The Fund's investment objective is to provide high current income by investing primarily in fixed income securities. As a secondary investment objective, the Fund seeks capital appreciation, but only when consistent with its principal investment objective. The Fund's investment objectives and the limitations set forth below in "Investment Restrictions" are fundamental policies that may not be changed without the approval of the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of the Common Stock and the AMPS, voting together as a single class, as well as by the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of the Fund's AMPS voting as a separate class. A majority vote, as defined by the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended ("1940 Act"), means the affirmative vote of the lesser of (i) 67% of the relevant shares represented at a meeting at which more than 50% of such shares are represented, or (ii) more than 50% of the relevant shares.
For as long as the name of the Fund remains Aberdeen Global Income Fund, Inc., it shall be the policy of the Fund normally to invest at least 80% of its net assets plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in debt securities. This 80% investment policy is a non-fundamental policy of the Fund and may be changed by the Board of Directors upon 60 days' prior written notice to stockholders.
The Investment Manager will select fixed income securities which, in the Investment Manager's judgment, will achieve the Fund's investment objectives. The Investment Adviser will provide recommendations to the Investment Manager as to overall structure of the Fund's portfolio and specific securities to be purchased, retained or sold by the Fund.
While the credit quality of a market is reviewed at the time of the Fund's investment in that market, classification of a market may be amended by the Investment Manager as ratings and/or circumstances change over time.
Except in anticipation of dividend or other payments to be made in U.S. dollars, it is expected that under normal circumstances at least 60% of the Fund's total assets will be invested in fixed income securities of issuers in Developed Markets or Investment Grade Developing Markets, whether or not denominated in the currency of such country; provided, however, that the Fund will invest at least 40% of its total assets in fixed income securities of issuers in Developed Markets. The Fund may invest up to 40% of its total assets in fixed income securities of issuers in Sub-Investment Grade Developing Markets, whether or not denominated in the currency of such country. The following will be deemed to be "issuers in" a particular market:
The Fund will invest in debt securities that are economically tied to a number of countries throughout the world and will, under normal circumstances, be invested in three or more different non-U.S. countries. The maximum exposure to issuers in any one Developed Market is up to 25% of the Fund's total assets. The maximum exposure to issuers in any one Investment Grade Developing Market is up to 20% of the Fund's total assets. The maximum exposure to issuers in any one Sub-Investment Grade Developing Market is up to 15% of the Fund's total assets. Such exposure limits are applied at the time of investment, although classification of a market or an issuer in a market may be amended by the Investment Manager as ratings and/or circumstances change over time.
The maximum exposure to the currency of any one Developed Market is up to 25% of the Fund's total assets; provided, however, the Fund may exceed this limitation with respect to the U.S. dollar (1) when investing for temporary defensive purposes, (2) in anticipation of paying a dividend or distribution, or (3) in anticipation of redeeming the AMPS or repaying any then-outstanding borrowings. The maximum exposure to the currency of any one Investment Grade Developing Market is up to 20% of the Fund's total assets. The maximum exposure to the currency of any one Sub-Investment Grade Developing Market is up to 15% of the Fund's total assets. Such exposure limits are applied at the time of investment, although classification of a market may be amended by the Investment Manager as ratings and/or circumstances change over time.
The market value weighted average credit quality of the Fund's investments (or the issuers of those investments) will be rated not less than Baa2 by Moody's, or BBB by S&P, or comparably rated by another appropriate nationally or internationally recognized rating agency, or, if unrated, judged by the Investment Manager to be of equivalent quality. Up to 40% of the Fund's investments (or the issuers of those investments) may be rated below investment grade at the time of investment; that is rated below Baa3 by Moody's or BBB_ by S&P, or comparably rated by another appropriate nationally or internationally recognized rating agency, or if unrated, judged by the Investment Manager to be of equivalent quality. All of the Fund's investments (or the issuers of those investments) must be rated, at the time of investment, B3 or better by Moody's, or B_ or better by S&P, or comparably rated by another appropriate nationally or internationally recognized rating agency, or if unrated, judged by the Investment Manager to be of equivalent quality. While the credit quality of each of the Fund's investments is evaluated at the time of investment, the credit quality of the Fund's portfolio may be reviewed from time to time and adjusted accordingly.
