Finnish financial group Evli is planning to raise €100m to invest in global forest funds.

IPE Real Assets understands that the newly launched Evli Impact Forest Fund I has so far raised close to a third of its target.

The fund of funds will focus on low-risk strategies and low-risk countries, Evli said, adding that it mostly targets investments in the US, Australia and New Zealand.

Roger Naylor, Evli portfolio manager, said: “Trees simply grow faster in the countries where we will invest, and happily, this drives both the carbon impact and higher return.”

For example, an investment of €1m in the Evli Impact Forest Fund I can remove an estimated 21,000 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere, Naylor said.

“Up to 65% of the forest investments in our portfolio will be in the US. These forests provide good cash flow and are located in areas with large forest industries.

“Another important area is plantation forests in South America, where the trees grow exceptionally fast: eucalyptus trees, for instance, can grow many times faster than trees in Europe.”

Tero Tuominen, managing director of Evli Fund Management Company, said Evli Impact Forest Fund I is a natural continuation to Evli’s alternative investment fund offering.

“Forest investment complements Evli’s offering of alternative investment products, and therefore clients are offered an even better opportunity to diversify their investment portfolios.

“In addition, forestry is a defensive asset class, which withstands economic fluctuations well.”

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