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State owned
Industry Private equity
Founded 1997
Headquarters Oslo, Norway
Area served
Key people
Kjell Roland (CEO)
Kristin Clemet (Chairman)
Total equity NOK 15,2 billion
Number of employees
Parent Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Norfund is a private equity company established by the Norwegian Storting (parliament) in 1997 and owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The fund receives its investment capital from the state budget. Its head office is located in Oslo with local offices in Thailand, Costa Rica, Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa.

Norfund's mission is to help developing countries fight poverty through supporting economic growth, employment and technology transfer. The investments are done on commercial terms directly in companies or through local investment funds. Norfund can invest in countries with a BNI per capita below USD 6925 (the World Bank threshold), and has chosen a strategic focus on Eastern and Southern Africa, Central America and South-East Asia.

Renewable energy, financial services and agribusiness are the three main sectors in which Norfund invests. Norfund is mainly an equity investor (typically a share of about 20%), but the fund can also give loans. Norfund is monitoring the economic, environmental and social consequences of its investments to ensure a sustainable impact.[citation needed]

The largest investment made by Norfund is in the strategic subsidiary SN Power (established in partnership with Statkraft), a company producing hydroelectric power for approximately 11 million people in developing countries.

At the end of 2013 Norfund had invested NOK 9.6 billion (USD 1.6 billion) in 118 different companies. In total, 314,000 persons were employed world-wide in businesses where Norfund had invested, and the companies paid NOK 5.9 billion in local taxes in 2013. The share of investments by Norfund to LDC was 42%.

The Norwegian efforts to promote private sector development in poor countries was evaluated in 2010. The report refers to Norfund as one of the main policy instruments in development assistance towards business.[1]

In 2010 a followup of an earlier revision of the fund (from 2007) was presented by the Office of the Auditor General.[2] In 2007 the Auditor General meant that Norfund so far had not reached the defined targets for the fund. In the follow up from 2010 it is emphasized that the fund now invests more than 30% in LDCs and that the reporting of results, both financial and developmental, has improved considerably, and the case was brought to a close.[3]