The Fund may use derivatives to manage currency, credit risk and interest rate risk and to replicate or as a substitute for physical securities. Derivative debt securities that replicate, or substitute for, the currency of a particular country will be counted toward the limitations applicable with respect to issuers in that country. The Fund may invest in over-the-counter or exchange traded derivatives. The Fund may invest in derivatives up to the limits allowed under the 1940 Act.
The Fund may invest in securities issued by investment companies registered as such under the 1940 Act and unregistered, private funds (each, an "acquired company"), subject to the limitations below (which are to be applied immediately after the acquisition of such securities).
The Fund may not acquire securities issued by an acquired company:
During periods when, in the Investment Manager's judgment, economic conditions warrant, or to meet liquidity or distribution requirements, the Fund may invest without limit in U.S. Government securities and short–term debt obligations of U.S. banks and corporations rated not less than Aa or Prime_2 by Moody's or AA or A_2 by S&P for temporary defensive purposes. Although Prime_2 and A_2 ratings denote issuers with a strong (Moody's) or satisfactory (S&P) ability to repay short–term debt in a timely manner, the relative degree of safety is not as high as the very highest rating categories. In addition, the Fund may enter into repurchase agreements and lending agreements involving these securities.
As a general matter and subject to applicable law, if a percentage limitation is satisfied at the time of investment, a later increase or decrease in such percentage resulting from a change in the value of the Fund's investments will not constitute a violation of such limitation, except that any borrowing by the Fund that exceeds the fundamental investment limitations stated above must be reduced to meet such limitations within the period required by the 1940 Act (currently three days). Otherwise, the Fund may continue to hold a security even though it causes the Fund to exceed a percentage limitation because of fluctuation in the value of the Fund's assets.
The principal types of debt securities in which the Fund is permitted to invest include those described below. The list is not exclusive, but is indicative of the kinds of securities which the Fund's investment objectives, policies and restrictions permit it to buy.
Local Currency Sovereign and Quasi-Sovereign Bonds. The Fund is permitted to invest in securities issued or guaranteed by governmental entities, including sovereign and quasi-sovereign entities, whether or not denominated in the currency of the country where such entity is located. The available maturities for these types of securities vary from country to country.
Commercial Banks. The Fund may also invest in securities issued by banks, whether or not denominated in the currency of country where such bank is located.
U.S. Dollar-Denominated Debt Securities. The Fund is also permitted to invest in U.S. dollar-denominated debt securities in order to gain exposure to certain global debt markets without exposing the Fund to local currency risk. Such debt securities may be issued by issuers in Developed Markets, Investment Grade Developing Markets, or Sub-Investment Grade Developing Markets and may be issued and/or registered in the United States. U.S. dollar-denominated debt securities are subject to credit risk relating primarily to the issuer of the bond and liquidity risk relating to the maintenance of a sufficiently liquid market for the specific issue. Such securities are also affected by movements in U.S. interest rates.
Brady Bonds. The Fund may invest in developing market governmental debt obligations commonly referred to as "Brady Bonds." Brady Bonds are debt securities, generally denominated in U.S. dollars, issued under the framework of the "Brady Plan," an initiative announced by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Nicholas F. Brady in 1989 as a mechanism for debtor nations to restructure their outstanding external commercial bank indebtedness.
The Brady Plan contemplates, among other things, the debtor nation's adoption of certain economic reforms and the exchange of commercial bank debt for newly issued bonds. Brady Bonds may also be issued in respect of new money being advanced by existing lenders in connection with the debt restructuring. In restructuring its external debt under the Brady Plan framework, a debtor nation negotiates with its existing bank lenders as well as the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund (the "IMF"). The World Bank or IMF supports the restructuring by providing funds pursuant to loan agreements or other arrangements that enable the debtor nation to collateralize the new Brady Bonds or to replenish reserves used to reduce outstanding bank debt. Under these loan agreements with the World Bank or IMF, debtor nations have been required to agree to implement certain domestic monetary and fiscal reforms. The Brady Plan sets forth only general guiding principles for economic reform and debt reduction, emphasizing that solutions must be negotiated on a case-by-case basis between debtor nations and their creditors.
