25.05.2011


Portfolio Manager: Matthew Jamurtas
New Mellon Asset & Wealth Management S.A.
(May 2011)


How has the Fund performed recently compared to its peers?
Since the beginning of 2Q2011 (as of 17th May), the Fund has lost 8.89% in USD terms, compared to -10.51% for the comparison index (the S&P Global Clean Energy), -7.98% for the NEX Index and -10.33% for the Ardour Global Alternative Index.

What are the key reasons for the Fund’s performance and specifically are there any particular stocks or areas where the Fund is performing well?
The key reason for the Fund’s performance is its high volatility as news regarding changes in government policies has continuously changed market sentiment. The solar market was heavily affected by this volatility as drafts for a new Italian solar power law were made publicly available creating uncertainty in the market and causing projects to be halted. The law was finally passed in May bringing relief to the markets as it included positives, such as there being no cap for roof systems up to 1 mw, which offset negatives (a subsidy cap to 1.2 GW in the second half of the year). The market is expected to pick up during May as projects start again. On the other hand, the Fund is performing really well in the LED and energy storage sub sectors as corporate results are released and prospects for continuing growth are encouraging.


Recent major global events such as the unrest in the MENA region and the Japan nuclear disaster have focused attention on Green Energy. How big an influence do events such as this have on the Green Energy sector?
It looks pretty clear that these two events will mark a turning point in the medium and long term future of the sector. The unrest in the MENA region caused a surge in oil prices, reviving debate on energy costs. The latest reports and studies show that with oil prices above USD100 per barrel, alternative energy will be cost competitive in the next decade with or without government subsidies. The Japan nuclear disaster increased concerns over energy safety and raised interest in more environmentally-friendly energy production. The extent of this concern and interest is different around the world, but weexpect that in big energy markets, like the US, Germany and China, news will be positive for the Green Energy sector in the following years.


Some countries have already said they will review their nuclear energy programmes in light of the Japanese disaster. What impact could this have for the Green Energy sector?
In our opinion, a possible change in use of nuclear power by some main energy markets, such as Germany and the US, will have a major impact in the Alternative Energy field. The market expectation is that the gap from a possible decrease in nuclear production is going to be covered by alternative sources, making prospects for the sector even stronger in the coming years. An example of the possible impact on the sector is the case of Germany and the European Union in general. In the aftermath of the nuclear accident, Germany and other members of the European Union announced that they would carry out inspections of many nuclear plants (especially plants using older technology) and that they would examine further use of energy production from alternative sources. This means we may see new subsidy policies for the Green Energy sector in the near future or other measures which will encourage the development of new solar parks and wind farms around Europe.


As manager of the Green Energy Performance Fund what action do you consider best to take for the Fund when such events occur, e.g. increasing exposure to specific alternative energy companies etc?
We treat these events separately as and when they occur as their characteristics and influence are different in each case. We try to recognize the possible positive boost they can offer. In the specific recent cases, we increased our exposure to solar and wind companies which we think will benefit both from concerns over energy costs and safety. We tried to focus on companies with exposure in markets where the impact from the oil price surge and reconsideration of nuclear energy use could lead to greater interest in the alternative energy market.


New investment in renewable energy was down 34% to its lowest level in two years in the first quarter of this year, according to reports. While countries in Europe have announced reductions in Green Energy subsidies, new investment in some sectors, such as wind power, in China rose by 25% over the same period and doubled in Brazil. Why is this happening and will this prompt a change in the Fund’s geographical breakdown?
In recent years we have seen increasing interest and investment in the Green Energy sector from emerging countries. This interest is expected to become even greater in the coming years as governments announce extended subsidy policies for solar parks and wind farms which will attract local and foreign investment. This is because they are trying to diversify their energy production and decrease their dependence on fossil fuels and oil. As far as the Fund’s geographical breakdown is concerned, we focus on companies with large exposure in these markets as they are going to be the next big players in the Green Energy sector. A characteristic example is the solar sector, in which the biggest companies are based in China and exporting their production to European and US markets. We expect that in the coming years countries like China, Brazil and India will create large local markets in solar and wind sectors and will adopt policies to boost these and other segments like energy efficiency and smart grid technologies.


