FRANCE – A subsidiary of CDC has found that total assets in the French SRI market have risen to 4.4 billion euros – partly boosted by a 550 million-euro switch into SRI by BNP Paribas Asset Management.

CDC’s Novethic ‘socially responsible investing centre’ said in a statement that total assets under management in the French market totalled 4.4 billion euros as at the end of 2003 – compared to 2.5 billion euros a year earlier.

It said the figure was boosted by BNP Paribas Asset Management’s decision to switch 550 million euros into socially responsible investments.

Novethic’s Garance Bertrand said Crédit Lyonnais, CDC IXIS Asset Management and the Caisses d’ Epargne were also “strongly represented” in the SRI market.

The review said that, excluding funds registered in other countries, the total assets under management were 2.8 billion euros, compared with 1.25 billion euros at the end of 2002 and 920 million euros in 2001.

“The increase is nothing short of spectacular, total funds under management rose by a factor of more than 2.2 in one year, and by tenfold in five years,” Novethic said, adding the positive trend is expected to continue in 2004.

“Institutional investors have shown more and more interest in SRI and plan to invest more,” Bertrand said.

There were 108 funds at the end of 2003, a rise of 35% a year.