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Responsible Funds, Sept. 14: Triodos plans UK SRI fund launch

The round-up of responsible funds news

Sustainable banking group Triodos says it plans to launch SRI funds in the UK. It said: “We’ll soon be launching the Triodos Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Funds and Ethical Stocks and Shares ISA in the UK.” Triodos launched Europe’s first green investment fund, the organic earth investment fund (Biogrond Belegginingsfond) in the Netherlands in 1990.

Separately, Triodos Investment Management said that, during the first half of 2012, its funds under management rose by 2% to €2.1bn. The Triodos Renewables Europe Fund registered 23.7% growth, while microfinance funds Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinance Fund grew by 7.1% and 10.2% respectively. The Triodos Sustainable Funds, which invest in listed companies, enjoyed 10.3% growth.

Germany: the Sustainable Business Institute (SBI) reports that 40 new investment funds were launched in the German-speaking lands during the first half of 2012, bringing the total number to 380. The new funds held €3.9bn in assets, bringing the total volume for Germany, Austria and Switzerland to around €34bn – unchanged from three months before. Of the funds, 205 are equity (volume: €21bn), 57 bond (€6.3bn), 74 balanced (€5bn) and 15 fund-of-funds (€513m). In addition, the 24 exchange traded funds (ETFs) had €571m. Five microfinance funds totalled €578m.

The F&C Stewardship International fund has returned 13.45% to the end of July, against a benchmark (MSCI World) return of 13.07% according to its August report. The €76.9m fund is managed by Sophie Horsfall; its largest holdings are Apple, Accenture and Towers Watson.The Livelihoods investment fund put together by French food group Danone with investment from Caisse des Dépots, Crédit Agricole and other partners has grown to €26.5m. The latest to join the fund, operational since December 2011, are travel group Voyageurs du Monde and luxury goods firm Hermès and the French Postal Group. The fund focuses on ecosystem restoration, rural energies and agroforestry. Home page

South Africa: fund management firm Mergence Investment Managers has set up a new renewable energy debt fund to provide project finance for local renewable energy projects, according to Business Day. Mergence is a black owned and managed company which embeds environmental, social and governance (ESG) into its investment process. Link

Ireland-based Clear Financial’s €100m Solar21 fund has paid €25m for six solar photovoltaic farms in Italy from AEG Power Solutions. The new acquisitions join a portfolio of other solar farms, primarily in Germany and Italy, according to reports. The fund is said to be in advanced talks about buying another 12MW of capacity valued at more than €45m. Link

Deutsche Bank’s $5.5m db x-trackers S&P US Carbon Efficient exchange traded fund (ETF) has returned 13.46% in 2012 to the end of August – compared to 13.82% for the S&P US Carbon Efficient Index. The ETF has returned 75.08% since launch in 2007.

Ethical fund firm Goldfield Partners has launched a solar fund targeting pension investors. The Solar Energy Fund aims to generate returns of 6-8% per annum from solar panels installed on the roofs of residential homes and social housing. The fund is looking to raise £50m. Link