Is Water the Next Commodity? Greenblatt, Eveillard have Positions

In the third quarter, “water” stocks like the ITT Corporation (ITT.N) got a lot of hedge fund love. And, they aren’t the only ones. “We look at water 100 percent all the time,” said Bill Brennan, a portfolio manager of the $500 million Summit Global Management, reports Reuters.

Skeptics say that water investing is risky and the market size limited, but people like Brennan, that is advocates for water investment say otherwise. To these investors, water is the next commodity. GOTHAM ASSET MANAGEMENT

They see “an opportunity to make money as fresh water becomes scarcer in parts of the globe due to population growth, farming and industry,” reports Reuters. “They say water funds are poised to reap the rewards of the need to replace aging and crumbling water and sewer systems. Infrastructure needs in the United States alone will require at least $500 billion over the next 20 years, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.”

Brennan “says he regularly looks at about 400 companies that derive at least one-third of their revenue from water-related businesses. Some of the businesses on his potential shopping list include pump or filter companies, as well as engineering and construction.” Reuters writes, “Among Summit’s top stock picks are American Water Works (AWK.N), Brazilian company Companhia de Saneamento Basico (SBS.N) and ITT Corporation (ITT.N).” Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Managment upped its stake in ITT by more than 169%, Jean-Marie Eveillard’s First Eagle Investment by 32.12%. Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies had almost $17M in AWK at the end of the second quarter, while David Gallo’s Valinor Management Llc had almost $35M in the same. Cliff Asness’ Aqr Capital Management, Glenn Russell Dubin’s Highbridge Capital Management, David Dreman’s Dreman Value Management and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management each had positions in SBS at the end of the second quarter.

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