Responsible Funds, Nov. 16: Launches from Amundi, HSBC, DWS, NN Investment Partners, American Century and more

The latest responsible funds news

Amundi has reportedly launched five SRI exchange traded funds across both equity and fixed income. The equity funds will track the MSCI World, USA and Europe SRI indices. An emerging markets version that will track the MSCI EM SRI index is expected at a later date. In the firm’s three year action plan unveiled last month it said it would integrate ESG analysis across its entire €1.4trn fund range. Link

The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) is among backers of a €150m renewable energy equity fund, which Temporis Investment Management announced reached first close this week. The 12-year fund aims to support the development of over 1,000MW of pre-construction renewable energy projects and associated enabling energy storage infrastructure in Ireland. Other backers included Allied Irish Banks and Encavis AG.

An initial 53 million rand (€3.3m) has been committed to the new Greater Cape Town Water Fund (GCTWF) – a public-private mechanism launched today that is intended to finance greater water security in and around Cape Town. The fund will prioritise investment in “ecological infrastructure” over engineering projects, first looking to eradicate invasive trees that draw excessive groundwater through their roots.

Netherlands-based asset manager NN Investment Partners has launched its European Sustainable Infrastructure Debt Fund, which will finance loans in social infrastructure, transportation, utility assets, energy and digital infrastructure. Managed by NN IP’s Infrastructure Debt team, the fund has a target annual gross return of 3%-4% and a duration of 12 to 15 years.

Giant German manager DWS has reportedly launched an SDG-focused fund. The DWS Invest SDG Global Equities fund will allocate at least 80% of its assets to firms focused on ESG themes or operating in the sector, investing in 40 to 60 equities. It doesn’t have an assigned benchmark.

American Century Investments and Nomura Asset Management have collaborated to launch a new health care fund available to Japanese investors. The Nomura ACI Advanced Medical Impact fund , which has attracted more than $750m since its October 23 launch, focuses on stocks in US healthcare companies showing sustainable and accelerating earnings growth and profitability.

Swiss specialist SUSI Partners has made its first investment in Australia, committing €30m to acquire and provide financing to construct a 34 MW solar PV plant, with storage optionality. SUSI is pursuing additional projects in Australia through its SUSI Energy Storage Fund, which closed in June at €252m.

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), a multilateral development bank, has announced the listing of a €650m Sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai, its first Euro listing. IsDB has a total of nine USD-denominated Sukuks on the exchange, valued at $1.8bn.Dutch pension investment giant APG reportedly invested €250m in Whitehelm Capital’s Smart City Infrastructure Fund at the fund’s first close. The fund has been set up to pool pension fund investments in “smart city solutions”, such as infrastructure that makes cities more sustainable while improving quality of life, across Europe, North America, Australia and other major urban areas. Link

HSBC has unveiled two global sustainable multi-asset funds, which seek medium to long-term capital growth and a higher average ESG score and lower portfolio carbon intensity than the market. The HSBC Global Sustainable Multi-Asset Conservative portfolio has around 35% equity exposure, while the HSBC Global Sustainable Multi-Asset Balanced portfolio has around 60%. Independent data will monitor and report the ESG score and carbon intensity of the portfolios every month. Link

Ten years on from launch, BNP Paribas Asset Management says its BNP Paribas Easy Low Carbon 100 Europe exchange traded fund, said to be the first low carbon fund, has reached €377m and has grown by 157%. The firm said the fund allows institutional investors to align with France’s Article 173 energy transition law.

BlackRock has closed its long-horizon equity fund, citing a lack of investor appetite, according to reports. Launched in July 2016, the Luxembourg-domiciled BlackRock Global Long-Horizon Equity fund was liquidated with $6.6m in AUM on October 17, after its net asset value fell “well below 50%”. The fund was overseen by Stuart Reeve and Andrew Wheatley-Hubbard.

Solactive’s newly established Core Index Family has been selected for Legal & General Investment Management’s first range of ETFs – its six Core Equity ETFs. Adopting the Solactive Global Benchmark Series (GBS) as starting universe, the Core Index Family excludes companies based on LGIM’s proprietary Future World Protection List (FWPL).

US investors can now screen mutual funds and ETFs on gender equality, following the launch of a new tool. Equileap, the organisation providing insights on gender equality in the corporate sector, licensed its 12 key performance indicators to As You Sow, which launched the tool screening nearly 5,000 US-based mutual funds and ETFs.

Two local authorities in London have invested a further £30m into the Real Lettings Property Fund, a fund that purchases homes for people affected by homelessness. The London boroughs of Lambeth and Westminster each invested a further £15 into the fund, which is managed by social impact investment company Resonance and homelessness charity St Mungo’s.