Press release: OPIC Board approves nearly $900 million to development projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America
Thursday, September 13, 2018
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) on Thursday approved $895 million in financing and political risk insurance across seven projects that will advance development in Africa, Asia and Latin America by expanding access to energy, healthcare, financial services and housing.
OPIC, the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, approved these projects during the final board meeting of the fiscal year. These projects will advance several new initiatives OPIC has launched over the past year including the 2X Women’s Initiative, the Connect Africa Initiative, the Northern Triangle Initiative to promote stability in Central America, as well as the Indo-Pacific Initiative.
“At a time when the world’s emerging markets are in great need of development finance, OPIC’s support for these projects will mobilize private investment through a model that is financially sustainable, promotes American best standards and protects local communities and workers,” said Ray W. Washburne, OPIC President and CEO.
The projects approved by the Board today will improve lives and promote stability in many regions that are critical to U.S. foreign policy, and are a testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff at OPIC.
Read President Washburne’s report to the board here.
Projects approved on Thursday include:
Expanding an agriculture business in Ethiopia $126 million in political risk insurance to support the expansion of Afriflora, the country’s largest rose producer which grows, harvests and exports cut roses from three farms across the country. Flowers are one of Ethiopia’s major exports and expanded projection will create hundreds of new jobs, many which will be held by women.
Promoting financing for women-owned businesses and digital banking in Nigeria $200 million in financing to help Union Bank of Nigeria expand lending to small and medium enterprises, as well as women-led and women-owned businesses, and to invest in upgrades to the bank’s digital banking projects.
Increasing home ownership in Guatemala $150 million in financing to help Banco Industrial, S.A. provide affordable mortgages that will be insured by the government mortgage insurer Fomento de Hipotecas Aseguradas. The project will address a severe housing shortage and reach underserved groups including women and rural residents, who are particularly challenged to access mortgages and other financial services.
Providing affordable mortgages in El Salvador and Panama $75 million in financing to La Hipotecaria Mortgage Trust to support mortgage lending for affordable housing to address severe housing shortages.
Improving healthcare in Asia $150 million in financing to Quadria Capital II, LP, an investment fund providing growth capital to middle-market healthcare companies in South and Southeast Asia. The fund will invest in all aspects of the healthcare value chain in Asia, including hospitals and other treatment facilities, medical laboratories and manufacturers of medical devices and equipment.
Expanding infrastructure lending in Ghana $100 million in financing to CAL Bank Limited to support lending to infrastructure projects as well as small and medium enterprises. Ghana’s infrastructure ranks 103rd out of 137 countries according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.
Increasing small business lending in Paraguay $93.75 million to Banco Sudameris SAECA to support lending to small and medium enterprises in Paraguay, where access to long term financing is limited and constrains economic activity.
Photo courtesy of P. Casier.