News | Business
24 Mar 2018 23:11
NZCity News
NZCity CalculatorReturn to NZCity

  • Start Page
  • Personalise
  • News
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Shopping
  • Jobs
  • Horoscopes
  • Lotto Results
  • Photo Gallery
  • Site Gallery
  • TVNow
  • Dating
  • SearchNZ
  • NZSearch
  • RugbyLeague
  • Make Home
  • About NZCity
  • Contact NZCity
  • Your Privacy
  • Advertising
  • Login
  • Join for Free

  •   Home > News > Business

    Australian ethical fund likes New Zealand

    New Zealand offers rich pickings for Australia's largest ethical investment fund.

    14 March 2018

    New Zealand has provided rich pickings for Australia's largest ethical investment fund, producing some of its best investments, according to the Kiwi who has managed its local equities for the past decade.

    Wellington-born Andy Gracey has been portfolio manager for Australian Ethical Investment's flagship Australian Shares Fund since 2008. The fund screens out industries it deems negative, such as liquor firms, and will only invest in stocks deemed to be virtuous, such as renewable energy companies.

    Australian Ethical's superannuation fund was the fastest growing in terms of assets under management and membership in the latest KPMG 2017 Super Insights Report covering the 2016 year, and it says that growth continued last year.

    "If there's a good quality opportunity in New Zealand, we don't differentiate between Australian and New Zealand companies," said Mr Gracey, who has been based in Australia since 2001.

    "We will come over to the New Zealand market and engage management and maybe buy the stock."

    Mr Gracey said about 10 per cent of his $A800 ($NZ858) million Australian Shares Fund is invested in Kiwi firms, including some of its best investments, such as healthcare technology company Fisher Paykel Healthcare, renewable energy companies Mercury NZ, Meridian Energy and Contact Energy, and technology companies Vista Group and Gentrack Group.

    "Fisher Paykel Healthcare has been a long-term investment, probably one of our best investments in the whole portfolio, and a fantastically run company," said Mr Gracey.

    "If I looked at investment performance over five years I would say Fisher Paykel Healthcare is probably the number one performer in the portfolio, it is just a very well run business. It has consistently delivered circa 20 per cent earnings growth and it's a global business as well."

    Mr Gracey also singled out New Zealand's renewable energy generation and retail companies as important stocks in his portfolio.

    "In terms of really solid businesses, the gen-retailers are attractive," he said.

    "In terms of from a profitable, renewable energy-dominant product, there probably is more opportunity in New Zealand because in Australia, of any size, we have just got some wind generators. I think these businesses are more attractive, they are more vertically integrated, they have got a generation and a retail (arm), just more robust kind of business models."

    He noted Australian Ethical had historically invested in gas as a transitional fuel towards a renewable future but divested investments in gas and gas pipelines from 2012 after deciding it didn't need gas and wanted to encourage renewables. This prevents it from investing in Australia's gen-tailer equivalent Origin Energy.

    Mr Gracey says an ethical fund tends to have an overweight position in healthcare on the basis of consumer happiness, and information technology on the grounds of efficiency, as well as holdings in core utilities, and won't invest in sectors it doesn't consider sustainable such as mining.

    "We have got an interesting combination of boring dividend paying utilities and also emerging and interesting healthcare and technology companies.

    "We have this ethical stream and that helps define the universe and then once that universe is defined we are really your typical investment team. We try and make as much money as we can within that screened universe," he said.

    Mr Gracey said he would like to see more emerging healthcare and pharmaceutical companies in New Zealand that he could invest in but notes Australia's research and development cash rebate system is more lucrative and encourages early-stage companies to set up over the Tasman, and the ASX has more depth in the market for this type of investment.

    He is hopeful more software companies may emerge from New Zealand in the future following support from successive governments and an expanding broadband network.

    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

     Other Business News
     24 Mar: Lance O'Sullivan calls for pokies ban
     23 Mar: Armed bank robbery in Whangarei
     23 Mar: Tait wins London bus radio contract
     23 Mar: Auckland sees surge in Chinese tourists
     23 Mar: Robotics Plus gets Yamaha backing
     23 Mar: Kiwi down on yen and greenback
     22 Mar: NZ dollar gains against Australian dollar
     Top Stories

    Isaako channels Dan Carter in record night More...

    Lance O'Sullivan calls for pokies ban More...

     Today's News

    Rugby League:
    Warriors cause more misery for Raiders 21:55

    John Stamos "can't wait" to be a dad 21:45

    Kevin Smith has lost 20lbs since his near-fatal heart attack 21:15

    Hamilton claims Aussie GP pole position 21:15

    Sexual assault allegations against Ed Westwick are being reviewed by authorities 20:45

    United prepared for NBL 'war' in Adelaide 20:25

    Emily Blunt thought she would "die" when she had to fly as Mary Poppins 20:15

    Ellie Goulding will attend Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle 19:45

    Silver Ferns still chasing netball gold 19:45

    Owen Wilson allegedly caused an entire hotel to be evacuated 19:15

     News Search

    Power Search

    © 2018 New Zealand City Ltd