Thursday, May 2, 2013

Swiss Private Bank Pictet Making Money in the Water Biz (XYL; DHR)

From Bloomberg:
Swiss Bank Pictet’s Water Fund Boosted by Mideast Shortage
Swiss bank Pictet & Cie.’s water fund is profiting from the Middle East’s need to buy the technology to make more seawater drinkable as companies such as Xylem Inc. (XYL) and Danaher Corp. (DHR) step up business in the region.

“The companies that we are invested in are doing more business in the Middle East,” Hans-Peter Portner, manager of the Pictet Asset Management SA’s fund, said in an interview in Abu Dhabi. “They’re selling pumps, they’re selling membranes. The region is definitely a growth market for water companies.”

Arid Middle Eastern states including the United Arab Emirates, of which Abu Dhabi is the capital, rely on treatment plants to remove salt from seawater to make it drinkable. The region is estimated to need $900 billion in water infrastructure investment through 2030, Portner said April 22. Saudi Arabia spent $1.1 billion in 2012 on 128 water and sanitation contracts in Riyadh, whose population reached about 5.2 million last year.

Pictet, the first asset management company to start such a fund in 2000, invests in publicly traded companies in the $500 billion water industry. U.S. water technology companies Danaher, Xylem and Roper are among the 10 biggest holdings in the 2.3 billion-euro fund, accounting for 6.7 percent of the total. It’s gained about 10 percent this year, according to Bloomberg data.

Hurricane Sandy
Xylem, the ITT Corp. (ITT) spinoff whose pumps helped clear New York tunnels of floodwaters after Hurricane Sandy, said in January that it was planning to expand its business in the region by opening an office in Saudi Arabia. Danaher, which makes microscopes in addition to water-treatment systems, opened a regional headquarters in Dubai in 2011....MORE