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Growing awareness boosts green funds

Ethical investment is booming as public fears increase over global warming, inc rea sed pollution levels, child lab our and genetically modified foods, according to Aberdeen Asset Management.

Figures from the Ethical Investment Research Service show that ethical unit trust assets have more than doubled in the last three years.

Changing consumer attitudes and the slowdown in economic growth in the US are believed to be responsible for the upsurge. Aberdeen says increasing awareness of green issues and the plethora of new ethical funds in the UK are clear signs that growth in the sector will continue.

Credit Suisse Asset Man agement believes ethical inv estors will view Europe as a safe haven for investment in the first six months of this year because of slowing growth in the US.

But it suggests the recent cut in US interest rates will lead to an economic recovery later in the year, providing support for global equity markets and traditional growth areas of the economy such as information technology.

It also believes a UK general election this year could see extra funding pledged to areas such as health, education and transport, which would make companies in these sectors attractive to ethical investors.

Credit Suisse fellowship fund manager Suzie Kemp says: “Both the UK and the eurozone should perform strongly in the first half of the year as Europe is viewed as a safe haven for investment against a picture of slowing economic growth in the US.”


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