Responsible Funds, April 5: SAM celebrates five years of Healthy Living and Climate funds

The round-up of responsible funds news

SAM, the Zurich-based sustainability boutique, has celebrated the five-year anniversary of its Sustainable Healthy Living and Sustainable Climate equity funds. The former has achieved a strong relative outperformance of 6.06% versus the MSCI World Total Return Net over five years while the latter has gained as much as 17.97%. SAM home page

The ‘Four Elements’ funds from Zurich-based Frankfurter Bankgesellschaft have largely performed well since the start of the year. The Four Elements ‘Air’ fund, which invests in combatting combat climate change, has gained 12.74%. And the ‘Earth’ fund, which invests in alternatives to non-renewable raw materials, is up 12.63%. The ‘Water’ fund is up 9.66% against a 6.70% benchmark gain. However the ‘Fire’ alternative energy fund is below benchmark.

Sharia-compliant investment firm Ethical Asset Management has launched what is claimed to be the world’s first “investment Sukuk” – which treats the vehicle as an equity instrument rather than as the more usual bond. It is aiming to raise £200m in the next year or so; the Sukuk is a closed-end private placement fund, structured as a Jersey property unit trust.

Jupiter Green Investment Trust Plc, the London listed environmental investor with £36.6m (euro) in assets, is amending shareholder rights as it is in “the unfortunate position where it is too small to appeal to the widest universe of potential investors”. So it plans to introduce an annual subscription right, enabling shareholders one new share for every 10 held. Announcement*The European Islamic Investment Bank* (EIIB), the AIM-listed Sharia’s compliant investment provider, is launching a global Sukuk fund, according to reports. The Rasmala Global Sukuk Fund (RGSF) follows the bank’s acquisition of a stake in Rasmala Investment Bank, which manages around $650m and operates in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman and Egypt. The new fund will be seeded with a $25m investment by EIIB.

A group of development banks have set up a $20.5m venture capital fund for community-based sustainable businesses. Backers for the EcoEnterprises Fund II include the Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Dutch Development Bank (FMO), and the Nature Conservancy. Other investors include the Hivos-Triodos Fund, Oikocredit, Calvert Foundation and family foundations. Link

Impax Environmental Markets Plc, the listed environmental investment firm managed by Impax Asset Management, has reported a 24% decline in net assets, to £344.8m from £453.4m, in the year to the end of 2011. But it said it has had a “reasonable start” to 2012, with net asset value rising by 9.6% since the year-end. The portfolio managers are Bruce Jenkyn-Jones and Jon Forster. Filing

Canada’s first dedicated early-stage cleantech venture fund, the MaRS Cleantech Fund LP, has had a $30m first close. First investments are plastics-to-fuels firm GreenMantra and smart grid outfit Smart Energy Instruments (SEI). The fund managers are Tom Rand and Murray McCaig. Link