Responsible Funds & Indices, February 15: listed wind fund planned

The round-up of the latest responsible funds & indices news


A new listed wind investment fund being planned by Greencoat Capital is hoping to raise up to £260m (€302m). Greencoat UK Wind Plc would be the first listed investment fund aimed exclusively at UK renewable energy projects; it plans yearly, inflation-linked, dividends of at least 6%. “Operating wind farms should make attractive investment assets, particularly for investors seeking long-term, predictable returns,” said Greencoat partner Stephen Lilley. Link

Net retail sales of ethical funds in the UK dropped from £199m in 2011 to £21m in 2012, according to the Investment Management Association, the UK trade body. The IMA said it was the lowest since records began in 1992 and well below the levels of recent years. But ethical funds under management totalled a record £7.5bn at the end of 2012, giving the 50 funds a 1.1% share of the total AUM, the IMA added.

Jupiter Green Investment Trust PLC, the £33.4m listed vehicle, returned 2.8% in the final quarter of 2012, against the 2.7% made by its benchmark, the MSCI World Small Cap Index. The fund has added to its holding of industrial and energy waste specialist Clean Harbors at a low valuation. Announcement

Information providers, Swiss-based RepRisk and Germany’s AfU Investor Research, have teamed up to launch an investment fund sustainability-screening service. The new offering will analyse the sustainability risks of funds’ holdings as well as peer group comparisons; it’s targeted at asset managers, private banks, institutional investors and investment consultants.

Plurimi Capital, the wealth management and investment advisory firm, has launched what is believed to be the first European high-yield corporate bond fund to factor in sustainability criteria. It uses research from Germany-based Oekom.h6. Indices

US corporate titans Walt Disney and McDonald’s are to be admitted to the Calvert Social Index. The entertainment giant now meets the index’s standards for workplace safety, having “demonstrated improved performance and management of employee health and safety risks” And the restaurant chain has improved policies on human rights and labor relations. But Nasdaq-listed Monster Beverage Corp. is to be removed from the index as it no longer meets product marketing standards.

MSCI says 33 companies will be added to its Global Islamic Indices series while 24 will be deleted from the MSCI ACWI Islamic Index. The three largest additions to the MSCI ACWI Islamic Index are US firms Qualcomm, Abbvie and Express Scripts. There are five additions to and one deletion from the MSCI Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries ex Saudi Arabia IMI Islamic Index. Link

UK water and waste management firm Pennon Group has replaced troubled Dutch financial firm SNS REAAL in the Global Challenges Index (GCX), a German sustainable equity index created by ESG rating agency Oekom and the Hanover bourse. In a statement, GCX’s creators said Pennon met all the sustainable criteria for membership in the 50-member index. “Special acknowledgement should be given to Pennon’s efforts to extract water in a sustainable fashion and to its programme of supporting socially-disadvantaged persons,” they said. As reported, the GCX returned 26% last year, outperforming such benchmarks as the Dax-30, MSCI World and EuroStoxx 50.