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Green fund sales dive over credit crunch concerns

SRI fund sales steady after June sales drop.

Investment into green themed investment funds in Europe plummeted again in July with €202.9m ($279m) being pulled from the sector as the credit crunch started to raise significant concerns about financing for renewable and clean energy projects. Few green funds managed to buck the negative sales trend for the month, according to the latest available figures compiled for Responsible Investor by Lipper Feri, the investment data group.
The notable exception was German mutual fund group DWS’ Invest Climate Change Fund, which grossed €65m, almost four times the second best seller, the Equities Europe Environment fund run by SGAM, the French asset manager, which pulled in €17.3m. SGAM subsidiary Lyxor had the third biggest seller with its New Energy exchange traded fund. The outflows contrast with the €379m positive flows into green funds the first six months of 2008, albeit a far cry from the impressive €7.1bn that was invested in the sector in 2007.Sales of SRI funds, which differ from their green peers by undergoing socially responsible screens, were positive, however, over the month. Total sales for the sector reached €122.4m during July, a tonic after the dramatic investor exodus in June when the SRI universe lost €847m in client assets over the month. The figures underline the volatility of investor confidence in both green and SRI funds this year as a result of the credit crunch.
Swiss fund managers had a particularly good month for sales. Swisscanto had the highest grossing SRI fund for the month via its ZKB Zinsertrag Nachhaltigkeit fund, which took in €98m of investor cash. Julius Baer’s Zurich Invest II – Target Investment Fund Sustainable, was second with €88.1m. French manager Natixis’ Fructifonds Valeurs Européennes fund was third with sales of €81.9m.

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