Woori Bank became the first lender in Korea to make a pledge - 5 billion won ($4.5 million) - in a special-purpose impact fund, an investment aimed at generating social value on top of financial gains.
An impact fund refers to a fund investing in companies or organizations that make social contribution efforts such as job creation, environment protection and poverty reduction and pursue profit-raising at the same time.
Woori Bank announced Monday that it will chip in 5 billion won, the largest amount among private investors, in the country’s first impact fund worth total 20 billion won that will be launched within this month and operated for the next 10 years. Korea Growth Investment Corp. contributed the largest share with 65 percent, and Crevis Partners pledged 3.5 percent and Lime Asset Management 1.5 percent.
The fund will mostly invest in companies contributing to social and economic development issues including environment, health, education, poverty and hunger. An official from Woori Bank said that it hopes its impact investment can encourage more interest and activity in social contribution.
Shares of Woori Bank rose 1.49 percent to close Monday at 17,000 won.
By Lee Seung-yoon and Choi Mira
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