Responsible Funds & Indices, Sept. 27: Mumbai exchange plans Indian CSR index

The latest responsible funds and indices news

Investment bank JPMorgan Chase, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and partners have announced a new investment fund that will allow individual and institutional investors to finance late-stage global health technologies to potentially save millions of lives in low-income countries. Some $94m has been committed to the Global Health Investment Fund; the Gates Foundation and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency will partially offset potential losses in the fund, which will seek a financial return for investors by targeting high-impact technologies with public health applications in both developed and emerging markets.

The African Development Bank has converted its $60m Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) – a bilateral trust fund set up with funding from the Danish government – into a multi-donor trust fund with a wider remit. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) will become the second anchor donor, while also opening the door for other donors interested in promoting private-sector led investments in small and medium sustainable energy projects.

The €50.6m F&C Global Climate Opportunities fund run by Andrew Penman returned 11.19% to the end of August, against a peer group median of 12.26%. The fund invests most of its assets in equities and equity related securities of companies that are leading advances in key areas of climate change. The top three holdings are Roper Industries, Trimble Navigation and Danaher Corp.

The A$5.3m (€3.6m) Hunter Hall Global Deep Green Trust rose 2.5% during August, outperforming its benchmark, the MSCI World Index in A$ by 3.9%. For the second month in a row, the largest positive contributor to portfolio performance was Australian drug developer Prana Biotechnology. The trust invests in an ethically screened global portfolio in enterprises which are considered to make a positive impact on the wellbeing of humans, animals and the environment.Germany-based renewables funds group Reconcept GmbH has appointed asset servicing banking group CACEIS as its depositary. Since the beginning of July 2013, CACEIS has acted as funds trustee for investments into the currently active, closed-end wind energy funds of the company.

Indices

India: Mumbai stock exchange operator BSE Ltd. has signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) index with the Indian Institution of Corporate Affairs (IICA). BSE Chairman R. Ramadorai said the index would be a “driver for CSR practices for the Indian corporate world and an ideal option for investors to put their money for responsible investment”. Link

Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp., the Canadian petroleum exploration and production company, is being removed from the Jantzi Social Index “due to the existence of a number of allegations against the company related to the freedom of association of workers in its Colombian operations”. Environmental, social governance firm Sustainalytics, which runs the index, said Pacific Rubiales has a long history of labour disputes and accusations of anti-union practices. To maintain sector weightings, it will be replaced by Calfrac Well Services, which Sustainalytics says ranks among the top third of energy equipment and services companies.

The Jantzi Social Index increased in value by 2.31% during the month of August. During the same period, the S&P/TSX Composite Index increased by 1.55% and the S&P/TSX 60 Index rose by 1.94%. Since inception on January 1, 2000 the index has achieved an annualized return of 5.6% – while the S&P/TSX Composite and the S&P/TSX 60 had annualized returns of 5.44% and 5.19% respectively. Link