RI and green funds suffer asset outflows post Copenhagen disappointment

Downturn follows inflows in January.

Both European retail SRI funds and green themed funds suffered net outflows of assets during January, suggesting potential disappointment with the outcomes of the Copenhagen climate conference, according to the latest available figures compiled for Responsible Investor by Lipper FMI, the investment data group. Sales of ‘RI screened’ funds as they are labelled by Lipper FMI, which have undergone an ‘extra-financial’ ESG (environment, social and governance) screen in their stock selection process, were down by €492m. The sales drop came after a notable return to the black during January with inflows of €251.6m. The biggest RI Screened seller for February was French insurer/fund manager Macif’s Trésorerie Semestrielle ISR, SRI cash fund, with a net intake of €53.2m. Second was AG2R, the French social insurance company, whose Ethis Valeurs (Ethical values) fund, netted €50.4m. Third was Belgian fund manager KBC’s Obli Euro (Euro bond) fund which took in €48.7m. The largest RI Screened fund is run by Amundi, the new combination of Crédit Agricole Asset Management and Société Générale Aset Management. Their LCL Monétaire Large fund (money market fund) has assets of €2.5bn. Second largest is Allianz’s Securicash SRI fund with assets of €1.8bn.The total ‘RI Screened’ sector is worth €54bn. Green themed funds were also knocked by losses in February totalling €145.8m. The fund class, labelled by Lipper FMI as ‘RI Extended’, includes funds with multiple ethical exclusions, those following a norms-based strategy and themed climate change and microfinance funds. The outflow of assets compares unfavourably with January when total sales were up by €287.6m over the month, and a bumper month of December when €2bn was taken in prior to Copenhagen. The biggest selling RI Extended fund was Germany’s Deutsche/DWS Zukunftsressourcen environmental equities fund, with sales of €19.6m. Second was German savings group Sparkassen’s Espa Bond Euro-Mundelrent, euro bonds fund, with sales of €16.3m. Third was France’s postal savings group, La Poste, whose LBP Responsable Garantie Mars 2012, guaranteed fund of funds, made sales of €16m. The largest ‘RI Extended’ fund is Blackrock’s New Energy Fund with €2.4bn. Second is Pictet’s Water fund with €2.3bn. The RI extended sector is currently valued at €21.8bn Total mainstream equity fund sales during February came out at €76bn in total market of €1.6trn.
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