- £591m of commitments were in climate finance to support countries on the forefront of the climate crisis in Africa and Asia
British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor, made a total of £1.27 billion of investments in 2022 against a backdrop of global challenges that have continued to threaten the pace of sustainable development across Africa and Asia.
BII has a mission to help solve the biggest global development challenges by investing patient, flexible capital to support private sector growth and innovation. It invests to create more productive, sustainable and inclusive economies in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, enabling people in those countries to build better lives for themselves and their communities.
The scope of BII’s activity last year was published today in its Annual Review, entitled “Investing for a better tomorrow”. Of the total, £692 million went to support African businesses, with £512 million committed to companies in Asia. The balance went to companies based on both continents, and in the Caribbean. BII’s capital now supports – directly and indirectly – nearly 1,500 companies in 65 countries that directly employ nearly a million people.
46 per cent of total commitments (£591 million) were classified as climate finance. This is the largest amount the institution has committed specifically to climate finance in a single year. Climate change continues to be one of biggest threats to global development, with people living in some of the world’s poorest countries most vulnerable to its impact.
BII has backed a wide range of companies that are vital to economic development and improving peoples’ lives. Its investments have covered sectors such as food and agriculture, financial services, as well as green and digital infrastructure. New investments have included supporting:
- Sustainable and inclusive farming: Akshayakalpa’s new farming model in India. The investment is intended to increase access to more sustainably-farmed products, while increasing incomes for small farmers, by increasing productivity, improving financial inclusion and providing access to markets.
- South Africa’s first sizable battery energy storage and solar project. South Africa has been facing prolonged and widespread power cuts. This project will be developed by Scatec to provide a new reliable source of clean power to South Africa’s grid.
- Addressing water insecurity: Access to clean and safe water is a critical development challenge in Africa, where many communities either lack access, or are experiencing a deterioration in water quality. In 2022, BII became a founding partner in a new private sector platform, African Water Infrastructure Development, which is intended to help strengthen the continent’s water systems.
BII’s commitments to each SDG
The company made a profit after tax of £167.7 million, a gain of 2.2 per cent on net assets. Total net assets increased to £8.1 billion (£7.7 billion in 2021) while the portfolio grew to £6.9 billion (£6.0 billion in 2021). The portfolio growth in 2022 was due to a higher pace of drawdowns compared with realisations and foreign currency valuation gains.
Diana Layfield, Chair at British International Investment, said: “It was the first full year of my role as Chair of BII. I’m proud to see the enormous strides we’ve made as a leading climate investor in Africa and Asia, and the increase in climate finance we’ve been able to invest this year. As a responsible investor, our investment ambition has remained unchanged, though we reacted responsibly to the global environment and proceeded with vigilance. Therefore, I’m grateful for the dedication, passion and commitment of the variety of stakeholders who take an interest in our work and hold us to account.”
Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive at British International Investment, added: “2022 was a complex year, which brought with it not just one but a series of challenges. Despite this, we still made £1.27 billion of new, impact-led commitments going into our markets at a difficult time. Through identifying businesses with high impact potential and supporting businesses from the existing portfolio in reaching key milestones, together with our partners, we are working towards solutions that will help countries, businesses and people achieve a better tomorrow.”
Find out more
Read our Annual Review 2022: Investing for a better tomorrow here.
Read our Annual Accounts 2022 here.
British International Investment media contact: [email protected]