Tuesday, April 10, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) approved a $400 million framework agreement which will enable Wells Fargo to provide U.S. dollar funding to financial institutions in emerging markets so that they can expand their lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), housing and renewable energy projects.
Loans made under this framework are designed to encourage medium-term lending to SMEs that are contributing to sustainable economic growth but have a hard time getting access to credit, especially loans of tenors longer than one or two years. The financing is expected to catalyze growth and expand employment in developing countries around the world.
OPIC will partially guarantee loans made by Wells Fargo to its financial institution customers in OPIC-eligible countries. Of the $400 million, $240 million is designated for support of local bank lending to portfolios of SMEs; $100 million for renewable energy projects; and $60 million for housing finance.
“Access to medium-term credit for SMEs, homebuyers and renewable energy entrepreneurs has long been limited in emerging markets – even more so during this time of constrained global liquidity. This agreement enables OPIC to address this by working through Wells Fargo and its network of local banks, which are better suited to serve local clients,” said OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield.
OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.
Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC has supported more than $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects, generated an estimated $75 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 276,000 American jobs.