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Shuhei Abe, founder and CEO, Sparx Group

Sparx Group to launch renewable energy fund

Tokyo-headquartered Sparx Group, one of Asia’s largest hedge funds, has plans to launch a new fund in July that will invest in Japanese renewable energy projects as the country reshapes its energy policy reported the Wall Street Journal this week. Sparx founder and CEO Shuhei Abe said that the fund would initially focus on wind and solar projects but might eventually add geothermal projects. Planned day one capital is believed to range anywhere between USD10million and USD100million, with Abe quoted as saying: “Even if it’s small, we are trying to do it by July. If we cannot find investors, we’ll do it ourselves.” The reason for Abe’s urgency is because in July the country will implement a law aimed at reducing its dependence on nuclear energy and instead focusing more investment in renewables. Prior to last March’s earthquake and subsequent nuclear power disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant Japan was aiming to derive half its electricity from nuclear power by 2030. This change in energy policy is likely to produce numerous investment opportunities, which Sparx are obviously keen to target in the new fund. Abe is also bullish on US economic growth, expecting the greenback to rise to JPY90 this year if fundamentals improve faster than forecast, adding that the huge transition in US energy policy means that “in 10 years’ time, the US and China may be the biggest energy source for the world”. The US is expected to become an exporter of natural gas said the Wall Street Journal as production from shale grows.    

 


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