Agreements implemented under the Brady Plan are designed to achieve debt and debt-service reduction through specific options negotiated by a debtor nation with its creditors. As a result, each country offers different financial packages. Options have included the exchange of outstanding commercial bank debt for bonds issued at 100% of face value of such debt, bonds issued at a discount of face value of such debt, and bonds bearing an interest rate that increases over time and the advancement of the new money for bonds. The principal of certain Brady Bonds has been collateralized by U.S. Treasury zero coupon bonds with a maturity equal to the final maturity of the Brady Bonds. Collateral purchases are financed by the IMF, World Bank and the debtor nation's reserves. Interest payments may also be collateralized in part in various ways.
Brady Bonds may be collateralized or uncollateralized, are issued in various currencies (but primarily the U.S. dollar) and are actively traded in the over-the-counter secondary markets. U.S. dollar-denominated, collateralized Brady Bonds, which may be fixed rate bonds or floating-rate bonds, are generally collateralized in full as to principal by U.S. Treasury zero coupon bonds having the same maturity as the bonds. Brady Bonds issued to date are generally collateralized by U.S. Treasury zero-coupon bonds to ensure principal, and generally have maturities of between 15 and 30 years from the date of issuance. The following countries have issued Brady Bonds: Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, the Ivory Coast, Jordan, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Uruguay, Venezuela and Vietnam. In addition, other countries may announce plans to issue Brady Bonds. The Fund may invest in Brady Bonds of countries that have been issued to date, as well as those which my be issued in the future.
Brady Bonds are often viewed as having three or four valuation components: (i) the collateralized repayment of principal at final maturity; (ii) the collateralized interest payments; (iii) the uncollateralized interest payment; and (iv) any uncollateralized interest and principal at maturity (these uncollateralized amounts constitute the "residual risk"). In light of the residual risk of Brady Bonds and, among other factors, the history of defaults with respect to commercial bank loans by public and private entities of countries issuing Brady Bonds, investments in Brady Bonds can be viewed as speculative.
Eurobonds. The Fund may invest in Eurobonds, which are often longer maturity (up to 30 years) securities, registered in London or globally, that are generally issued in U.S. dollars, but are increasingly issued in euros and occasionally in yen. Eurobonds are typically issued in bearer form, carry a fixed or floating rate of interest, and amortize principal through a bullet payment with semiannual interest payments in the currency in which the bond was issued.
Supranational Debt Obligations. The Fund may invest in debt issued by supranational entities. Supranational entities are entities constituted by the national governments of several countries to promote economic development, such as the World Bank, the IMF, the European Investment Bank and the Asian Development Bank. Obligations of these entities are supported by appropriated but unpaid commitments of their member countries, and there can be no assurances that these commitments will be undertaken or met in the future.
Companies. The Fund is permitted to invest in publicly-traded notes and debentures or bills of exchange issued or guaranteed as to the payment of principal and interest by companies domiciled in a Developed Market, an Investment Grade Developing Market or a Sub-Investment Grade Developing Market.
With respect to all of its portfolio the Fund will invest in derivatives for two main purposes: (1) to modify interest rate risk, modify credit risk and adjust currency risk within the portfolio, and (2) to enable the Fund to replicate or substitute for a particular security in order to gain access to a particular global market or security, where either the physical security is judged by the Investment Manager to be too expensive, or the Investment Manager believes there is an insufficient supply of the particular security or no security fitting the precise needs of the Fund exists. The types of derivatives which may be used include, but are not limited to, futures, options, forwards, forwards that can only be settled in U.S. dollars, swaps, and securities with structured cash flows, whether traded on an exchange or over-the-counter, that have as their underlying security reference to a fixed income security or currency. In general, derivatives will not be utilized to leverage the Fund.
