Responsible Funds, Jan. 6: the round-up of ESG funds news

RI’s regular look at responsible funds news

India could see the launch of the first venture capital fund investing solely in “Dalit-owned” enterprises for the lower caste group traditionally regarded as ‘untouchables’. The planned $95m venture is due to begin operation in August 2012, reports the Financial Times, and is backed by the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries, a trade body representing Dalit business leaders.

The £62m (€75m) SAM Sustainable Climate Fund GBP has made a new investment in Beijing Enterprises Water but it has sold construction firm Grontmij due to “worse underlying data”. The fund invests worldwide in companies which provide technology, products or services designed to alleviate and delay climate change or help overcome the effects thereof.
The Zurich Environmental Opportunities Fund, which is closed to new investors, was recently renamed the Zurich UK Opportunities Fund, having dropped its environmental focus.
The $17.4m GAM Star GEOUSD Equity fund, which invests globally in sustainable companies, has bought into Indian water firm Jain Irrigation, which provides micro-irrigation equipment to millions of farmers and landowners. It has also added energy-efficient infrastructure firm Ameresco, said fund manager Paul Udall.The Pictet-Environmental Megatrend Selection GBP fund has increased its holdings in agriculture and timber and cuts its clean energy and water exposure to re-establish the strategic weights among its four underlying theme strategies.

Invesco Canada has changed index provider for its PowerShares Global Water Class funds from the Palisades Global Water Index to the NASDAQ OMX Global Water Index. The latter is designed to track the performance of companies creating products that conserve and purify water for homes, businesses and industries.
Virtú Investments, LLC, a San Francisco-based real estate investment management firm, has announced that it has raised a $37 million discretionary fund – 50% of its funding aim – to invest in the acquisition, renovation, and repositioning of apartment properties in the Western United States with a significant focus on deploying cost-effective energy and water efficiency retrofits as well as other green building improvements.
The €130m Dexia Equities L Sustainable World, an SRI subfund of the Dexia Equities L sicav, has added new positions in Whole Food Markets, Scor and GlaxoSmithKline. It is also selling all Motorola Solutions and Avon Products positions.