June 3, 2009 / 9:30 AM / 10 years ago

Schroders climate fund bets on wind, forestry

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Schroders is adding wind power and forestry stocks to its climate change portfolio, saying heightened investor interest in the green theme should support share performances in the second half.

Government spending on green projects and excitement surrounding the climate change treaty due to be signed in Copenhagen in December all boded well for green equities, Simon Webber, manager for Schroder ISF Global Climate Change Equity Fund, told Reuters.

“Climate change is a long-term trend, but it is also working in the short term because governments have put a lot of money in this and regulations weighed behind green jobs and green new deals,” said Webber.

Globally, Schroders manages assets of over $250 million in climate change-related companies.

Germany-based Munich Re, which reinsures risks including those arising from natural catastrophes, and BG Group plc, a natural gas company in the UK, were among the fund’s top 10 holdings as of end April.

“We’ve gradually been positioning the portfolio more aggressively, more cyclically and we think now is a good time to be investing in equities,” said Webber.

A handy way to gain exposure to climate change-related opportunities would be to invest in catastrophe reinsurers, uranium suppliers, food retailers and makers of rechargeable batteries for electric cars, he said.

Since its launch in June 2007, Webber’s $166 million fund fell 33 percent by the end of April, but outperformed the MSCI world stock index, which is down about 42 percent.

The fund is adding wind power-related stocks such as Spain’s Gamesa and forestry shares like Canada’s Sino-Forest Corp to the portfolio, said Webb. Government spending in green projects in the second half will be a major growth driver for the forestry and renewable energy sectors by 2010, he said.

The fund’s largest holdings include China’s Guangdong Investments, whose core business includes water supply management, German engineering firm Siemens, network equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc, and food retailer Carrefour SA.

“We can be confident that in the next six months with the big Copenhagen conference that there will be a lot of attention (to the green theme). A lot would depend on that deal,” he said.

Editing by Lincoln Feast

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