* Fund to focus on energy security, climate and water
* Seeks returns of 300bps over MSCI World Index
LONDON, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Ecofin Limited, a London-based investment firm with $1.3 billion under management, launched a fund in Australia on Monday for institutional investors looking to lock in long-term growth in sectors such as alternative energy, transport and water.
The Ecofin Australia Pty Ltd, launched with less than A$50 million ($53.87 million), is targeting returns of 300 basis points outperformance over the MSCI World Index, a global equity benchmark, a fund spokesman told Reuters.
The long-only fund focuses on what it calls long-term mega-trends in energy security, climate change, population growth, urbanisation and food and water scarcity, said Lisa Wade, portfolio of manager of Ecofin Australia Pty, in a statement.
“Efficient management of resources, adaptation to the effects of climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions are enormous challenges but also represent one of the greatest investment opportunities of our generation,” she said.
The launch of Ecofin Australia comes after Ecofin took a 51 percent stake in Change Investment Management Pty Ltd., a Sydney-based specialist fund co-founded by Wade in 2009.
Ecofin recently expanded its presence in China. Last September, an Ecofin investment trust co-launched a $200 million private equity fund with Beijing-based Origo Partners Plc to invest in China’s clean technology sector.
Clean energy investment in China totalled around $47 billion in 2011, up 1 percent from the previous year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.