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 Ghana.
|Tellef Thorleifsson (CEO)|
Kristin Clemet (Chairman)
Number of employees
|Parent||Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs|
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 invest in developing countries, and has chosen a strategic focus on Sub-Saharan Africa, and selected countries in Central America and South-East Asia.
Clean energy, financial services and agribusiness are the three main sectors in which Norfund invests. Norfund is mainly an equity investor (normally no higher share that 35%), but the fund can also give loans. Norfund is monitoring the economic, environmental and social consequences of its investments to ensure a sustainable impact.
At the end of 2017 Norfund had invested NOK 20.4 billion (US$2.5 billion) directly and indirectly in 874 different companies. In total, 292,000 persons were employed world-wide in businesses where Norfund had invested, and the companies paid NOK 9.3 billion in local taxes in 2017. The share of investments by Norfund to LDC was 36%.
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.
In 2010 a followup of an earlier revision of the fund (from 2007) was presented by the Office of the Auditor General. 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.
On May 13, 2020 the fund revealed that it had been the victim of a cyberattack, which it referred to as "an advanced data breach", that took place on March 16, 2020. The attack resulted in USD 10 million (approximately NOK 100 million), intended for a microfinance institution in Cambodia, being routed to an account in Mexico. According to the fund's statement, the breach was discovered on April 30 when the fraudsters attempted a second attack. As of September 2020, the crime remained unsolved. Norfund stated that they are working together with Norway's cyber crime agency and bankers DNB to investigate the crime, and professional services company PwC to investigate weaknesses in Norfund's IT security infrastructure.
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- Stokel-Walker, Chris (18 May 2020). "Hackers strike world's largest sovereign wealth fund". CyberNews. Retrieved 22 May 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- O'Dwyer, Gerard (1 September 2020). "Norway's corporates want government to support 'herd immunity' to cyber attack". Computer Weekly. Retrieved 1 December 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)