Executives in KKR & Co.’s Singapore and Sydney offices have taken the firm’s environmental, social and governance initiatives one step further, this time outside the portfolio.
KKR teamed up with Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX) to help a company called East Bali Cashew develop its business plan, which ultimately resulted in $900,000 million of new financing, according to a release from the firm. The new financing, which did not include capital from KKR, will aid in the construction of a second factory, which in turn will hire 100 new employees.
Historically nuts grown on the island had been shipped elsewhere to be processed. But the original plant, opened in 2012, created 130 new jobs, 90% of which have been filled by women, many of whom are illiterate and have never had formal, salaried employment.
KKR has been among the most vocal of the mega firms about its efforts to monitor the so-called environmental, social and government impact of its investments. Last week the firm reported that its Green Portfolio Program had resulted in an estimated $917 million in cost savings since inception.
Other firms pursuing a socially-friendly and financially-profitable objective include Bamboo Finance, a Luxembourg firm, which is seeking to raise a $200 million fund to invest in microfinance companies and small banks that serve low-income families in emerging Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Vietnamese-based VinaCapital Group has been in the market since August raising what it calls a social impact fund that aims to invest in socially-sound projects in Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar.
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