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Durreen Shahnaz's Singapore-based Impact Investment Exchange connects those at the bottom of the economic pyramid with Wall Street capital. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)
Business trends

Asia's 'impact investors' favor social investment over charity

Returns expected to keep pace with conventional stakes

TOMOMI KIKUCHI, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

SINGAPORE -- In 2016, veteran Japanese investment banker and private equity investor Takeshi Kato embarked on a new chapter of his life. Deeply moved by the poverty and social issues he saw while working in India, Kato began investing in social enterprises through BWiz Capital, a small Tokyo-based investment company he set up with some financial help from friends.

The company's portfolio ranges from OneBreath, a U.S.-based startup that provides affordable medical ventilators to hospitals in India, to Indonesia-based Krakakoa, which helps cocoa farmers seeking to produce beans for artisanal chocolate.

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