The Fund invests predominantly in small and mid-cap companies rather than large cap companies. What is your strategy behind this?
The sector includes mainly companies that are generally characterized as small and mid caps. This is a relatively new sector with subjects which are growing. So there is no specific strategy behind the market caps theme. We look to invest in names with healthy fundamentals and opportunities for even more growth in the future.


Are there any areas of the Green Energy sector which you forecast will perform significantly better than others in the coming years, for example, the energy efficiency sector?
We expect some sectors to outperform in the coming years for specific reasons. We see an upside potential in the solar sector as new big markets are created and governments seem to support them. The case of China is characteristic. The government has announced big subsidy programmes and has set targets for 2015 and 2020 for a certain portion of electricity demand to be covered by solar sources. We now expect new legislation for solar power in China that will further increase the local market and will contribute 3-5 GW annually giving a boost to local companies which until now have been exporting to the European and US markets. We believe that energy efficiency and energy storage sectors will be the next big things, especially in the US. We have seen a lot of activity in recent years with many government programmes including tax benefits and grants being implemented. Moreover, the corporate results of some key players in these sectors show really healthy fundamentals and lots of opportunities for growth and expansion.

What are the advantages for investors of putting their money into green energy instead of traditional fossil fuel energy investment options such as gas and oil?
There are some very important reasons to invest in the Green Energy sector. The need to shift to a low carbon economy is stronger than ever. The recent MENA crisis and nuclear accident in Japan has increased concerns about energy safety and costs and led to growing interest in the Alternative Energy field. Green Energy companies are growing rapidly and small players are becoming attractive to larger ones. One example is the recent friendly tender offer of the world’s fifth biggest oil company, Total S.A, for US-based solar company SunPower Corp. (with an almost 50% premium in relation to the current market cap). Technologies are becoming cheaper and therefore more cost competitive compared to fossil fuels. And as the global economy returns to growth and oil prices near USD100 per barrel, subsidies will not be necessary to level the playing field. Green Energy has become, in terms of volume and economic priority, a part of the mainstream economy.


IMPORTANT NOTE: This report has been prepared for information only, and it does not represent an offer to purchase or subscribe to shares. World Investment Opportunities Funds (“WIOF”) is registered on the official list of collective investment undertakings pursuant to part I of the Luxembourg law of 20th December 2002 on collective investment undertakings as an open-ended investment company. WIOF believes that the information is correct at the date of production while obtained from carefully selected sources considered to be reliable. No warranty or representation is given to this effect and no liability can be assumed for the correctness or accuracy of the given information which may be subject to change at any time, without notice. Past performance provides neither a guarantee, nor an indication of future performance. Value of the shares and return they generate can fall as well as rise. Currency fluctuations, either up or down, may also affect value of the investment. Due to continuing market volatility and exchange rate fluctuations, the performance may be subject to significant changes over a short-term period. Investors should be aware that shares in the financial instruments entail investment risks, including the possible loss of the invested capital. Performance is usually calculated on the basis of the relevant NAV unless stated otherwise. Performance shown does not take account of any fees and costs associated with subscribing or redeeming shares. It is assumed that all dividends were reinvested. WIOF prospectus is available and may be obtained through www.1cornhill.com. Before investing in any WIOF Sub-fund(s) investors should contact their financial adviser / legal adviser / tax adviser and refer to all relevant documents relating to the WIOF and its particular Sub-fund(s), such as the latest annual report and prospectus that specify the particular risks associated with the Sub-fund, together with any specific restrictions applying, and the basis of dealing. In the event investors choose not to seek advice from a financial adviser / legal adviser / tax adviser, they should consider whether the WIOF is a suitable investment for them.