ESG screened funds also down as lack of equity market confidence bites.
The post Copenhagen sell-off in green themed and norms-based European RI retail funds continued during May, with a broader lack of confidence in equity markets contributing to the slump. The sector was down by €373.9m over the month, according to the latest available figures compiled for Responsible Investor by Lipper FMI, the investment data group. It follows sector depreciation of €95.9m during April. The fund class, labelled by Lipper FMI as ‘RI Extended’, includes those with multiple ethical exclusions, those following a norms-based strategy and themed climate change and microfinance funds. Notably, the best selling fund of the month was in fixed income with the Pimco Funds – Socially Responsible Emerging Markets Bonds – part of the Allianz group – netting €104.4m. Second placed was HBOS’ Ethical fund, part of the Lloyds banking group, with sales of €100.5m. There was a big drop off, however, in sales outside of the top two. Third highest was the Carnegie Fund – Worldwide Ethical, which took in €11.8m. Pictet’s Water fund leapfrogged its closest rival, Blackrock’s New Energy Fund, to become the biggest themed fund with €2.4bn compared to €2.3bn in the latter.
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 also down by €191.2m in May. That followed a positive April when flows were up at €184.9m.Again, cash and bond funds dominated the best sellers in May. The top selling RI screened fund was Fortis’ Money Prime Euro SRI fund, which netted €258.4m. Second was French manager, MACIF’s Court Terme ISR (short-term SRI) fund, which took in €166.1m. In tied third place was Belgium fund manager KBC’s Institutional Fund Ethical Euro Bonds and BNP Paribas’ Post-Fix Fund Post-Multifix 5+, with both at €62m in new money.
The largest RI screened fund remains Amundi’s LCLMonétaire Large fund with assets of €2.4bn. Second is Allianz’s Securicash SRI fund with assets of €1.6bn.
Total European mainstream equity fund sales were also down over the month by just over €10bn out of a total €1.8trillion.