Clean Investor, March 22: World Bank to sign water pact with US

RI’s regular Tuesday review of clean investing news

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the World Bank marking World Water Day today at the bank’s Washington headquarters. The MOU will strengthen support to developing countries seeking a water secure future, the State Department said.

Two investors have signed up to the Deutsche Climate Change Fixed Income QP Trust, Deutsche Bank’s new climate change bond fund, according to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing states that the New Hampshire-incorporated investment fund has made $18.285m (€12.8m) sales.

A US pension fund, Michigan’s City of Sterling Heights General Employees Retirement System, has started a shareholder class action lawsuit against Vestas Wind Systems, relating to the Danish wind turbine manufacturer’s change of accounting policy. Vestas says the complaint is without merit. Complaint

Nikko Asset Management says its World Bank green bond funds have raised almost £300m (€345m) from institutional investors in Europe and the Middle East as well as Japanese investors. The UCITS III Nikko AM World Bank Green Fund was launched in February 2010 and is the first fund of its kind to invest up to 100% of its portfolio in green bonds issued by the World Bank. Link

TIAACREF, the US insitutional investor, has received the US Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence award for outstanding energy management and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the organization renewed its sustainability initiatives within its real estate portfolio, targeting a decrease in energy intensity of 15% by year end and the addition of efforts to reduce water usage in its office and multi-family portfolios by 10% by 2013.

KLP Kapitalforvaltning, the Norwegian asset manager with NOK180bn (€22.3bn) of assets under management, hosted the first of 2011’s annual Carbon Disclosure Project Workshop training workshops in Oslo on March 21. Other hosts of the series include financial services group Nordea, Finnish energy company Fortum, Danisco – the Danish food ingredients group being bought by DuPont – and professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The C$96.4bn (€71.2bn) Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board has taken its stake in Canadian oil and gas company NuVista Energy Ltd. to around 18.14%. NuVista operates in three core regions: Alberta Deep Basin, Eastern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Announcement*The UK Budget announcement* on March 23 will be eagerly analysed to see if there’s any further information about the proposed Green Investment Bank and green bonds. The UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) for one has called for a clear signal that the GIB will have the power to issue bonds.

ABB Ltd., Broadwind Energy, Enel Green Power and China Ming Yang Wind Power Group Ltd. have all been added the NASDAQ OMX Clean Edge Global Wind Energy Index after a review. Four firms have been removed: Japan Wind Development Co., Ltd., ABB Ltd. (American Depositary Receipt), Endesa and Enel SpA. The exchange also announced changes to the Wilder NASDAQ OMX Global Energy Efficient Transport and Clean Edge Smart Grid Infrastructure indices. Web site
UK asset manager Foresight Group is looking to double its solar assets to around £300m in a year’s time. It has agreed a £50m programme of solar photovoltaic installations in the UK over the next 12 months with energy services group Our Generation Ltd. Link

Global Fund Exchange Ltd. has launched a new investment vehicle which invests in global opportunities in agriculture, water and natural resources. The AquaTerra Fund, a carve-out of the existing Earth Wind & Fire Fund, opens today, World Water Day.

BlackRock New Energy Trust, the £114.8m (€132m) alternative energy fund, remains “cautious” on wind power in the near term due to soft market conditions and pricing pressure. “The Company’s exposure to solar is similarly measured given the industry’s reliance on high-cost subsidies and limited technological barriers to entry,” say managers Robin Batchelor and Poppy Allonby in a portfolio update.

The Nordic Investment Bank is to provide a €52.5m loan to Icelandic energy generator Landsvirkjun for a new hydropower plant. “With this loan, the Bank will help Iceland to produce more sustainable energy in the form of hydropower,” said NIB President and CEO Johnny Åkerholm. Link

Sharia compliant renewable energy investments are the objective of a memorandum of understanding signed by the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector and Akuo Investment Management. The pair plans to set up a joint venture called Al Hayat Capital to manage renewable energy investments. Link