Responsible Funds, January 9: Mirova, Zevin, RobecoSAM, Cambium Timber, Foresight Group

The round-up of responsible funds news

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has invested €40m in Mirova’s third renewable energy fund, Mirova Eurofideme 3. The fund launched mid-2014 and is Mirova’s third fund targeting renewable energy projects in Europe. Mirova is a responsible investment subsidiary of France’s Natixis Asset Management. Link

Zevin Asset Management, the Boston-based asset management firm with around $900m (€764m) in assets, has rolled out a new active and sustainable strategy to invest in global equities. Zevin said the new strategy, aimed at its core clients of foundations, churches and family offices, relied on a mix of ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approaches to global equity investing. The strategy also incorporates Zevin’s “long history of integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, socially responsible guidelines and shareholder activism”. It’s benchmarked against the MSCI All Country World Index.

Sustainability investing specialist RobecoSAM has launched a new fund investing in small and mid-cap companies across all sectors called the RobecoSAM Global Small Cap Equities Fund. Its strategy is based on the integration of companies’ sustainability scores derived from the RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) of approximately 2,400 small and mid-cap companies and fundamental company valuation and comprises a “high-conviction” 70-90 stock portfolio. It will be managed by Rainer Baumann
 and Kai Fachinger and benchmarked against the MSCI World Small Cap Index. Link

Two China-based companies have reportedly launched a CNY200m (€27.3m) fund to invest in projects that generate carbon credits for the country’s nascent carbon market. Reuters reported the fund would be operated by an arm of Haitong Securities and project developer Treasure Carbon. It would sell offsets (“Chinese Certified Emissions Reductions”) to power companies and manufacturers.

The Inter-American High Impact Fund is a new initiative with backing from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The $20m vehicle will “help expand the provision of essential goods and services as well as creating income opportunities for Base of the Pyramid populations in the LAC [Latin America & Caribbean] region. The IDB said: “This will be achieved by creating the Inter-American High Impact Fund, an impact investing vehicle that will mobilize third-party capital and deploy financing to 10-15 impact businesses.”

The National Australia Bank and Impact Investing Australia are hosting a roadshow around the country to showcase the NAB Impact Investment Readiness Fund. The A$1m fund is designed support social enterprises in securing impact investment. Link*The Australian Ethical Smaller Companies Trust* from Canberra-based fund firm Australian Ethical has disclosed, in a filing, a 177.7m-share, 12.8% stake in IDT Australia Ltd., the listed pharmaceuticals company. Meanwhile, Australia Ethical itself, which is also ASX-listed, is expected to show its net profit fell in the first half of the 2015 financial year, according to Finance New Network. It reports the firm will announce a net profit of between A$800,000 and A$970,000, down from a profit of $1.2m the same time last year, when it releases interim results at the end of February.

Cambium Global Timberland, the £23m (€29.5m) AIM-listed timber fund that agreed to wind up in early 2013, is reportedly offering to buy around 20% of its shares. The fund floated on AIM in 2007, although it terminated investment manager CP Cogent last October, Citywire reported, saying Cambium is looking to return around £5m to its “long-suffering investors” via a purchase of 20m shares. The tender offer will go to a shareholder vote at a meeting on January 27, it added.

Funds managed by the UK’s Foresight Group have completed the acquisition of the 13.2MW Homeland Solar Farm solar project in Dorset in southern England from NYSE-listed Trina Solar. This follows the successful sale of a similar 10.6MW UK solar power project to the same buyer in September of 2014. Foresight, established in 1984, has more than £1.3bn of assets under management – of which more than £930m is in operational solar photovoltaic plants.

India: social entrepreneurship venture capital group Aavishkar is reportedly to raise $400m this year. The Economic Times, citing CEO Vineet Rai, said two separate funds would be raised: a $100m Africa focused offering and a $300m domestic vehicle. The paper said that in the past 12 years, Aavishkar had raised more than $100m and backed early stage social enterprises.

One of the largest impact investment funds in the UK, the Real Lettings Property Fund, has reached more than £46m in investment after Big Society Capital boosted its initial £10m investment to £15m and the City of London doubled its first investment to £1m. The fund, which buys properties to rent to homeless people or families in London and is managed by impact investment company Resonance and charity St Mungo’s Broadway, has also got investment from UK local authority Croydon Council (£10m), and the Esmée Fairbairn and Lankelly Chase charitable foundations. Link

A fund run by KGAL, the German infrastructure investment firm, has fully acquired the seven-turbine 21.5MW onshore Kastorf wind park in the state of Schleswig-Holstein from WKN AG, the park’s developer. Financial details were not disclosed. WKN said that following the addition, the date of operation for the facility had been pushed back to August of 2015. KGAL’s infrastructure funds manage around €7bn for institutional and retail investors. Announcement.