Responsible Funds, January 11: Allianz shutters two legacy renewables funds

The round-up of sustainable funds news

Citing weak demand, Allianz Global Investors (AGI) in Germany has cancelled two equity funds that invested in renewable technology. The funds, known as “Klima Safe Kick 1/2014” and “Klima Safe Kick 2/2014,” had accumulated volumes of €1.7m and €4.7m, respectively. They were launched by Cominvest, the former asset manager of Commerzbank that AGI acquired in 2009. AGI’s original intention was to keep the funds running until early 2014, as their titles suggest. Over the last three years, Klima Safe Kick 1/2014 returned 7.5%, while the 2/2014 fund was up just 6.2%. AGI said investors in 1/2014 would be paid €50.94 per share and those in 2/2014 €50.19 per share.

The best performing alternative energy mutual funds in 2012 were the Allianz RCM Global Water and Pax World Global Environmental Markets with returns in the 20% range, according to an analysis on finance website Seeking Alpha.

The £84.84m (€103m) CIS Sustainable World Trust run by Mike Fox at the Co-operative Asset Management returned 19.2% for the year to the end of November (against a sector median of 11%), according to the latest fund factsheet. Over three years it has returned 34.1%. It’s up 35.8% since launch in September 2009.

The €159m Clean Technology Fund from Vontobel Asset Management returned 14.5% in the year to the end of November, against a 13.5% return for the MSCI World Index benchmark. The Luxembourg-domiciled fund is managed by Pascal Dudle in Zurich and invests in companies which provide technologies and innovative solutions to both mitigate climate change and to reduce air and water pollution.

A new ‘Green Seed Fund’ launched by Paris-based Sofinnova Partners has attracted €5m investment from Belgian chemicals group Solvay. The fund is intended to finance small and medium-sized firms in the green industrial biotechnology sector. Sofinnova’s previous fund, Sofinnova Capital VII, has closed at €240m.European Investors Incorporated, the New York–based real estate investment firm with $11bn under management, has launched the EII Global Sustainable Property Fund. It’s a German domiciled mutual fund that invests globally in REITs and other publicly traded property companies meeting environmental and social sustainability criteria. “The fund represents the first opportunity for investors to access EII’s global real estate securities expertise in combination with Oekom Research AG,” it said. The focus will be primarily on global equities of companies involved in the ownership, management, development and financing of commercial and residential properties that strive to meet sustainability requirements. The Fund is managed by an investment team based in New York, Singapore and Amsterdam.

The £274m First State Global Emerging Markets Sustainability Fund has returned 25.1% over the year to the end of December 2012, against a benchmark return of 13%. It has returned 48.4% over three years (benchmark: 13.9%). The fund, which invests in shares of companies based in or having significant operations in emerging markets and whose business takes into account sustainability themes, was launched in 2009. Its largest holdings are Marico, Manila Water Company and Unilever.

What’s believed to be the world’s first retail Sukuk, or Islamic bond, has been launched on the Malaysian exchange, called exchange traded bonds and Sukuk (ETBS). Bursa Malaysia says the maiden issuance by infrastructure firm DanaInfra Nasional Berhad (DanaInfra), effectively creates a new asset class “to cement Malaysia as the world’s leading sukuk marketplace”. The proceeds will be used to part-finance Malaysia’s Mass Rapid Transit Project. The offering closes on January 18 and is backed by the government.