Roger Aitken, analyst, examines the December 2015 dataJanuary 2016
Among UK Registered funds over the past one year to 30 November 2015, the £2,343.66m Pictet-Water USD fund was top ranked in Morningstar’s analysis of 251 sector funds with a cumulative return of +21.15%. It headed the £252.31m SLI UK Ethical Ret Acc fund on +16.27% in the second spot (+52.45%/16th and +87.91%7th over past three and five years, respectively) and Kempen (Lux) Sustainable Eur Small Cap I third from top on +15.77% over the past year.
Managed by fund managers Hans Peter Portner, Philippe Rohner, Arnaud Bisschop and Alina Donets, the Pictet-Water USD fund has been a consistent performer over recent years too. It posted performances of +64.40%/6th ranked and +78.74%/12th over the past three and five years, respectively.
The investment objectives of this fund and its sub-funds as of December 2015 were to pursue and achieve capital growth by investing “at least two-thirds of its total assets” in shares of companies operating in the water sector worldwide. The sub-fund favours companies operating in water supply, water technology, environmental and processing services.
In terms of sector breakdown and asset allocation, Water Technology accounted for 46.8% of the fund, followed by Water Supply & Treatment (40.7%) and Environmental Services (10.3%). On geographic breakdown, the US represented 44.0%, UK (15.5%), France (9.3%), China (8.1%) and Japan (6.3%). Elsewhere, Austria, Canada, Netherlands, South Korea and Switzerland collectively represented 10%.
Of the fund’s 10 largest holdings, the top five are currently Veolia Environnement (5.0%), Suez Environnement, United Utilities Group, Danaher and Pennon Group and represented 20.8% of the overall investment exposure. Xylem, Aqua America, Severn Trent, American Water Works and A.O. Smith Corp make up the remaining top 10 holdings - collectively amounting to 16.5%.
Within the European funds sector, the €195.93m DNB Sweden MicroCap fund again took the yellow jersey over the past one year with an improving cumulative return of +46.06% over its performance a month before (+37.68%). It was equally impressive in ranking second top over the last three years (+147.26%) and third (+164.39%) over past five.
It was followed in second place in the sector over the latest 12-month period by the €376.99m Delphi Nordic fund, which posted a return of +37.41% (+126.57%/3rd and +121.65%/18th over the past three and five years, respectively).
UK Individual Pensions posted the best peer group sector average over both the last one (+27.37%) and three years (+38.43%).
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