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Robeco teams with development bank for $400m low-carbon venture

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Robeco Asset Management has joined with parent company Orix and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to launch a $400m (€298m) low-carbon venture.

Asia Climate Partners (ACP) will be based in Hong Kong and act as a private equity investor in a raft of low-carbon initiatives, including renewable energy and resource efficiency companies.

In a statement, the three founding investors said the initiative would target risk-adjusted returns as well as a positive environmental and societal impact.

Todd Freeland, director general of ADB’s private sector operations department said, ACP was an “innovative platform” to channel funds into climate-related transactions.

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Leni Boeren, a member of the Robeco management board, said she was delighted the firm had been chosen as investment manager for the venture.

“This is a milestone in our successful cooperation with Orix and is further evidence of our growing commitment to creating attractive new investment opportunities in Asia for our institutional investor partners around the world,” she said.

Freedland added: “The substantial resources the founding partners are committing to ACP will help position it as the preeminent investor in this asset class in Asia from day one, and represents a clear signal of the depth of our collective belief in the investment strategy and its return potential.”

Yuichi Nishigori, corporate senior vice-president at Orix, meanwhile identified Asia’s need to secure “rapid and sustainable economic growth”, as well as quality of life concerns as one of the many reasons the funding would be welcomed.

Alongside renewable energy and resource efficiency, the venture will also invest in water, agriculture and forestry companies.

ADB is among a number of development banks to target the low-carbon economy in recent months, with the venture coming shortly after Germany’s Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau issued €1bn in green bonds and the UK Green Investment Bank announced the launch of a wind farm fund.

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