Features & Opinion
Trends in Cleantech, and Companies that Look Interesting
Thank you for the opportunity to talk about Trends in Cleantech, and Some Companies that Look Interesting. The first thing I want to do is take the long view. And on the long view I'm very positive that most trends are heading in the right direction and cleantech has a great future, including for investors. More
Keep Venture Capital Open to Retail Investors
- Submission to ASX: Updating ASX's Admission Requirements for Listed Entities.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the ASX's proposed changes to its admission requirements. My comments and suggestions relate to the issues of: the spread test, the assets test, and the $1.5 million minimum requirement for working capital. More
Why Cleantech Stocks are Performing Again
People may think that John D. Rockefeller became the richest man in the world by investing in oil, but he wasn't just investing in oil, he was investing in the future. At the time the world was running out of whale oil and Rockefeller saw that the future was in the new oil. The President of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Stephen Heintz, told this story to the DivestInvest Conference in Sydney last month and said he is convinced that if Rockefeller were alive today, "he would be doing the same thing in the clean energy economy because he knows that's the future." More
Thank You and Goodbye Gas Grid
Our family is now off the gas grid. In March we installed an induction cooktop to replace our gas cooktop, which had been our last gas appliance. Everything in our house now runs off electricity including the oven, the solar hot water booster, the lawnmower and the barbeque. More

Finding Ethical Stock Market Stars
Rising Star Research is a new service looking to uncover rising stock market stars of the future. It produces independent and quality business analysis reports for investors with a focus on ethical micro cap companies below $250 million in market capitalization. The founder and principal, Simon Turner, says this is an area where the investor information challenge is most extreme. More

Video: Interview with Damien Lynch, managing director of August Investments
Eco Investor editor Victor Bivell interviews Damien Lynch, Australia's most experienced environmental investor, about environmental investment in Australia. View Here

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Core Securities
Four Year High for Sims Metal
There is a very strong correlation between Sims Metal Management's buy and sell prices and the prices of iron ore and coking coal, and ferrous prices on the London Metals Exchange, said Sims' managing director and chief executive officer, Galdino Claro, at the company's annual general meeting. More
Holiday Park Acquisitions for Aspen
Aspen Group's focus is on building a strong affordable accommodations business and re-establishing scale to its business, said chairman, Clive Appleton, at the annual general meeting; and in line with this the company has expanded its tourism portfolio with the acquisition of two new holidays parks. These are BIG4 Koala Shores Holiday Park and BIG4 Tween Waters Holiday Park, both in NSW. More
Tox Free Acquires Medical Waste Business
Hands up all those environmental investors who remember SteriHealth? The medical waste company was delisted in a privatization in 2014 but is now back on the radar as it has been acquired by Tox Free Solutions. In the meantime it changed its name to Daniels Health Australia. The seller is its founder, Dan Daniels. The company's value at the ASX delisting was $34.2 million and its current enterprise value is $186 million, so there has been some growth. More
Divestments and Acquisitions for Ingenia
Ingenia Communities Group has sold the majority of its Deferred Management Fee (DMF) portfolio, as has been planned, and has acquired two more lifestyle parks using the funds from its June placement. The sale involves five of the eight DMF assets and will see Ingenia retain a minority stake and management rights. The sale will release net cash of $41 million to grow Ingenia's lifestyle communities business. More

August Increases Dividend
Unlisted investment company August Investments increased its final dividend for 2015-16 to $6 per share fully franked, bringing the full year dividend to $12 per share. The equivalent 2014-15 full year dividend was $9 per share. Managing Director, Damien Lynch, said three features were noteworthy for the year: continuing high returns, increased interest from investors, and the company's return to community based investments. More

Bigger Cleantech Profits
The Australian listed cleantech sector had an excellent year and reporting season for 2015-16, particularly among the leading stocks where many had outstanding profits and dividend growth. More

