Finland’s sovereign wealth company Finnfund has opened a regional office in Nairobi seeking to expand its portfolio in the local market where it has already made several investments.
The fund usually invests between €200 million (Sh25.9 billion) to €250 million (Sh32.4 billion) in 20 to 30 companies throughout developing countries.
It targets profitable, privately owned businesses in areas such as renewable energy, sustainable forestry, sustainable agriculture, financial institutions as well as digital infrastructure solutions.
“Africa is the place to be for European development financiers. It is a continent where jobs and investments are very much needed, and at the same time, it is the new frontier, where opportunities are abound, and life is getting better for millions of people,” Finnfund chief executive officer Jaakko Kangasniemi said in a statement.
“Some of our best and most impactful investments are in East Africa, and we intend to make many more such investments in the coming years.”
The fund will deploy two to three investment professionals at the Nairobi office to scout for opportunities.
Finnfund has invested billions of shillings in 17 companies operating in Kenya including Elgon Road Developments, Penda Health, Sanergy Inc, and Lake Turkana Wind Power.
“The regional office will play a central role in strengthening our position in the East African market,” said the head of Nairobi office Johanna Raehalme.
“The location supports and streamlines the follow-up of the regional market and existing projects and collaboration with co-investors.”
Finnfund follows other sovereign wealth funds in setting up a regional office in Nairobi. Others include Proparco (French), DEG (German), CDC (UK) and FMO (Dutch).
Kevin Rotich – businessdailyafrica.com