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Themed green funds continue sales boom

Screened ESG fund sales fall during December, however.

Themed RI funds, which include green investment strategies, continued to rake in assets during December last year – as talks at Copenhagen ploughed on – with total sales of just over €2bn for the month, according to the latest available figures compiled for Responsible Investor by Lipper FMI, the investment data group.
The fund class, labelled by Lipper FMI as ‘RI Extended’ which includes funds with multiple ethical exclusions, those following a norms-based strategy and themed climate change and microfinance funds, added to positive total sector inflows of €184.5m in November and €512.7m in October. Much of the asset gathering was made by just two new funds. Aviva’s ISR Court Terme, short duration money market fund, recorded stellar inflows of €1.14bn over the month, shortly after it was launched at the end of last year. The other star grosser of the month was Fortis’ Flexi III Equity Greater China Environmental fund, which was launched that month and took in new money of e642m, suggesting high interest in the promise of investing in Chinese green themes. Third biggest seller was the Dublin-domiciled Towry Law Ethical Portfolio, a European fund of funds run by Towry Law, the wealth management firm, which took in €62.9m.
The biggest fund in the RI Extended sector remains Blackrock’s New Energy Fund with €2.74bn, up from €2.56bn in November. Second is Pictet’s Water Fundwith €2.34bn, up from €2.2bn the previous month. Assets in the total sector at the end of December, 2009, including market appreciation, were worth €23.5bn, up from €20.6bn the previous month.
Fortunes during December were significantly less favourable for ‘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. Sales for the sector fell by €841.3m and there was a notable flight to safety with SRI bonds dominating the best grossing funds. Austrian banking group, Bawag PSK, took the most assets into its Öko Sozial Rent bond portfolio, which netted €66.2m. Second best seller was SAM’s Smart Energy fund with receipts of €60.7m. Third was Crédit Agricole’s Lux International Strategy – Income, SRI bond fund with €58.5m.
The largest fund in the RI Screened sector is Crédit Agricole’s LCL Monétaire Medium cash fund with e2.28bn, down from e2.56bn in November. The second largest is Allianz’s Securicash SRI money market fund with e2bn, again down from €2.24bn in November.
Total assets in the sector, including market appreciation, rose to €52.7bn, up from €51.7bn in November.
Total mainstream equity sales for December were €15.1bn in a total universe of €1.7 trillion.
See downloads in left hand column for RI Lipper FMI fund sales top tens