Applicant Screener

Finance Eligibility Checklist

This checklist will help you determine whether you and/or your company are eligible to apply for OPIC financial products.

1. Is your project in a country in which OPIC can do business?
2. Are you seeking medium- to long-term debt financing for a long-term in-country investment?
3. Does the project involve significant private sector participation?
4. Does a U.S. citizen or business have meaningful involvement in your project?
5. Have you assessed the availability of private sector financing for your project?
6. Are the project sponsors contributing an adequate level of equity to the project?
7. Do you have a successful track record in the industry?
8. Does your project include activities that OPIC is categorically prohibited from supporting?
9. Is your project in a sector that has experienced significant U.S. job loss in the past decade or would it result in the closing of a U.S. operation or a reduction of your U.S. workforce?
10. Will your project be managed in compliance with International Labor Organization worker rights standards?

 

1. Is your project in a country in which OPIC can do business?

OPIC programs are available in 160 developing countries. Please click this link to see the current country list. From time to time, statutory and policy constraints may limit the availability of OPIC programs in certain countries, or countries where programs were previously unavailable may become eligible. If you have a question about a particular country, please contact OPIC directly for the most up-to-date information on the availability of OPIC products in that country.

2. Are you seeking medium- to long-term debt financing for a long-term in-country investment?

OPIC’s finance program provides medium-to-long-term debt financing for long-term direct investments in developing countries and emerging markets. OPIC support may range from a minimum of $350,000 to a maximum of $250 million and is available for new investments, expansions and modernizations of existing plants, and privatizations. Acquisitions of existing operations are also eligible for financing if the investor contributes significant additional capital for modernization and/or expansion.

OPIC does not offer financing of export sales unrelated to long-term investment. If you are seeking export financing, we recommend that you contact the Export-Import Bank of the United States or the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of International Trade.

OPIC does not make direct equity investments in projects. If you are seeking equity for your project, please visit OPIC’s Investment Funds section to read more about OPIC-supported private equity funds.

OPIC generally does not provide grants or feasibility study assistance. For more information on this type of assistance, please contact the U.S. Trade & Development Agency.

3. Does the project involve significant private sector participation?

Normally, more than 50 percent of the voting shares of the overseas venture will be held by firms or persons from the private sector.  However, financing may be offered to an entity in which government ownership of voting shares represents the majority if it is contractually agreed that management will remain in private hands and there is a strong showing of direct U.S. involvement in other respects.

4. Does a U.S. citizen or business have meaningful involvement in your project?

OPIC generally provides financing to the project itself (or to a parent company that is using the loan to implement the project).  For a project to be eligible to apply for an OPIC Finance product, the project must include the meaningful involvement of the U.S. private sector.

How does OPIC define U.S.?

  • U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (i.e. Green Card holders).
  • Any for-profit entity organized in the United States with at least 25% of its equity/share capital U.S. owned.
  • Any for-profit entity organized outside the United States with more than 50% of its equity/share capital U.S. owned.
  • Any non-profit entity that is organized in the United States.

How does OPIC measure meaningful U.S. involvement?

U.S. involvement in the project company/borrower in an amount that is equivalent to at least 25% of the equity/share capital of the project company/borrower.

  • The 25% benchmark may be met with equity investment (ownership/contribution), long-term debt investment in the project or other U.S. contracts (e.g. construction contracts) or by combining these types of involvement in the project among one or more U.S. participants.
  • Other forms of involvement (e.g. franchise or long-term management contracts) may be considered.
5. Have you assessed the availability of private sector financing for your project?

OPIC does not compete with private sector lenders.  If a private sector lender is willing to provide financing for a project on commercially viable terms, then OPIC encourages the project sponsor to utilize a private sector provider.  If private sector financing is not a viable option for the project, then it would be eligible to apply to OPIC for support.

6. Are the project sponsors contributing an adequate level of equity to the project?

Investors must demonstrate their capability to contribute sufficient equity to the project so that excessive leverage does not jeopardize the project’s financial viability. Although the financial structure may vary with the nature of a specific business, OPIC generally requires that the borrower maintain a debt to equity ratio in the range of 50 percent debt to 50 percent equity, while a somewhat higher participation may be considered if circumstances warrant (e.g. an expansion). OPIC will not generally support more than 75 percent of the total investment.

7. Do you have a successful track record in the industry?

All projects must be within the demonstrated competence of the proposed management, which must have a recent, proven record of success in the same or a closely related business as well as a significant continuing financial risk in the enterprise.

8. Does your project include activities that OPIC is categorically prohibited from supporting?

OPIC is categorically prohibited from supporting activities that may have an irremediable impact on the environment, an adverse impact on the U.S. economy or employment, or an adverse impact on public health and safety.   Before applying, please review the list of categorically prohibited sectors to ensure that OPIC would not be prohibited from supporting your project.

9. Is your project in a sector that has experienced significant U.S. job loss in the past decade or would it result in the closing of a U.S. operation or a reduction of your U.S. workforce?

As noted above, OPIC is categorically prohibited from supporting projects that could have an adverse impact on the U.S. economy or employment.  If your project would not have such consequences, then you would be eligible to apply for OPIC support.

10. Will your project be managed in compliance with International Labor Organization worker rights standards?

OPIC has a statutory requirement to ensure that the projects it supports are established and maintained in compliance with internationally-recognized worker rights standards. Every project is reviewed for its compliance with the OPIC statutory worker rights requirements. Each review includes a country-level analysis with respect to labor laws and general country labor conditions, and a project-level analysis with respect to sector and specific project activities, location, size, number of workers, and the nature of work performed.