Sparx Eyes Renewable Energy Fund As Japan Turns From Nuclear

Dec 2 2011 | 11:32am ET

Sparx Group, one of Asia's largest hedge fund managers, earlier this year launched a fund to finance temporary hotels for areas of northern Japan hard-hit by March's earthquake and tsunami. Now the firm is mulling a fund to address the third part of the country's tragedy: the nuclear disaster that ensued.

The Tokyo-based firm may launch an infrastructure and renewable energy fund, anticipating opportunities as Japan seeks to wean itself off nuclear power. Japanese lawmakers have already passed a law requiring utilities to increase their purchases of renewable energy.

"We are seriously considering setting up a fund that invests in power generation plants of renewable energy, such as mega solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and so on," CEO Shuhei Abe told Reuters.

"I believe renewable energy will be a hot topic by July when the law is implemented, so we want to make some kind of initial move as soon as possible."

Abe said Sparx hopes to launch the fund next year, when the firm will launch its second real-estate fund devoted to rebuilding areas devastated by the March disaster.

Sparx is also readying its first Korean retail mutual fund, through its South Koran unit Cosmo Investment Management. That fund, seeded by Sparx and Lotte Group, will launch in the first quarter with more than ¥1 billion, with plans to raise as much as ¥100 billion over the next five years.

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