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Responsible Funds, August 9: Germany’s Steyler adds second ethical fund

The round-up of responsible funds news

Germany-based church bank Steyler has added a new sustainable bond fund to its range, the “Fair und Nachhaltig” (fair and sustainable) offering. It is aimed at private and institutional investors seeking to play a part in the development of companies whose areas of business and business practices are in line with Steyler’s strict ethical and sustainability criteria. It uses research from ESG house Oekom research. It is Steyler’s second fund, following an earlier cooperation with Warburg Invest. Link (German)

Net assets at Impax Environmental Markets have risen 3.9% to £354.4m (€412m) at the end of June from £341.2m six months earlier. The London-listed vehicle invests mainly in listed companies in the alternative energy and energy efficiency, water treatment and pollution control, and waste technology and resource management areas. But it has underperformed the FTSE ET50 index, which it put down to not investing in technology companies “with interesting products but unproven business and valuation models – a prominent example of which is Tesla – which we do not believe to be justified”.

The €12.9m DWS Invest Clean Tech fund, which invests in renewable and alternative energies, energy transmission and consumption, has returned 13.2% in the year to June 30 and 8.3% in the year to date. The benchmark, the WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation, has returned 29.8% and 28.0% over the same periods. The fund has been managed by Andrew Pidden since April 2012.Glennmont Partners, the spin-off from BNP Paribas Clean Energy Partners, has announced the launch of its second fund investing in clean energy infrastructure projects in Europe. It added that €200m has been committed at first close by a combination of both new and existing investors from its first fund.

The £227.20m Amity International Fund from Ecclesiastical Investment Management has returned 22.7% for the year to the end of June, according to a fund factsheet. Fund manager Rob Hepworth says that the fund has invested in Japan Residential Investment Company, a Japanese residential property investor.

The China CleanTech Index produced by Sino Cleantech, the Chinese operational arm of Australian CleanTech, rose strongly in July 2013 to resume its strong performance from earlier in 2013. Over the month, the index outperformed all but one of its four benchmarks, rising from 37.0 to 39.8 – recording a 7.5% gain. The market capitalisation of the 150 stocks in the index is CNY872bn (€106bn), down from its peak of CNY911bn in February 2011 but up from its low of CNY604bn in November 2012. Link

Private equity group Riverstone Holdings, where former BP chief executive Lord Browne is a partner, is to float a new £500m energy vehicle to invest across the oil and gas and renewable energy sectors, according to reports. The Financial Times cited people familiar with the plans as saying Riverstone Energy will float in London, in a move being prepared by Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan. Riverstone has around $25bn under management across seven investment funds.