The IMA has created a Global Emerging Markets Bond sector in response to the 'evolution of the funds market,' which has seen the asset class grow in popularity.
Funds placed in the sector have to invest at least 80% of their assets in emerging market bonds.
Jonathan Lipkin, the IMA's director of public policy, said that there were now enough funds in the global sector specialising in emerging markets to create a new sector for them.
'The sector classification process responds to the evolution of the funds market. During a review of the IMA fixed income sectors, we recognised that there were enough funds within the Global Bonds sector to establish a new bond sector for funds that invest primarily in emerging markets,' he said.
'While emerging markets bond funds have been a feature of the fund market for some time, we have seen particular growth in recent years.'
Meanwhile, the IMA has tweaked the criteria for the Global Bonds sector, so that any funds within this category that invest more than 80% in emerging markets should be reclassified.
In the existing Citywire Emerging Market Bonds sector, Michael Hasenstab, who runs the Templeton Emerging Markets Bond fund, is the best performing manager of a local currency fund in three years, returning 11.1% compared to a manager average of 1.9%.
In hard currency terms, the best performing manager in the Citywire Emerging Market Bonds sector on a three year basis was Michael Gomez, who runs the Pimco Emerging Markets Bond fund and has returned 17.1%, compared to a manager average of 12%.