Investment in fixed income securities may at certain times be more efficiently achieved using derivative securities to replicate physical securities. These types of derivatives carry identical market price risks to the equivalent physical securities but provide a number of transactional benefits. For example, by using derivatives, the Fund may be able to implement investment decisions at lower costs, increase the after-tax yield, obtain prices that are not available in the underlying cash market, or settle in U.S. dollars. In less developed markets, liquidity and credit quality can be enhanced and transaction costs reduced by using derivatives rather than the underlying securities. In certain circumstances, due to lack of available direct investment opportunity or government regulations, the only means of gaining exposure to particular countries is through derivatives.
The derivatives used for adjusting currency exposures or replicating underlying securities are usually over-the-counter ("OTC") securities. OTC securities carry credit risk associated with the counterparty institution. See "Risk Factors and Special Considerations—Use of Derivatives." To manage this risk, the Fund will only use counterparty institutions rated A_ or better by a recognized international ratings agency. The exception will be Korean futures. In Korea, brokerage houses with Korean futures exchanges require deposits into margin accounts, and in many cases, these accounts are with unrelated entities. A limit of 2% of total assets can be applied this way. Only up to 10% of total assets may be put at risk in derivatives transactions with any single counterparty (aggregate interest rate, credit and currency derivatives exposure). A maximum of 10% of total assets may be at risk in currency-linked notes.
The types of derivatives used by the Fund and the techniques employed may change over time as new derivatives and strategies are developed or regulatory changes occur. The Fund will not use derivatives where it would contravene the guidelines set by the rating agencies for any then-outstanding AMPS.
In general, derivatives will not be utilized to leverage the Fund, although they may be used to hedge the interest rate risk associated with the Fund's outstanding leverage. The Fund may use interest rate swaps to hedge the Fund's liability with respect to the AMPS. At present, the Fund has been authorized by its Board of Directors to hedge up to one-third of the Fund's liability with respect to the AMPS.
Forward Currency Contracts. The Fund may enter into forward currency contracts. A forward currency contract involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days from the date of the contract agreed upon by the parties, at a price set at the time of the contract.
The cost to the Fund of engaging in forward currency contracts will vary with factors such as the length of the contract period and the market conditions then prevailing. Because forward currency contracts are usually conducted on a principal basis, no fees or commissions are involved, although the price charged in the transaction includes a dealer's markup. The use of forward currency contracts in this manner is intended to fix a rate of exchange that can be achieved at a certain time in the future.
Foreign Currency Options. The Fund may purchase and write options on foreign currencies for hedging and non-hedging purposes to achieve objectives similar to those achieved utilizing foreign currency futures or forward contracts. The potential benefit to the Fund derived from purchases of foreign currency options will be reduced by the amount of the premium and related transaction costs. In addition, where currency exchange rates do not move in the expected direction, the Fund could sustain losses on transactions in foreign currency options. Where currency exchange rates move in the expected direction, but not to the extent anticipated, the Fund could still sustain losses on transactions in foreign currency options.
Futures Contracts. The Fund may enter into futures contracts in U.S. domestic markets or on exchanges located outside the United States for both hedging and non-hedging purposes. Foreign markets may offer advantages such as trading opportunities or arbitrage possibilities not available in the United States. Foreign markets, however, may have greater risk potential than domestic markets. For example, some foreign exchanges are principal markets so that no common clearing facility exists and an investor may look only to the broker for performance of the contract. In addition, any profits the Fund might realize in trading could be eliminated by adverse changes in the exchange rate, or the Fund could incur losses as a result of those changes. Transactions on foreign exchanges may include both underlying assets which are traded on U.S. commodities exchanges and those which are not. Unlike trading on U.S. exchanges, trading on foreign commodities exchanges is not regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ("CFTC").
Engaging in these transactions involves risk of loss to the Fund which could adversely affect the value of the Fund's net assets. No assurance can be given that a liquid market will exist for any particular futures contract at any particular time. Many futures exchanges and boards of trade limit the amount of fluctuation permitted in futures contract prices during a single trading day. Once the daily limit has been reached in a particular contract, no trades may be made that day at a price beyond that limit or trading may be suspended for specified periods during the trading day. Futures contract prices could move to the limit for several consecutive trading days with little or no trading, thereby preventing prompt liquidation of futures positions and potentially subjecting the Fund to substantial losses.
