Morningstar European & Asian Category system has been updated.


The Morningstar Categories underpin the Morningstar Rating & Morningstar Qualitative Research and are based on the following principles:


Proper Evaluation: Every category should form a benchmark against which a manager’s ability to add value relative to managers with similar styles can be meaningfully measured.


Transparency: The rules defining each category should be clearly stated such that asset managers and investors can easily determine the rationale for a fund’s classification.


With this round of changes come significant enhancements to the way we address hedged classes that reside in currency-based categories for balanced/allocation and bond funds. We’re extremely pleased to introduce the new approach, which should improve the homogeneity of the categories and allow investors to easily identify funds by currency bias.


Morningstar classifies bond and balanced/allocation funds primarily by currency exposure, as this is a key differentiator in risk/return profiles. Funds with a given currency exposure are then further subdivided by sector, maturity, and credit quality where relevant.


Examples of Morningstar bond categories include EUR Corporate Bond, USD Corporate Bond, GBP High-Yield Bond, and EUR Government Bond. The currency reflects the currency exposure of the fund rather than the base currency of the class, although the two are often the same.


On the other hand, in order to improve internal consistency of the Morningstar category nomenclature and to better reflect the Morningstar category definitions (For Methodology, please click here), we have altered the names of a number of Morningstar categories. Significant changes are as follows:


(1) All currency designators in category names have been changed to the relevant three-letter ISO code, e.g. Sterling Corporate Bond is called GBP Corporate Bond.

(2) The term “Balanced” has been replaced with “Allocation” to better reflect the range of exposures of the relevant funds, e.g., Euro Moderate Balanced is called EUR Moderate Allocation

(3) The Emerging Markets equity, bond, and allocation categories have been pre-fixed with “Global” to reflect the fact that they only include funds with global emerging markets remits.

(4) The term “Real-Estate” has been replaced with Property in all instances.


The total numbers of category are now increased to 257 in Morningstar European & Asian Category universe (for full list, please click here). For Hong Kong market, the related categories are now around 150. The newly added categories include:-



Fixed Income

Asia ex Japan Equity

Convertible Bond - Europe

Indonesia Equity

Convertible Bond - Global

Property - Indirect North America

Convertible Bond - Global, EUR Hedged

Thailand Equity

Convertible Bond - Other Hedged


EUR Flexible Bond


Europe High Yield Bond

EUR Flexible Allocation

GBP Diversified Bond - Short

Other Allocation

GBP Flexible Bond

USD Flexible Allocation

Global Bond


Global Bond - Other Hedged

Money Market

Global Bond - USD Hedged

AUD Money Market

Global Emerging Markets Bond - EUR Biased


Global Emerging Markets Bond - Local Currency


Global High Yield Bond

Commodities - Broad Agriculture

USD Inflation-Linked Bond

Commodities - Broad Basket

HKD Bond

Commodities - Industrial & Broad Metals

Other Inflation-Linked Bond

Non-Euro Absolute Return

Other Bond


USD Flexible Bond