Finnfund Update

December 2023

Dear all,

There is a bit more than a week to go with this year, so it is time to look back. Despite the political and economic turmoil, Finnfund has continued investing in innovative businesses and, among others, support job creation, climate action and gender equality across our target countries.

During the last couple of months – as you may read below – we have made exciting new investments, for instance, in the Fibertime Group, Ipak Yuli Bank, and Metier Capital Growth Fund III. Fibertime, in particular, is an example of a pioneering project that shows the way for many others where an improved technical solution, in this case from Nokia, and a business model taking advantage of it, leads to better and cheaper services to people who otherwise would be left behind the digital divide.

    Jaakko Kangasniemi, CEO of FInnfund
    One of the highlights in the last quarter of the year, was also the launch of the Africa Connected Programme, a landmark agreement aimed at mobilizing more than EUR 1 billion in sustainable investments for digital infrastructure and digital service platforms in Sub-Saharan Africa. Through this, Finnfund becomes a first-time implementing partner of EFSD+ Guarantees by the European Commission.

    Despite a somewhat gloomy outlook for the next year, I choose to remain optimistic. As explained further below, the global economy has shown resilience and continues to grow but at a slowing pace. In Africa, despite lots of turmoil, the prospects are somewhat better than they have been in a decade. For most people, living conditions are getting better. And while the COP28 again highlighted the size of the climate challenge, it also demonstrated that by combining better technologies with better policies we can rise to the challenge.

    On behalf of the Finnfund team, I wish you a happy holiday season and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

    Jaakko Kangasniemi

    CEO, Managing Director

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    Aerial wintery photo of the city of Helsinki

    Investment decisions and disbursements in Q3/2023

    CFO insight into Q3 2023

    Finnfund’s investment portfolio continued to grow in the third quarter of 2023, reaching a value of EUR 729 million, which is an increase of EUR 31 million (+4%) from the year-end 2022. Read more
    Olli Sinnemaa.
    Finnfund’s investment bridges the digital divide in South Africa with help of technology from Nokia

    Finnfund invests in the Fibertime Group, a company offering fast, uncapped, and time-based open-access fiber internet to townships while also providing a gateway to initiate micro-payments for accessing internet. Read more
    Finnfund provides 15 million US dollar loan to Ipak Yuli Bank in Uzbekistan

    Ipak Yuli is one of the leading privately owned commercial banks in Uzbekistan focusing on private sector financing. With Finnfund’s senior loan, the bank can continue to develop their business with micro, small and medium sized enterprises. Read more
    Finnfund invests in Metier Capital Growth Fund III to foster growth companies and job creation in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Finnfund has announced a USD 15 million commitment to Metier Capital Growth Fund III. The fund has a geographic focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. Read more
    Metierin tiimi
    EU and Finnfund launch the Africa Connected Programme to mobilise more than €1 billion for Sub-Saharan Africa’s digital infrastructure

    Finnfund becomes a first-time implementing partner of EFSD+ Guarantees. Read more
    Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    As the world is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is time for us to reflect on our work with human rights, writes Sylvie Fraboulet-Jussila and Päivi Michael. Read more
    Finnfund’s Annual Report awarded as the best annual report of the year in Finland

    Finnfund’s Annual Report was praised as a balanced and visually high-level entity that reflects the company’s operations well. Read more
    The global economy has shown remarkable resilience, but low-income countries are suffering from the scars of recent shocks

    The global economy has undergone unusual crises and volatility over the past years. According to the IMF’s, the global economy has shown resilience and continues to grow but at a slowing pace. Read more
    Connecting the dots: How to bridge the investment gap in the clean energy sector in Sub-Saharan Africa?

    A knowledge sharing and networking event between Finland-based development funders was organised to showcase and provide insights on financing for and working with local companies in the region. Read more
    Speakers and organisers from Finnfund, Finnpartnership and EEP Africa at the Clean energy in Sub-Saharan Africa event on 28 September 2023
    Martti Ahtisaari in memoriam

    We would like to express our deepest condolences for the passing of the former President of Finland, the Nobel Peace laureate, and former member of the Board of Directors of Finnfund. Read more
    Martti Ahtisaari, photograph by Tomas Whitehouse

    Aleksi Koskikallio: Cracking the climate risk code in credit risk management

    BLOG – "Climate change and the transition to a low-carbon economy lead to costs for companies. They are therefore one factor determining companies’ credit or investment risk. For the financial sector, climate risk and how to handle it in credit risk analysis has been a hot topic for some years now. It is not an easy task," writes Aleksi Koskikallio, Risk Manager at Finnfund.

    Elina Happonen: How investing in digital infrastructure and solutions helps reduce the gender gap

    BLOG – "I am convinced that all companies can find their own ways of promoting gender equality and harnessing the abilities of women for the benefit of both the business as well as the society," writes Elina Happonen, Portfolio Manager at Finnfund.

    Anne Valto: Placing contract farming in the service of development, food security, and equality

    ARTICLE – "The 2022 Global Report on Food Crises estimates that at least one in five Africans goes to bed hungry, and an estimated 140 million people in Africa face acute food insecurity. The Horn of Africa, in particular, is again suffering from persistent drought, and countries dependent on imported wheat and sunflower oil are suffering as prices have skyrocketed because of the Ukraine war. Gender inequity – with women precluded from contributing – compounds the issues," writes Anne Valto, Senior Development Impact Adviser at Finnfund.
    Did you know...

    Sustainability is a prerequisite for positive impact

    We believe that sustainability is a prerequisite for positive impact. Sustainable, responsible business practices add value to investments and contribute to generating a positive impact. They play a key role in the risk management of each project and in ensuring that the “do no harm” principle is respected in our investments. Simultaneously, responsible and environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable business practices can improve the operational and financial performance of a company, enhance employee well-being and commitment, and bring a competitive advantage. Read more
    Impact creation at Finnfund

    Would you like to know more?

    Please visit our website or contact us.
    Finnfund logo
    Finnfund is a Finnish development financier and impact investor. We build a sustainable future and generate lasting impact by investing in businesses that solve global development challenges. We invest 200–250 million euros in 20–30 companies in developing countries each year. Our focus sectors include renewable energy, sustainable forestry, sustainable agriculture, financial institutions, and digital infrastructure and solutions. Today Finnfund’s investments, commitments, and investment decisions total about 1.22 billion euros, half of them in Africa. The company has 100 employees based in Helsinki and Nairobi. For more information, please visit www.finnfund.fi
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