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A new fund launched Thursday will allow Israelis to invest in environmentally friendly companies, as determined by Greendex, Ramco Investment House's new environment index.
"We believe that investing in 'green' companies is becoming more and more economically worthwhile in the long run," said Rami Rahimi, CEO of Ramco Investment House announcing the launch of Ramco Green in Tel Aviv on Thursday. "Furthermore, we consider 'green' investments to be the future hi-tech shares rather than a current fashion or trend."
The structure of investments of the Ramco Green fund will be determined by Greendex, the dynamic environment index created by Ramco put together by an advisory committee chaired by Dr. Miriam Haran, former director-general of the Environment Ministry. The main categories for investment included in the Greendex, which will be updated monthly, are energy efficiency, sustainable power generation such as wind and solar energy, water supply, purification and wastewater treatment, pollution control, recycling and environmentally responsible companies.
"The purpose of Ramco's Greendex is to create transparency for investors in real time and as such provide an indicator of the trends in the green industry at any given moment," said Rahimi.
Ramco Green is expected to invest mainly in overseas companies, whose products are committed to or involved in improving the environment.
"For the moment, Israeli companies are less interesting for Ramco Green compared with global companies such as Siemens or GE, which are investing into water technology," said Rahimi. "But we expect more Israeli companies to invest into the green field."
Rahimi mentioned the Israeli company Ormat Industries Ltd., which develops systems for producing energy from geothermal fields, as one of the very few local trendsetters the Ramco Green Fund could target.
Most Western countries, Haran noted, were promoting green legislation, whose goal was to preserve the environment, by offering tax incentives to companies whose products were less pollutive.
"We believe that the growth sectors in the green industry for the years to come are biofuels, the alternative fuel for cars and water purification," she said.
Ramco is following in the footsteps of Altshuler Shaham, which in October 2005, set up the Green Fund, the first of its kind in Israel.
Altshuler Shaham's Green Fund is a global share fund, most of whose assets are invested in securities of corporations involved in developing and manufacturing products, technologies and services, which contribute to preventing or decreasing pollution and waste and reducing use of natural resources. Assets are likewise invested in corporations committed to environmental leadership.