Responsible Funds, April 18: Swedish AP funds form sustainable infra company

The latest responsible funds news

Swedish buffer funds AP1, AP3 and AP4 have formed a new company to invest in sustainable, long-term infrastructure. Polhem Infra will invest in unlisted Swedish infrastructure firms. “With long-term ownership and a focused sustainability process, Polhem Infra has the capacity to be an attractive, priority player and business partner, which in the long term will benefit both the pension system and society in general,” they said in a joint statement.

The UK arm of Nomura Asset Management has launched a new SDG focused global equity fund. The Global Sustainable Equity Fund – a UCITS fund domiciled in Ireland – will invest in a portfolio of 30-40 global equity stocks in sectors such as healthcare, renewable energy and fintech. Managed by Lead Portfolio Manager Alex Rowe and Tom Wildgoose, Head of Equity Investment, it will aim to outperform MSCI’s All Country World Total Return index by 2-3% per annum.

Yorkshire Water’s bid to raise £350m (€404.5m) through its first sustainability bond has received a positive response from investors who have reportedly placed more than £1.9bn (€2.2bn) of bids. Yorkshire Water has recently published a sustainability framework which governs the use of proceeds.

Bluefield Solar Income Fund is the first London-listed investment fund to receive the Guernsey Green Fund accreditation, which bills itself as the world’s first regulated green investment fund product. The fund invests in more than 80 UK solar assets – one of the largest diversified portfolios of solar assets in the UK – and received positive third-party accreditation from KPMG Channel Islands.

Canadian insurance group iA Financial has become a signatory to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) through its iA Investment Management (iAIM) subsidiary.

The team behind the proposed Carbon Yield Fund has been named winner of the 2019 Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge, one of 12 finalists competing. The fund would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing organic farming practices by providing loans to selected US farms.The Responsible Asset Allocator Initiative from the New America think tank has been published. It evaluated 471 allocators, ultimately analysing 197 funds worth $21trn (€18.7bn) — and put Alberta Investment Management Corp. (AIMCo), the Swedish AP funds and the Netherlands’ APG in the first three spaces. New America said of the 25 funds on the Leaders List: “Where they go, government leaders, policy makers and institutional investors tend to follow, leading to real change in sectors critical to the environment and to society.”

Danish mortgage provider Nykredit has published its Green Bond Framework, as it prepares to grant green mortgage loans to large corporate clients funded by the issuance of green covered bonds. The firm plans to open two new green covered bonds – one in Danish Krone and the other in Swedish Krona – in early May. Its green bond framework was evaluated by ESG research house Sustainalytics.

ATP, the Danish labour market pensions scheme, has added an environment factor to its foreign equities portfolio in an effort to “future proof” its investments, according to an IPE article citing CIO Kasper Ahrndt Lorenzen. The exercise involved reallocating more than DKK 2bn (€0.27bn) of assets and has shrunk the portfolio’s carbon footprint by 26%. ATP uses smart-beta strategies to manage its entire DKK 785bn (€105.2bn) portfolio.

TrackInsight, an exchange traded funds analysis platform, has launched a tool for assessing the ESG characteristics of more than 3,000 listed ETFs in Europe, North America and Asia. The firm said the launch was a response to investors facing “too many opinions and methodologies related to ESG assessment”.

Citizen Capital, a Paris-based impact investor, has reached a first close of €18m for its TechForGood fund and is aiming for a final close of €25m. The Fund – which is co-managed with Allianz France – invests in early stage French tech start-ups operating in social and environmental sectors.

Acumen, the non-profit global venture group, has closed a fund of nearly $70m aimed at supplying clean, cheap energy to underserved communities in East Africa. Early investors in KawiSafi Ventures include the South Korea-based Green Climate Fund and the Skoll Foundation.