Investors put €600m into Irish-based water fund


Investors have pumped €600 million over 38 working days into an Irish-based fund that specialises in backing water treatment and infrastructure companies.

KBC Asset Management said its water fund, one of a number of alternative investments run from its Dublin office, had attracted €600 million in 38 working days.

According to Alva Devoy, the senior portfolio manager responsible for the water fund, it also beat last week's slump in international stock markets, and made some gains during the period.

KBC also announced yesterday that US mutual fund manager Calvert has appointed the Dublin firm as an adviser to a global alternative energy fund, which will focus on backing renewable energy stocks.

The US player, which has $15 billion under management, said KBC's "investment professionals have strong expertise in the fast-growing, nascent alternative energy sector".

Seán Hawkshaw, chief executive of the Dublin operation, said yesterday that the appointment was significant and endorsed KBC's expertise.

KBC's alternative energy fund delivered a net return to investors of 24.1 per cent over the 12 months to the end of May. The firm's water fund earned 25.42 per cent over the same period.

Treasa Ní Chonghaile, the KBC portfolio manager who runs the alternative energy fund, said it lost 1.6 per cent during last week, performing far better than the rest of the market.

She explained that the fund focused on wind and solar power investments, and mainly backed companies which focus on manufacturing the infrastructure for these energy sources such as solar fuel cells and wind turbines.

Ms Devoy said the water fund took a similar approach, investing in water treatment and supply infrastructure-focused stocks.