UK government owned development finance institution, CDC Group, has formally rebranded to British International Investment (BII). The company says the new name better reflects the scope of its work in investing in climate mitigation projects particularly in emerging markets. The name change was first announced by the UK’s Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Liz Truss MP, in November and comes into effect today (4 April 2022).
BII says it will invest between £1.5 and £2 billion per year in green infrastructure, technology and other sectors to support people in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean with the aim to help build better lives for those regions and their communities.
Africa and existing markets in South Asia, such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, will remain core to the organisation’s mandate. It will also be expanding its reach to include several countries in South East Asia as well as parts of the Caribbean. The company will focus on making climate finance investments in these new markets.
Nick O’Donohoe, the Chief Executive of British International Investment, said: “Today is an incredibly significant one in the history of our company. British International Investment will build on CDC’s legacy by inheriting its unparalleled experience of impact investing and deep-rooted knowledge of the markets in which it invests.
“We will continue to solve the biggest global development challenges by investing patient, flexible capital to support private sector growth and innovation. And, we will help to alleviate poverty by building productive, sustainable and inclusive economic outcomes for those that need fair and transparent investment the most.”
The UK’s development finance institution is the oldest in the world. It was founded in 1948 with a mandate to “do good without losing money”. It has been investing for impact for over 70 years, forming strong partnerships with thousands of ambitious businesses to create positive social and economic outcomes for the countries in which they operate.
British International Investment will be at the heart of the UK Government’s international financing offer to emerging economies. It will play a key role in the UK Government’s wider plans to mobilise up to £8 billion a year of public and private sector investment in international projects by 2025.
Mr O’Donohoe added: “British International Investment is a strong, modern identity, which captures who we are and what we do. It communicates the increased breadth of what we do as an organisation.
“It also clearly defines us as a British institution that is working to bring not just capital but high standards and transparency to our investments. And it highlights our critical role as part of the UK Government’s international financing offer.”
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Secretary, Liz Truss, said: “The revamped British International Investment is at the heart of Britain’s financing offer to low and middle income countries and our ambitious plan to mobilise up to £8 billion of investment a year by 2025.
“We will provide reliable and honest sources of finance to low and middle income nations including in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean and at the same time deliver for people in the UK, creating jobs and export opportunities.”
Due to the organisation making a modest financial return on its investments, it is largely self-financing. This means the capital it receives from the UK Government represents just a small fraction of the overall aid budget.
It is also playing a key role in the fight against the climate emergency. At least 30 per cent of its total investments over the next five years will be in climate finance – making it one of the largest such investors in African economies.