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Carbon-credit company loses growth, falls flat

A COMPANY specialising in forestry carbon-credit projects in Asia, the Pacific Islands and Australia has collapsed. First Growth Funds, which describes itself as an investment company and has been listed on the stock exchange since December 1986, was last night placed in administration by its secured lender, Noble Investments Superannuation Fund.

A COMPANY specialising in forestry carbon-credit projects in Asia, the Pacific Islands and Australia has collapsed. First Growth Funds, which describes itself as an investment company and has been listed on the stock exchange since December 1986, was last night placed in administration by its secured lender, Noble Investments Superannuation Fund.

It announced last week it was negotiating with its lender to restructure a $1.2 million debt. It made a $1.35 million loss after tax last year after generating $240,207 in revenue.

Company secretary Mourice Garbutt said in last week's announcement to the ASX that FGF was seeking to defer principal repayments to "better align operational receipts and to issue further equity to support increased investment in its carbon business portfolio". He said the board was confident that with further investment it could establish "valuable" carbon credits aimed at voluntary buyers.

The company's board includes Peter Mullins, a former chief executive of Greenpeace Australia Pacific. First Growth Funds' website also says that Mr Mullins is a former Australian diplomat, with a "strong personal commitment to saving the tropical forests of Asia and the Pacific while . . . securing effective development opportunities for local communities living in these forests".

According to First Growth Funds' website, it focuses on "emerging technologies in high-growth companies and markets".

The company had "active investments" in forestry carbon-credit projects in Asia and the region as well as an investment in a Digital Video group.

Through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Growth Ventures, it had a deal to provide project financing and development help to project developers operating in Indonesia, Asia and the South Pacific region.

The immediate focus of the project was to develop forestry carbon credits from preserving rainforests in south-east Asia, creating credits each year of the project's life. The company believed that typical project lives were greater than 20 years, representing a sound annuity income stream.

The shares had been trading flat at 0.1?.


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