Norfund has for more than 10 years built up a portfolio of African financial institutions, and are now forming a specialized investment company together with Norwegian private investors. The new company is the first in its kind targeting African banks and financial institutions, and will put Norwegian capital to work to provide more and better financial services across Africa. The African banking sector is enjoying a strong momentum boosted by the continent’s high economic growth, but a lack of long term funding is a significant obstacle for financial institutions across the continent.
On 20 August, at a meeting on investment opportunities in the African banking sector at Hotel Continental, four private Norwegian investors signed an MoU to participate in the bank investment company's first closing of USD 136.5 million; KLP (USD 25 mill), Perestroika AS (USD 25 mill), Skagen Kon-Tiki fund (USD 13.5 mill), and Solbakken AS (USD 5 mill). Norfund will contribute with equity and transfer assets from its existing portfolio into the new company, subject to all regulatory approvals. The assets are Real People, DFCU, Socremo and NMBZ Holdings.