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Alternative Market Briefing

Impact investors go all in on transforming frontier economies, GIIN report says

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

Frontier finance may offer investors greater opportunities than it has in the past according to a new report from the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). GIIN released the report to coincide with the UN General Assembly which is slated to begin in a few weeks.

The report, entitled "Unlocking the Potential of Frontier Finance," is the first study of its kind on frontier finance, an approach that impact investors have been practicing as a way to target the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. The report assesses the impact and financial drivers of these markets, exploring the potential of frontier finance to create substantial impact locally, regionally, and globally.

The report analyzed a database of 40 frontier finance transactions, 10 interviews, and a workshop discussion with 39 investors and other ecosystem players.

The findings show much more resilient economies than investors might expect from frontier countries. Around 75% of frontier finance investments primarily target market-rate returns, with a majority (87%) reporting meeting or exceeding financial performance expectations. Frontier economies also have many of the same characteristics that draw people to emerging economies including a growing middle class and the recent creation of skilled jobs.

Data in the report shows that impact investors are actively trying to support all 17 SDGs but there is still a long way to go. The GIIN estimates that $2.5 tr......................

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