Friday, 19 February 2010

Fortis eyeing new investors for $1.2 billion China green fund

London, 18 February:
Fortis Investments is considering broadening access to its China environmental mandate, into which around $1.2 billion has been raised since its launch in December.
The vehicle was set up at the request of one of Fortis’ clients – understood to be Japan’s Nomura – which has raised the money from retail investors.
One third of the assets are invested directly into environmental technology companies listed on the mainland, with the remainder via their offshore listings, in Hong Kong or New York, for example.
Speaking at a press briefing today, Fran├žois Perrin, Fortis Investments’ Frankfurt-based head of Asian sustainability strategies, said “there’s very strong demand from clients” for sustainable investments in the region.
“It’s relatively obvious that we’ll continue to propose that type of investment to our clients,” he said when asked whether other institutional investors will be able to participate in the vehicle, which is structured as a fund-of-funds.
He added, however, that “questions of capacity” would be likely to limit the size of the fund: “It’s not a question of the capacity of environmental names [that is, the market capitalisation of appropriate stocks] but more a question of capacity of access,” noting that overseas investors are limited in how much of the Renminbi – China’s currency – they can convert to use to buy Mainland-listed stocks.
Perrin declined to comment on the name of the client, or of the country from which the funds had been raised.
The Fortis fund is by a long way the largest environmental investment fund dedicated to investing in Chinese stocks.