CLSA Capital Partners, the private equity arm of the CLSA Group, announced Monday (Aug 28) that it has launched its Clean Resources Asia fund focusing on the non-carbon energy sector in Asia.

Managed by Andrew Pidden and Anthony Wilkinson, it is believed to be the first fund centred on clean energy plays in Asia.

"We believe there are superior investment returns to be had in this area," says Pidden, managing director of Clean Resources Asia. "Companies are realising there is great profit to be made in supplying non-carbon energy solutions to the market place. The idea of going green is no longer altruistic alone; it is good business and surprisingly Asia has many successful - and uncovered companies - in this area."

Clean Resources Asia aims to take advantage of the Asia-Pacific regionÆs proliferating trend towards greater resource efficiency. Launched at $11 million, the fund will focus on high-growth public and private companies that offer technological solutions to the worldÆs growing environmental challenges.

"Government policies across the region are already recognising the role of clean energy which encompasses cleaner coal, biofuel substitutes, natural gas, wind, nuclear energy and micro-generation. This process is creating winners and losers, even within each theme," says Anthony Wilkinson, head of research for CLSA Capital Partners.

CLSA Capital Partners manages four other main funds: Aria Investments, which focuses on growth capital for companies exposed to domestic demand; Fudo Capital, which has $430 million to invest in Asian property; CLSA Sunrise Capital, which has $325 million for growth and mid-market buyout opportunities in Japan; and MezzAsia, which has $200 million to provide mezzanine debt financing for Asian buyouts. A fund focused on interregional trade is still under development.