Successful use of futures by the Fund also is subject to the Investment Manager's and Investment Adviser's ability to predict correctly movements in the direction of the relevant market, and, to the extent the transaction is entered into for hedging purposes, to ascertain the appropriate correlation between the transaction being hedged and the price movements of the futures contract.
The Fund also may purchase and write options to buy or sell those futures contracts in which it may invest. Such investment strategies will be used for hedging purposes and for non-hedging purposes, subject to applicable law. An option on a futures contract provides the holder with the right to enter into a "long" position in the underlying futures contract, in the case of a call option, or a "short" position in the underlying futures contract, in the case of a put option, at a fixed exercise price up to a stated expiration date or, in the case of certain options, on such date. Upon exercise of the option by the holder, the contract market clearinghouse establishes a corresponding short position for the writer of the option, in the case of a call option, or a corresponding long position in the case of a put option. In the event that an option is exercised, the parties will be subject to all the risks associated with the trading of futures contracts, such as payment of initial and variation margin deposits. In addition, the writer of an option on a futures contract, unlike the holder, is subject to initial and variation margin requirements on the option position.
A position in an option on a futures contract may be terminated by the purchaser or seller prior to expiration by effecting an offsetting purchase or sale transaction, subject to the continued availability of a liquid secondary market, which is the purchase or sale of an option of the same type (ie, the same exercise price and expiration date) as the option previously purchased or sold. The difference between the premiums paid and received represents the Fund's profit or loss on the transaction.
Options on futures contracts that are written or purchased by the Fund on U.S. exchanges are traded on the same contract market as the underlying futures contract, and, like futures contracts, are subject to regulation by the CFTC and the performance guarantee of the exchange clearinghouse.
Swaps. The Fund may enter into interest rate swaps, currency swaps, credit default swaps (if and to the extent the Fund receives written confirmation from Moody's and S&P that using such swaps will not adversely affect their then-current ratings of the AMPS) and other types of available swap agreements, including swaps on securities, financial assets and indices, and related types of derivatives, such as caps, collars and floors. A swap is an agreement between two parties pursuant to which each party agrees to make one or more payments to the other on regularly scheduled dates over a stated term, based on different interest rates, currency exchange rates, security or financial asset prices, the prices or rates of other types of financial instruments or assets or the levels of specified indices. Under a typical swap, one party may agree to pay a fixed rate or a floating rate determined by reference to a specified instrument, rate or index, multiplied in each case by a specified amount (the "notional amount"), while the other party agrees to pay an amount equal to a different floating rate multiplied by the same notional amount. On each payment date, the obligations of parties are netted, with only the net amount paid by one party to the other. All swap agreements entered into by the Fund with the same counterparty are generally governed by a single master agreement, which provides for the netting of all amounts owed by the parties under the agreement upon the occurrence of an event of default, thereby reducing the credit risk to which such party is exposed.
Swap agreements are typically individually negotiated and structured to provide exposure to a variety of different types of investments or market factors. Swap agreements may be entered into for hedging or non-hedging purposes and, therefore, may increase or decrease the Fund's exposure to the underlying instrument, rate, asset or index. Swap agreements can take many different forms and are known by a variety of names. The Fund is not limited to any particular form or variety of swap agreement if the Adviser determines it is consistent with the Fund's investment objective and policies.
Certain debt securities purchased by the Fund may have been placed privately. These securities, which include debt securities offered in the Euromarkets, are somewhat less liquid than securities which are widely traded by the public and there may be contractual restrictions on their resale to the public. Therefore, although these securities may be resold in privately negotiated transactions, the prices realized from such sales may be less than what might have been realized on a more active public trading market.
Other Investment Companies
Subject to the limitations set forth in Section 12(d) of the 1940 Act, the Fund may invest in securities issued by other investment companies that invest primarily in fixed-income securities. As a shareholder of another investment company, the Fund will bear its pro rata portion of the other investment company's expenses, including advisory fees. These expenses would be in addition to the expenses, including advisory fees, that the Fund bears in connection with its own operations.
