Responsible Funds, November 18: the round-up of ESG funds news

RI fund launches, closes and asset data.

Large public and corporate pension plans and other institutional investors have backed a new $420m (€310.4m) clean energy infrastructure fund from Panda Power Funds. The Panda Power Generation Infrastructure Fund will develop or acquire US utility-scale solar projects and natural gas power plants. Announcement

Maybank, Malaysia’s largest financial services group, has announced the launch of a US$500m Clean Energy Fund for Asia. The fund will prioritize power generation infrastructure projects using renewable sources and will have a first close of $87.5m, of which Maybank will contribute $50m. The focus will be China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Other investors include the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank’s IFC and US development finance body OPIC.

The UK’s new International Climate Fund, set up to help reduce poverty and tackle climate change in developing countries, will work to set up a climate public private partnership (CP3) platform. “The platform will combine public financing from the ICF and other public sector partners with private sector finance from pension and sovereign wealth funds,” according to the fund’s implementation plan published this month. Link

The NEFCO Carbon Fund, the part of the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation which procures emission reduction units on behalf of its investors, has signed five climate mitigation projects in South-East Asia and China under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The projects cover wind, small hydro and biomass investments in China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, it said.The South African government is seeking private sector partners for its new ZAR800m (€72m) renewable energy fund. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was quoted as saying the government has advertised for entities to indicate their interest in managing the fund. Link
SVG Investment Managers, the UK activist investor that’s part of private equity firm SVG Capital, has told Responsible Investor that it is “talking to investors” about the possibility of launching a new corporate engagement fund. Existing clients include UK local authority pension funds.

The north-eastern Dutch province of Overijssel has launched a €250m sustainable energy fund, according to reports. Unquote reported the fund will put €100m into energy-saving in the construction sector and €150m into energy-sourcing. Investments will start early next year.

The €230m Cleantech Europe II fund from Zouk Capital has invested more than €40m in three cleantech businesses. They are fuels-from-waste firm FFK Environment, energy efficiency outfit OZZ Electric, and va-Q-tec, an insulation maker. Zouk says the fund is Europe’s largest fund dedicated to cleantech growth capital investment.

Silk Invest, the boutique asset management firm specialising in frontier markets, is planning a €150m private equity fund for Africa targeting food processing, storage and distribution. Silk sees the greatest opportunity in agricultural infrastructure, chief investment officer Daniel Broby told Reuters.

SAM, the sustainability investment boutique, says its SAM Smart Energy investment strategy was awarded “Best Clean Energy Fund” at Investment Week’s Climate Change Investment Awards in London earlier this month.