British International Investment
5 July 2022

British International Investment makes record level of new commitments in 2021

  • 1.87 billion of investments in support of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
  • 60% of total commitments made in fragile and conflict affected states

Last year, we made close to £2 billion of new commitments in 2021, as we focused on investments in some of the least developed economies in the world.  

The £1.87 billion of confirmed investments, which included £479 million of climate finance, was 50 per cent higher than in 2020. Africa saw 72 per cent of the total investment, with Asian countries accounting for 27 per cent and the remaining 1 per cent going to companies operating in both continents.   

The scale of these commitments was revealed in the company’s 2021 Annual Review, entitled “Foundations for the Future”, which was published today.  

We have just entered a new five-year strategy period after changing our name from CDC Group.  The new strategy is focused on climate finance, gender smart investments, infrastructure and digital transformation.  

Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive of BII, said: “The last year has seen us build the strong foundations that are needed to deliver on the ambitions of our new strategy. We’ve focused on areas needed to enable emerging economies to prosper as they respond to the triple crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and poverty. 

“Our new strategy sets out clear objectives to ensure our capital is best used to meet opportunities and challenges, to invest in support of productive, sustainable and inclusive development. It dramatically expands our climate remit. And it gives us a broader mandate to invest in digital infrastructure and the digital economy.” 

About 60 per cent of our investments in 2021 went to businesses in fragile and conflict affected states (FCAS) – underlining our commitment to creating inclusive and sustainable economic opportunities for people living in some of the world’s least developed economies.  

Diana Layfield, BII’s newly appointed Chairman, said: “During my career I have witnessed the transformational impact patient capital can have when expertly deployed, and the critical role that DFIs can play in the investing and development landscape. Now is a time when the role of DFIs is more important than ever – providing leadership and capital dedicated to achieving positive economic, environmental and social change.” 

We now have total net assets of £7.7 billion and a portfolio valued at £6 billion. Our investee businesses now directly employ 938,360 people and indirectly support a further 2.36 million jobs. BII is now invested in 1,327 companies in 64 countries.  

Over the next five years, we aim to invest between £1.5 – £2.0 billion per annum in bringing about our three strategic impact objectives of productive, sustainable and inclusive development. At least 30 per cent of that figure will be dedicated to climate finance to support those countries most at risk to the impacts of the climate emergency.  

Geographically, we will expand its operations into the Indo-Pacific region as well as some countries in the Caribbean.  

BII forms a core part of British International Partnerships, an umbrella group of initiatives, financial institutions and instruments at the heart of the UK’s international development strategy.  

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