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KB, K-Growth to select partners for social impact investing

KB Financial Group and the Korea Growth Investment Corp. said Sunday that they would select two external partners to establish funds worth at least 30 billion won ($26 million) as part of their five-year social impact investing initiative.

KB Financial Group will commit 15 billion won to the two external partners combined, and K-Growth will provide 5 billion won. The selected partners will pool at least 10 billion won to create the funds by the first half of 2021, according to K-Growth’s announcement.

Applications will be accepted until mid-November, and the chosen partners will be announced in late December.

Since its inception in 2018, the program has created funds worth a total of 51 billion won. Nearly half that amount went to 19 social enterprises.

KB Financial Group, South Korea’s largest banking group, has teamed up with the fund-of-funds institution to generate social and environmental impact and provide capital to social enterprises.

K-Growth said the move is meant to enhance the social finance ecosystem by nurturing companies dedicated to impact investing and by helping the sustainable growth of social enterprises.

K-Growth added that it would monitor and evaluate impact investment activities in order to improve the public perception of social enterprises here.

Seoul-based investment house The Wells Investment was selected as a partner for the initiative in 2018, and Ark Impact Asset Management was selected in 2019.

By 2022, KB Financial Group charitable arm the KB Foundation, asset management arm KB Asset Management and K-Growth will commit a total of 100 billion won to the program.

By Son Ji-hyoung (consnow@heraldcorp.com)
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