Korea Eximbank launches debut energy and infra fund

The country’s credit export agency has reached a first close on the platform on $121m.

The Export-Import Bank of Korea (Eximbank) has collected KRW132.5 billion (€114 million; $121 million) for its Global Energy & Infrastructure Fund from a handful of domestic investors.

The vehicle has a mandate to invest in the construction, operation and maintenance of energy and infrastructure projects as well as the import and export of raw materials. It is the bank’s first pooled fund dedicated to these sectors.

“The fundraising started in December last year when we decided to invest KRW92.5 billion in a total of five private equity funds,” a spokesperson for the agency told Infrastructure Investor. “Eximbank launched the fund to support Korean enterprises conducting business overseas and meet the enlarged financing needs of Korean businesses looking to expand abroad.”

The spokesperson said Eximbank had not yet decided whether it would continue to raise funds through the platform.

The bank seeded the vehicle through a commitment of KRW30 billion. The remaining KRW102.5 billion were pooled from private institutions comprising Seoul-based lender Shinhan Bank and asset manager Korea Investment & Securities, as well as the Korea Scientists and Engineers Mutual-aid Association and the Military Mutual Aid Association.

Korea Eximbank’s primary purpose is to support South Korea’s economy by providing loans to domestic businesses, financing large projects and facilitating co-operation with other countries. Sectors targeted through its previous allocations to private equity have included energy and infrastructure, small and medium-sized companies, and the export of medical services.