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Speculative Securities
Good Timing for Pumped Hydro
I'm a political junkie but watching Question Time on TV this week nearly cured me. Given the record heat and the blackouts and load shifting in South Australia and New South Wales, I thought the debate on energy policy might be useful. Silly me. Instead I re-learned that Question Time is as superficial as ever. That the Coalition pushing slightly-cleaner-but-still-dangerously-dirty coal power is a policy dead-end from hopeful losers. More
Carnegie Now A Different Company
Carnegie Clean Energy is a different company from what it was as Carnegie Wave Energy and the difference is now reflected in its share price which in late January hit an eight year high of 8.8 cents. Only three months earlier in mid September it was 2.4 cents. More
New Zealand Aquaculture Listing on ASX
The listed aquaculture sector has another player with New Zealand King Salmon Investments Ltd listing on the NZX and ASX on 18 October in a tightly held IPO backed by private equity. The float has been successful with the shares issued at NZ$1.12 and opening on the ASX at $1.15. They have since traded between $1.15 and $1.02. More
Next Step for BluGlass Evaluation
BluGlass and its industry partner Lumileds are moving to phase II evaluation of BluGlass' RPCVD technology for some specific LED applications following the successful delivery of the Phase I technical milestones. More

Sri Lanka Opportunity for Carnegie
Carnegie Wave Energy has added Sri Lanka to its growing list of potential island clients with a memorandum of understanding with Lanka Energy Conservation (Pvt) Ltd. The companies will identify opportunities and development paths for commercial wave energy plants on Sri Lanka, as well as potential microgrid opportunities where CETO wave farms can be integrated into existing or new power infrastructure to supply clean power and freshwater. More
Infigen Returns to Profit
The takeover inquiry that helped fire Infigen Energy's share price earlier this year is no longer live, but Infigen Energy's managing director, Miles George, said the company remains open to proposals that can add value to shareholders. More

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Unlisted Companies

New Cleantech Seed Fund
The Clean Energy Seed Fund has been launched by Artesian Venture Partners to invest in 30 to 50 emerging clean energy startups. The $20 million fund starts with a $10 million cornerstone commitment from the Clean Energy Innovation Fund managed by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation in what is the first investment by the Clean Energy Innovation Fund. More

Pangaea Impact Investments Invests in Pollinate Energy
A leading Australian social enterprise that is bringing solar energy to the makeshift slums of India has won an investment from Pangaea Impact Investments. Pollinate Energy sells products such solar lights and water filters to the very poor in four Indian cities. Its best selling product is an environmentally friendly solar light that reduces the harmful effects of kerosene and over time is significantly cheaper. More

Two Investments by Southern Cross Ventures
Southern Cross Venture Partners has made two new investments in unlisted companies: waste water technology innovator BioGill, and US$3 million in Geli, a supplier of design, automation, and management software for the energy storage industry. More
Nano-Nouvelle Boosts Lithium Battery Performance
Battery technology innovator Nano-Nouvelle has developed world-leading nanotechnology that can boost the energy storage capacity of lithium ion batteries by up to 50 per cent, and is aiming to have its first sales within two years. More

GE Buys Daintree Networks
Daintree Networks, an Australian start-up with building automation and energy efficiency solutions, has been acquired by US giant, GE. The acquisition is by Current, an energy start-up within GE. Current utilizes GE's LED and onsite power businesses and the GE Predix platform to deliver a cost effective energy management platform for clients. The Predix platform can securely connect third party devices and assets to the Industrial Internet. More
Australia's First Commercial Graphene Plant
The discoverers of graphene won the Nobel Prize in 2010, but if you haven't heard of graphene you're not alone. It's a high-tech material that can be used as an ultra thin coating - think half a dozen atoms or so, yet is said to be a hundred times stronger than steel. Graphene is described as the first two dimensional material, and is classed as a ‘super-material' due to its extremely high electrical and thermal conductivity, its strength, its ability not to interact or dissolve in water, its impermeability to all gases, and its ability to stretch like rubber... More

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Cities Are Critical for Threatened Wildlife
Over 500 of Australia's threatened species have populations living in cities and Australian cities can help to conserve these endangered animals and plants, say environmental scientists from the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED). New research shows that our cities still have a remarkable number of threatened species, and that all cities and towns contain species that are officially listed as threatened. Sydney has the most, at 126 species...More

More Trees Help Birds Survive Droughts
Increasing tree cover, particularly on the sides of streams and on floodplains, can help birds to survive during long and severe droughts, says Charles Sturt University ecologist, Dr Dale Nimmo. In a clear message to rural property owners and governments, he says his team's research is timely as climate scientists have observed El Nino is now strengthening to levels not seen since 1997-1998. More

New Town May Be Energy-Independent
An investigation by Brookfield Energy Australia may enable the new Huntlee residential development in the NSW Hunter Valley to be built off-the-grid and powered by renewable energy. Huntlee, developed by LWP Property Group, will be the first new town in the Hunter Valley in 50 years and will house 20,000 new residents in 7,500 homes. More

