Responsible Funds, February 22: ResponsAbility, SUSI Partners, BlackRock, Hunter Hall

The round-up of responsible funds news


Swiss asset manager responsAbility has reported that investments from its flagship “Global Microfinance Fund” in January totalled $8m (€6m) in January – well below the $70m level seen in December. “Seasonal factors” were behind the drop, responsAbility said. The Global Microfinance Fund has $691m in assets, a good portion of which is invested in 206 microfinance firms and 58 fair trade cooperatives worldwide. One of responsAbility biggest investors is Swiss postal pension fund (PK Post), which in 2011 awarded the microfinance fund specialist a CHF130m mandate.

SUSI Sustainable Euro Fund 1, which is advised by Switzerland-based SUSI Partners AG, has bought a three-turbine wind park in Côte d’Armor, France. The facility has been in operation since December 2006 and is expected to generate over 11,800 MWh per year – powering over 2’000 European households and reducing nearly 4’000 tonnes of CO2. “Further acquisitions are planned for this year,” SUSI said.

The BlackRock New Energy Investment Trust has initiated a holding in a UK energy infrastructure company and trimmed its US energy infrastructure exposure on the back of some strong performance. “We also exited a Spanish new energy company on the less favourable pricing environment,” say portfolio managers Robin Batchelor and Poppy Allonby. The net asset value of the trust appreciated by 7.7% in January, compared to a 7.6% rise in the MSCI World Index and a 10.3% return for the WilderHill New Energy Global Innovations index. Link

Norway is supporting Deutsche Bank’s Uganda GET FiT pilot project with NOK140m ($25 m) in the coming five years. The project for the development of renewable energy in developing countries aims at building a portfolio of up to 15 small plants for 125 megawatt of sustainable energy in Uganda within three to five years. The Norwegian government is the first to commit concrete funding to the program in 2013 and others are expected to follow this year. Announcement*Australian fund firm Hunter Hall has said its $5.4m (€4.2m)* Global Deep Green Trust rose 0.1% during January and underperformed its benchmark, the MSCI World Index in A$, by 4.5%. Over six months the trust has returned +11.8%. The trust was established in 2007 to invest in an ethically screened global portfolio in enterprises considered to make “a positive impact on the wellbeing of humans, animals and the environment”.

And Hunter Hall says its A$140.7m Global Ethical Trust (GET) was up 5.1% in January, outperforming its benchmark, the MSCI World Index in A$ by 0.5%. Over six months it is up +16.4 (benchmark: +14.5). And the global Ethical Trust – Hedged rose 5.4% during the month, underperforming its MSCI Hedged benchmark by 0.2%. The three biggest holdings are software maker Oracle, Italian machinery firm Danieli and comms group Comcast.


The Brazilian exchange BM&FBOVESPA says the ISE corporate sustainability index ended January 0.72% higher, while the main market BOVESPA Index (Ibovespa) lost 1.95%. It said: “For the period of February 2012 to January 2013 the two indices had distinct performances: the ISE gained 14.55% and the Ibovespa lost 5.25%.” Of the 51 stocks in the ISE portfolio, 27 gained value in January and 24 lost value.

The China CleanTech Index made a 9.5% return last month, outperforming all of its four benchmark indices. “Over the last six months, the Index leads the non-cleantech related benchmarks, although over the longer term, the Index still lags its benchmarks. All of the sub-indices recorded gains for the month,” said calculator Sino CleanTech.