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Friday Funds: Bank of Finland invests $300m in BIS green bond fund

The latest developments in ESG-related funds

The Bank of Finland has announced a $300m investment in the Bank for International Settlements’ green bond fund. The Finnish central bank has previously invested directly in green, social and sustainable bonds as part of its responsible investment approach.

The Liontrust ESG Trust has published a prospectus and confirmed its Board of Directors ahead of its IPO scheduled for the end of June. The actively managed trust is aiming to raise £150m and will invest in 25-35 sustainable companies globally, with at least 80% of investments in developed market equity securities. The board will be chaired by Richard Laing, who is currently also Chair of 3i Infrastructure, a Board Member of Tritax Big Box REIT, Leeds Castle Foundation and JP Morgan Emerging Markets Investment Trust.

The Aquila Energy Efficiency Trust has raised £100m from its IPO. The trust is targeting returns of 7.5-9.5% per annum for shareholders, by investing in companies with strategies to reduce primary energy consumption and carbon emissions. The fossil fuel and mineral extraction sectors are excluded from the investment universe.

Ostrum Asset Management’s €17bn SRI Money Plus Fund has received the French SRI accreditation. Ostrum’s entire range of money market funds, with total AUM of almost €50bn, have now received the state-supported certification. 

Toyota has launched an investment fund focused on climate solutions. The $150m global venture fund will focus on funding early-stage startups that are “developing innovative solutions for carbon neutrality”. The fund will be managed by Toyota Ventures, the car manufacturers’ standalone venture capital firm. 

Metzler Asset Management has shifted the investment strategy for its Metzler Aktien Deutschland fund towards sustainable small caps. The retail fund, launched in 1992, will change its investment universe from all cap to focus on smaller German companies, and will change its name to Metzler German Smaller Companies Sustainability. The fund will be classified under Article 8 of the SFDR.

NN Investment Partners’ Green Bond fund has reached €500m AUM. The Article 9 fund invests primarily in high quality corporate green bonds, mostly denominated in Euros.

DWS has launched a new thematic equity fund focused on the blue economy. The DWS Concept ESG Blue Economy fund will focus on companies related to coastal and marine ecosystems, such as companies reducing marine pollution, sustainable fisheries, as well as ocean-dependent sectors including ports and coastal tourism. DWS has partnered with the WWF for engagement with portfolio companies.