Repurchase and Securities Lending Agreements
The Fund is permitted to invest in repurchase agreements with banks and broker-dealers. A repurchase agreement is a contract under which the Fund acquires a security for a relatively short period (usually no more than one week) subject to the obligations of the seller to repurchase and the Fund to resell such security at a fixed time and price (representing the Fund's cost plus interest). The Investment Manager monitors the value of such securities daily to determine that the value equals or exceeds the repurchase price. Under the 1940 Act, repurchase agreements are considered to be loans made by the Fund which are collateralized by the securities subject to repurchase. Repurchase agreements may involve risks in the event of default or insolvency of the seller, including possible delays or restrictions upon the Fund's ability to dispose of the underlying securities. The Fund will enter into repurchase agreements only with parties who meet creditworthiness standards approved by the Fund's Board of Directors, ie, banks or broker-dealers which have been determined by the Investment Manager to present no serious risk of becoming involved in bankruptcy proceedings within the time frame contemplated by the repurchase transaction.
The Fund may also lend to banks and broker-dealers portfolio securities with an aggregate market value of up to one-third of its total assets when it deems advisable. Any such loans must be secured by collateral (consisting of any combination of cash, U.S. Government securities, irrevocable letters of credit or other high-quality debt securities) in an amount at least equal (on a daily marked-to-market basis) to the current market value of the securities loaned. The Fund may terminate the loans at any time and obtain the return of the securities. The Fund will continue to receive any interest or dividends paid on the loaned securities and will continue to have voting rights with respect to the securities. In connection with the lending of its portfolio securities, the Fund is exposed to the risk of delay in recovery of the securities loaned or possible loss of right in the collateral should the borrower become insolvent.
The Fund will enter into repurchase agreements and securities lending agreements only with parties such as banks and brokerdealers who meet creditworthiness standards approved by the Fund's Board of Directors. Issuers of irrevocable letters of credit used as collateral for securities lending agreements must meet the same or similar standards.
Firm Commitment Agreements and When-Issued Securities
The Fund may purchase debt securities on a firm commitment or when-issued basis. New issues of certain debt securities are often offered on a when-issued basis; that is, the payment obligation and the interest rate are fixed at the time the buyer enters into the commitment, but delivery and payment for the securities normally take place after the date of the commitment to purchase. Firm commitment agreements call for the purchase of securities at an agreed-upon price on a specified future date. The transactions are entered into in order to secure what is considered to be an advantageous price and yield to the Fund and not for purposes of leveraging the Fund's assets. The Fund will not earn any income on these securities prior to delivery. The value of when-issued securities and firm commitment agreements may vary prior to and after delivery depending on market conditions and changes in interest rate levels. There is a risk that a party with whom the Fund has entered into such transactions will not perform its commitment, which could result in a gain or loss to the Fund. The Fund will maintain in a segregated account with its custodian cash or high-quality debt securities equal (on a daily marked-to-market basis) to the amount of its commitment to purchase the securities on a when-issued or firm commitment basis.
Government. The Fund is permitted to invest in U.S. government securities, including obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. government agencies or instrumentalities, some of which are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury (such as direct pass-through certificates of the Government National Mortgage Association), some of which are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. government (such as obligations of Federal Home Loan Banks), and some of which are backed only by the credit of the issuer itself. Government obligations do not generally involve the credit risks associated with other types of interest bearing securities, although, as a result, the yields available from U.S. government obligations are generally lower than the yields available from corporate interest bearing securities. Like other interest bearing securities, however, the value of Government obligations changes as interest rates fluctuate.
Corporations and Banks. The Fund is permitted to invest for defensive and other temporary purposes in U.S. corporate debt instruments rated at the time of investment Aa or better by Moody's or AA or better by S&P, finance company and corporate commercial paper, and other short-term obligations, in each case rated at the time of investment Prime_2 or better by Moody's or A_2 or better by S&P. The Fund is also permitted to invest in obligations of U.S. Federal or state chartered banks and bank holding companies rated at the time of investment Aa or better by Moody's or AA or better by S&P (including certificates of deposit, bankers' acceptances and other short-term obligations).
The Fund will not: