Fitch Affirms AllianceBernstein European Income Portfolio's 'Strong' Fund Quality Rating

Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:44am EDT

(The following statement was released by the rating agency) Link to Fitch Ratings' Report: AllianceBernstein European Income Portfolio here PARIS, August 22 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has affirmed AllianceBernstein European Income Portfolio's (EIP) 'Strong' Fund Quality Rating. The fund is managed by AllianceBernstein L.P. (AB; A+/Stable/F1). KEY RATING DRIVERS The 'Strong' rating reflects the fund's robust and well-balanced investment process that combines the independent inputs of credit, quantitative and macro-economic research in a disciplined and formalised approach. The fund benefits from the depth of AllianceBernstein's fixed income and support resources, and from a robust IT platform. FUND PRESENTATION Launched in 1999, AllianceBernstein EIP is a Luxemburg domicile fund of EUR1,256m of assets as of end-June 2014, investing in euro- or European currency-denominated fixed income securities, typically split between 65% investment grade (IG) and 35% high yield (HY). INVESTMENT PROCESS The fund's uses a flexible, barbell approach aimed at generating stable, high income and preserve capital. The well-balanced investment process combines the independent inputs of credit, economic and quantitative research to determine the overall portfolio positioning, while allowing portfolio managers (PM) sufficient flexibility in credit selection. The fund benefits from the depth of AB's fixed income and support resources. RESOURCES The core European fixed income portfolio management team consists of three individuals in London, who on average have 17 years of experience and 10 years of company tenure. The team is supported by a global credit research team of 38, an economic team of nine, a quantitative research team of 10 and a trading desk of 21. The IT platform is built around integrated proprietary and third-party systems and risk analytics. TRACK RECORD AllianceBernstein EIP has outperformed the Lipper category "Bond Europe" since inception. The strong track record is illustrated by a Lipper score of five (highest quintile) over three and five years and by a Lipper score of three over 10 years. The fund tends to outperform in rising and flat markets. It underperformed in 2008 and 2011. FUND MANAGER AllianceBernstein, L.P. is a diversified asset manager (USD480bn assets under management as at June 2014 and USD266bn in fixed income). RATING SENSITIVITIES The rating may be sensitive to material changes in the investment or operational processes or resources dedicated to the fund. A material adverse deviation from Fitch's guidelines for any key rating driver could result in a downgrade. For example, this may be manifested in significant structural deterioration in the fund's performance or excessive risk-taking. Fitch sees limited key person dependency given the depth of the fixed income team. Conversely, an upgrade could result a demonstrated ability to outperform peers consistently on a risk-adjusted basis amid rising interest rates and in bear credit markets. Fitch's Fund Quality Ratings combine Fitch's experience in qualitative fund analysis with rankings and performance data from Lipper, a Thomson Reuters company. Fitch's Fund Quality Ratings offer an independent, forward-looking assessment of a fund's key performance and risk attributes and consistency of longer-term returns, relative to peer group or benchmarks. The ratings focus on the fund manager's investment process, key fund performance drivers, risk management, and the quality of the fund's operational infrastructure. For more information, please see www.fundmanagement.fitchratings.com To receive forthcoming Fund Quality Rating research, opt in here Contacts: Primary Analyst Manuel Arrive, CFA Senior Director +33 1 44 29 91 77 Fitch France S.A.S. 60 rue de Monceau Paris 75008 Secondary Analyst Yuriy Layvand, CFA Director +1 212-908-9191 Committee Chairman Ralph Aurora Senior Director +1 212 908 0528 Media Relations: Elaine Bailey, London, Tel: +44 203 530 1153, Email: elaine.bailey@fitchratings.com. Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com. Applicable criteria, 'Fund Quality Ratings Criteria', dated 19 September 2011, are available at www.fitchratings.com. Applicable Criteria and Related Research: Fund Quality Ratings Criteria: Assessing Funds’ Investment Processes and Operational Attributes here Additional Disclosure Solicitation Status here ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: here. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.

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