SRI and green funds record negative sales

Larger SRI funds still selling as confidence picks up in mainstream equity funds.

Sales of both European SRI funds and green themed funds were negative during March according to the latest available figures compiled for Responsible Investor by Lipper Feri, the investment data group.
A total of €25.3m was pulled from the SRI funds universe over the month, although the largest selling funds still enjoyed triple-figure inflows. That compared with positive net inflows for the SRI sector of €599m during February. The biggest selling SRI fund in March was French bank Société Générale’s cash fund, SGAM Invest Monetaire ISR, which took in €216.3m. Second biggest seller was Belgian fund manager KBC’s Dublin-domiciled institutional fund, KBC Alternative Energy, which recorded inflows of €142.3m. SRI funds are labelled as those that have undergone an ‘extra financial’ ESG screen in their stock selection process. The three largest European SRI funds are currently cash portfolios. SGAM Invest Monetaire ISR is the biggest with €1.75bn, followed by Allianz’s France based Securicash SRI with €1.6bn and in third place BNP Paribas’ Moné Etheis cash fund with €1.57bn. Total mainstream equity fund sales for March reached €845.1m compared with heavy redemptions of €2.8bn in February, suggesting a guarded return of confidence innon-SRI equity investments. Investment in green funds, which have been re-categorised as RI ‘extended’ to include funds with multiple investment exclusions, microfinance investments and other strategies based on adherence to international norms, as well as themed environmental funds, were also down with outflows of €8.9m across the sector. Before the new categorization, sales of pure green investment funds, had been positive since the start of the year, albeit with relatively small inflows: €50.7m in January and €14.7m in February. Indeed, the two biggest selling ‘extended’ RI funds for the month of March were newly added microfinance portfolios managed by Credit Suisse: the Responsability Sicav Mikrofinanz-Fonds, which took in €39.4m and the Responsability Global Microfinance Fund, which won new business of €18.8m.
The best-selling environmental themed fund was Crédit Mutuel’s UFG Trend Planet fund which won new business worth €14m over the month. Europe’s biggest ‘RI extended’ fund is Blackrock’s New Energy Fund with €1.948bn, followed by Pictet’s Water fund with €1.851bn.
See downloadable documents – left column – for tables