Finnfund Update

April 2024
City view from Vietnam

Dear all,

When you are in the business of impact investing and work on impact and sustainability on a daily basis, you can never be completely satisfied with your current stage. The industry has been evolving very rapidly, and the one who stays still gets rapidly pushed out as outdated.
The challenge for an impact investor is not to find new ideas but to understand where to focus on. New themes keep emerging.
At Finnfund, we are happy to have a solid strategy that has guided our work since 2022. To make it work, there must be constant reflection in this changing world, but as I explain in this blog post, to a large extent, we find that many of our current priorities on impact and sustainability remain as relevant as ever.

    Kaisa Alavuotunki, Director of Impact and Sustainability.
    Discussions with colleagues, peers, and other stakeholders play an integral role in putting all this together. It also helps harmonise and simplify our approaches to these complex issues which makes our work far more effective than working on your own.
    For example, we have been asking questions on gender equality from our investee companies for over a decade. However, it was not until the launch of Global 2X Gender equality criteria in 2019, when it became possible to start mainstreaming these demands.
    This is the hope for other complex topics, too. We need simple, yet credible frameworks, and investors requiring similar things together. This is doable but needs committed organizations and lots of cooperation.
    In the newsletter, you may find some latest highlights from Finnfund. Let’s stay in touch – I am looking forward to many fruitful conversations with you in the future.

    Kaisa Alavuotunki

    Director, Impact and Sustainability

    P.S. We wish you find this quarterly newsletter useful. Should you wish to receive this newsletter in the future but have not yet joined our subscribers, please click here. You can unsubscribe at any time.
    African Cheetahs Roundtable participants in Nairobi
    VIDEO – In February, the African Cheetahs Roundtable took place in Nairobi, Kenya. The African Cheetahs Roundtable, founded by Finnfund, FMO and IFC, brings together Africa's most promising, fast-growing agribusiness companies, the "Cheetahs". Agribusiness plays a critical part in society and the event allows entrepreneurs and investors to meet and discuss the challenges and opportunities in the sector. Watch the video to learn more.
    OP Finnfund Global Impact Fund I invests in AwanTunai to foster the digitalisation and growth of the MSMEs in Indonesia

    OP Finnfund Global Impact Fund I, the first Finnish global emerging markets impact fund, has invested USD 5 million in equity in AwanTunai. Read more
    Person working in a small shop in Indonesia
    Event in Finnish: Is the EU a giant of value politics?

    The European Parliament election will take place in June. Finnfund, Fingo, and the Finnish Development Policy Committee organise an event to discuss the EU, values, and development politics. Register here
    Advertisement of the event: Is the EU a giant of value politics?
    Hanna Loikkanen appointed Finnfund’s Chief Investment Officer

    Hanna Loikkanen, M.Sc., who has a long experience working as a board professional and in international investment management positions, has been appointed as the Chief Investment Officer of Finnfund. Read more
    Hanna Loikkanen, CIO of Finnfund
    Finnfund issues a EUR 100 million green bond

    The bond offering was placed to international investors, including a portion of dedicated green bond investors/portfolios. The bond represents Finnfund’s first ever green transaction and second issuance under its Sustainability Bond Framework. Read more
    Smallholders picking pyrethrum flowers in their farm in Nakuru county, Kenya.  Photo: Kentegra Biotechnology
    Finnfund continues its support to women-led micro-enterprises in Pakistan through Kashf Foundation

    “Kashf has successfully built a distinct and unique niche for itself in the microfinance sector,” said Finnfund’s Investment Manager Antti Partanen. Read more
    A person speaking to group of people sitting on the floor in Pakistan
    Enabling the growth of TBC’s green loan portfolio in Georgia

    “Finnfund is pleased to be part of the syndicated loan, that will enable the growth of TBC’s green loan portfolio”, said Ulla-Maija Rantapuska, Investment Manager of Finnfund. Read more
    Street view of the bank in Georgia
    Let’s talk biodiversity – Finnfund’s nature and biodiversity statement in preparation

    Finnfund organised a workshop to discuss biodiversity and the role of investors in mitigating the negative impacts and enhancing positive impacts to nature and biodiversity. The event was part of the preparation process of Finnfund’s statement on nature and biodiversity. Read more
    Anne Valto addressing participants in the event
    Investors support Hewatele in its efforts to bring affordable medical liquid oxygen to healthcare facilities in East Africa

    Hewatele will use the funds to finance the building of a liquid oxygen manufacturing facility and double its existing capacity at hospital-based sites to produce and distribute medical oxygen using pressurized gas cylinders. Read more
    Hewatele staff member working in the factory
    Ivory Coast’s successful Eurobond issuance raises hopes for easing Africa’s funding squeeze

    "For almost two years, the Sub-Saharan African economies have not received financing from international bond markets," commented Nea Tiililä, Economist at Finnfund. Read more
    Nea Tiililä, Finnfund's economist
    Lauri Etelämäki, Finnfund's Senior Environmental and Social Adviser

    Gender-based violence and harassment can be difficult to identify

    BLOG – "A company may be publicly targeting gender equality, but the threat of gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) may prevent it from happening – and this is often silent yet forceful. Issues with GBVH can be difficult to identify and to acknowledge, particularly if the management of the company has been neglecting the issue," writes Lauri Etelämäki, Senior Environmental and Social Adviser at Finnfund.
    Quote from Jussi Tourunen: Finnfund is interested in investing in the Vietnamese energy sector and is actively looking for new investing opportunities.

    New Finnfund Insights focuses on Vietnam

    REPORT – “Vietnam has enjoyed robust economic growth and development throughout the 2000s, and the country has succeeded in reducing poverty significantly,” says Nea Tiililä, Economist at Finnfund.

    New Finnfund Insights covers the economic and political situation as well as the investment environment in Vietnam.

    Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia and globally, with steady growth projections for the medium term. The country has a diversified service sector, a strong manufacturing base and a large domestic market. From an investing point of view, there are many promising sectors, such as agriculture, digitalisation, and energy.

    Currently, Finnfund has four direct investments in Vietnam, and the company is actively looking for new investment opportunities in the country. Finnfund also encourages Finnish companies to explore the opportunities in the Vietnamese market.

    “There are a number of Finnish companies operating in Vietnam, and I hope we will see even more companies expanding their operations to the country,” says Jussi Tourunen, Associate Director, Head of Energy and Infrastructure Investments at Finnfund.
    Did you know...
    VIDEO – Finnfund was a shareholder in Lake Turkana Wind Power Limited (LTWP) in Kenya, owning and operating the largest wind farm in Africa since its construction began in 2014. Lake Turkana wind farm was connected to the national grid in 2018. Today, it meets up to approximately 14% of Kenya’s current electricity demand, serving 1.2 million homes Watch a video and learn more.
    View of the video on Lake Turkana Wind Power

    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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