Solar Harvesting at Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney has installed a 24 kW solar energy system that will provide a quarter of its energy and save it about $7,000 per year. More

Defending Urban Sanctuaries
The Total Environment Centre (TEC) has launched a campaign and a DIY toolkit to help communities defend and preserve Sydney's parks and green spaces a situation which TEC's executive director Jeff Angel says is urgent. More


Office Trust to Make Buildings Sustainable
Real estate fund manager EG Funds Management is establishing an unlisted $400 million wholesale fund with a portfolio of sustainable office buildings and has secured the Clean Energy Finance Corporation as a cornerstone investor for up to $125 million. More


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Fixed Interest
First Government Based Green Bond
The Treasury Corporation of Victoria (TCV) has broken new ground with the issue of its first certified green bond - for $300 million - making it the first green bond by an Australian government. More
Westpac's First Climate Bond
Westpac's first Climate Bond has raised $500 million to fund a $1 billion portfolio of renewable energy assets and low carbon commercial property in Australia. The Westpac Climate Bond gave investors the opportunity to support environmental projects through a high-grade fixed income investment. The funds will be allocated to seven wind energy facilities and five low carbon commercial properties... More

Green Bond for Refinancing Rooftop Solar
FlexiGroup Ltd has issued a $50 million green bond for the refinancing of residential rooftop solar PV systems. The asset backed securities (ABS) have received certification against the international Climate Bonds Solar Standard. More

Green Bond Guidelines for Real Estate
Guidelines on what constitute green bonds for investors in the real estate sector have been released. While the market in Australia for such bonds is undeveloped at present, local investors may still find the guidelines useful when looking at investments in real estate investment trusts. More

ANZ Bank's First Green Bond
ANZ Bank has raised $600 million in its first green bond, which the bank said is the largest climate related bond so far by an Australian issuer. It was primarily taken up by Australian institutional investors as well as funds in Asia. More


Stockland Issues Corporate Green Bond
Listed property giant Stockland has issued what it says is Australia's first corporate green bond. The proceeds of the EUR 300 million bond will be used to help fund eligible environmentally sustainable retail, commercial, residential and retirement living projects. More

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Australian Super Funds Still Lead on Carbon
Australia's Local Government Super fund ranked number one in the world index for pro- actively managing climate risk, says the annual Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP) which aims to protect the investments held by the world's largest asset owners from the risks of climate change. More

Super Switch Compares Fossil Fuels in Super
Investors who want to know how exposed their superannuation fund is to fossil fuels or who want to compare super funds' fossil fuel exposure can use the new Super Switch service, which analyzes super fund exposure to the fossil fuel industry through Australian and international shares. More

Fossil Fuel Free Super Fund
Future Super is a new superannuation fund that is claiming to be Australia's first fossil fuel free super fund. Along with this negative screen, it also has a positive screen to fund activities that make a positive impact on the environment and community. More

HESTA Limits Thermal Coal Investments
Joining the growing list of institutional investors reducing their exposure to coal investments is superannuation fund HESTA, which has begun to progressively restrict its investments in thermal coal across all its investment options. More

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International Shares
Turnaround Leads to All Time High
In August the unit price for Australian Ethical's International Share Fund hit an all time high of $1.067. While this is commendable, also noteworthy has been the huge turnaround in the unit price since the Global Financial Crisis when the $1 units were at an all time low of $0.51 To find out about the turnaround, Eco Investor asked the Fund's portfolio manager, Nathan Lim, who took over management of the Fund at this time. More

Ocean Power Technologies Deploys Buoy
The much troubled Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. has begun to make operational progress again with the successful deployment of a PB40 PowerBuoy off the coast of New Jersey on the US east coast. The company said the deployment is its first since late 2013 and is a critical step in its efforts to commercialize its wave energy technology. More

Explosive Growth for Global Renewable Energy
The good news keeps coming for international investors and those who may doubt that the global push to renewables is unstoppable. The Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21StCentury has published a report that shows that global investment in renewables grew six fold in the 10 years from 2004 to 2014. More

First ETF for YieldCos
The first exchange traded fund (ETF) to provide investors with access to yieldcos has been launched by Global X Funds, a New York-based provider of ETFs. The Global X YieldCo Index ETF (Nasdaq: YLCO) aims to provide investment results that generally correspond to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Indxx Global YieldCo Index. More