CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, is looking to expand its investment exposure in Asia as part of a new strategy with an increased focus on climate finance, digital transformation, and diversity, according to a senior official.
In a recent speech at the London Stock Exchange, the UK Foreign Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss announced upcoming changes at CDC Group.
CDC, which will formally be recognised as British International Investment starting April 4, 2022, is entering a new five-year strategy period with an aim to invest £1.5 billion ($2 billion) to £2 billion each year.
Already an active investor in South Asia, the CDC announced a special interest in Southeast Asia following a mandate to go further to an expanded geographical remit to include the Indo-Pacific and Caribbean.
For Southeast Asian countries, mainly the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, the focus will be on climate investment, particularly the renewables sector.
“It will retain our focus on Africa, adds the Caribbean, but significantly also pivots us to Asia, and in particular South East Asia, to provide green finance. It will allow us to finance the critical infrastructure that will allow all these countries to build back better,” Nick O’Donohoe, CDC chief executive, said.
O’Donohoe said the company has invested around £7 billion and mobilised a further £2.5 billion in the past five years, backing businesses that employ more than 900,000 people.
In her speech, Truss also announced the appointment of Diana Layfield as the new chair of CDC. She will succeed Graham Wrigley who is stepping down after being appointed in 2013.
Layfield is currently Google president, EMEA partnerships as well as a non-executive director at AstraZeneca. She was formerly the chief executive of Standard Chartered, Africa.
The development finance institution joined other investors to invest in digital financial service company Indifi Technologies, an online lending platform in India. The CDC also recently provided Leap India Food and Logistics Private Limited with $14 million debt financing to build silos in low-income states.