Market turbulence drives investors to SRI cash funds

Money market funds rise among the best sellers for January after equity market scares.

SRI money markets funds have been the beneficiaries of the turbulent equity markets since the start of the year with two making the top four best selling funds for January, according to figures compiled for Responsible Investor by Lipper FERI, the investment data group.
Dexia’s Money Market Euro Sustainable fund was the biggest grossing fund for the first month of the year taking in an estimated €74.8m ($117m). The fourth best selling fund was another cash fund, the Fortis Money Prime Euro SRI fund, which collected €43.7m in new assets for the month.
KBC’s Equiplus Head Start Sustainables 02 fund, which invests in a basket of 30 sustainable companies, was the second largest seller over the month, netting €50.4m. It was followed in third place by the SRI European equity fund of French manager Natixis, the Fructifonds Valeurs Européennes, which collected €45.8m.
AGF, the French funds subsidiary of Allianz Global Investors, continues to manage Europe’s largest pure SRI classified fund, AGF Valeurs Durables, with assets of €1.26bn, albeit down from €1.44bn in December, 2007. The second largest European SRI fund is F&C’sStewardship Growth fund with just over €1bn in assets, down from €1.15bn in December.
In the ranking for funds investing in sectors with so-called ‘green’ themes such as the environment, water, climate change and renewable energy, the biggest grossing green fund for January was Pictet’s Clean Energy fund, which collected an estimated €61.7m in assets.
France’s CNP, part of the Natixis group, had the second biggest fund winning €27.2m for its Développement Durable (Sustainable development) fund. In third place was Lyxor’s ETF New Energy, which brought in new business worth €20.8m. It capped a successful month for green exchange traded funds at Lyxor, a subsidiary of Societe Générale, with its ETF World Water fund coming in 8th with sales of €12.3m. In terms of overall assets the biggest ‘green’ fund remains Blackrock’s MLIIF– New Energy Fund with €4.3bn in assets, down from €5.39bn in December. In second place is Pictet’s Water Fund with just over €3.4bn, down from €4bn in December. Third in size is Julius Baer’s SAM Sustainable Water Fund with €1.58bn, down from €1.86bn. See downloads – left column