Origo eyes green technology sector

Origo eyes green technology sector

With growth in China and India going like the clappers, it probably shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that a private-equity firm that devotes itself to investment in the two emerging-market powerhouses should be doing well. The Aim-listed Origo group, which focuses on mining assets, largely in China, posted its full-year numbers last week, the highlight of which was a swing into pre-tax profit.

Origo said that pre-tax profits came in at $2m (£1.3m), versus a loss of $3.5m (£2.2m) last year.

The improved performance comes, perhaps more impressively, as the group’s shares have put on nearly 80 per cent in the past 12 months. The progress comes in the group’s third year as an Aim-listed group, and now that it has turned a profit, investors will want to hear about exit strategies and how it plans to put its $47.7m (£30m) cash pile to work.

No private-equity firm wants to see cash gathering dust in the bank. As well as mining, Origo has its eye on green tech companies and in recent months has invested in the sector.

Back in August, it bought a 16.5 per cent stake in Unipower Battery for an aggregate amount of $4.3m (£2.7m). Then, in September, Origo announced the acquisition of a 25 per cent holding in Kincora, the owner of the Bronze Fox copper-gold prospect in Mongolia for $3m (£1.9m).

“We maintain our positive outlook for both the Chinese economy and the company’s prospects,” said chief executive Chris Rynning.

“We see most growth potential in the natural resource and clean-technology sectors and we will continue to target investments Mongolia and our plans for a new fund focused on the clean-technology sector.”