Responsible Funds, August 8: Impact fund for institutional investors launched by Belgium’s Incofin

The round-up of the latest responsible funds news

Incofin Investment Management, the Antwerp, Belgium-based microfinance specialist, has launched an impact fund for international institutional investors. ProPulse will provide people excluded from the financial sector with access to adequate financial services and to close the significant supply-demand gap between the estimated 2.6bn people lacking access to financial services. It will make debt investments in best of class microfinance institutions. Incofin said: “The fund characteristics and investment policy were designed in close cooperation with the [unnamed] cornerstone investor, a large European pension fund, and tailor-made to their specific needs. The fund targets stable single digit returns with low volatility and offers the investor frequent redemption possibilities in combination with exposure to a diversified portfolio in terms of regions, countries and investees.” Announcement

Impax Environmental Markets, which invests mostly in quoted companies which provide, utilise, implement or advise upon technology-based systems, products or services in environmental markets, is sticking to the view that the valuation of Tesla, the electric carmaker, is not justified. The fact it does not hold the stock “continued to be the primary reason for IEM’s underperformance against the environmental comparator index, the FTSE ET100”, according to its half-yearly report. IEM saw its net asset value per share and share price total returns come in at 2.9% and 2.8% respectively for the period. Over the same period, the total return on the MSCI All Country World Index was 2.9%, while the total return on the FTSE ET100 Index was 5.9%.

The Jupiter Global Ecology Growth fund, a sub-fund of the Jupiter Global Fund SICAV, has returned 21.0% in the year to the end of June, according to fund documents. Three- and five-year returns are 35.4% and 72.1%. “We are in encouraging times from the environmental policy perspective,” writes manager Charlie Thomas.The India Inclusive Innovation Fund (IIIF), first announced by the Indian government in January, could become operational shortly, according to reports. The fund will be a for-profit entity with a social investment focus and will invest and provide funding to social enterprises with the aim of maximizing social impact with modest financial returns. Link

The €114m LGT Sustainable Equity Fund Global, whose philosophy “considers the sustainable value creation and improvement to human well-being”, has returned 6.76% in the year to date, according to its June report. The Liechtenstein-domiciled fund is benchmarked against the MSCI World (EUR) (NR), which returned 6.86% over the same period.

Phaunos Timber Fund Ltd., the London-listed forestry investment vehicle with some $419m of assets, has warned of “material uncertainty” about its liquidity requirements and cash position. In a filing, Phaunos said it intends to raise capital through a share placing in order to prevent the situation from getting worse. “The board, as advised by Stafford Timberland Ltd., believes that, without action, the company may be unable to pay its liabilities as they fall due within the next three to six months,” the fund said. Stafford took over the management of the fund recently from FourWinds Capital Management, whose contract was terminated last year.

The Rockefeller Foundation and the US Agency for International Development are both putting $50m into a new project to address extreme poverty, food insecurity, and climate shocks. The Global Resilience Partnership will focus on the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and South and Southeast Asia, areas particularly susceptible to chronic stresses and extreme shocks. Link

The TriLinc Global Impact Fund, the US impact investing fund that provides growth-stage loans and trade finance to established small and medium enterprises, has recently approved a total of $13.67m in trade finance facilities to six companies in Africa and one in Argentina, bringing total financing commitments $29m.