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OPIC Board Approves $25 Million to Support Micro and SME Lending

November 24, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) approved a $25 million loan to a parent company of 22 development-oriented banks. Proceeds of the loan will be used to expand lending to micro and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at a time when sources of financing have diminished due to the global financial crisis.

The OPIC loan will provide ProCredit Holding (PCH), one of the most successful organizations globally in creating financial institutions that provide finance for micro and small businesses in developing countries, with capital in order to expand their lending.

OPIC has partnered extensively with ProCredit institutions during the last several years, including loans to ProCredit institutions in Ukraine and Moldova. The ProCredit group has performed steadily throughout the global financial crisis.

"This project will provide ProCredit Holding – an important OPIC partner and premier development finance institution – with the ability to strengthen and diversify its capital base that it needs to expand at a time when other potential sources of financing have diminished," OPIC Acting President Dr. Lawrence Spinelli said. “We are pleased to deepen our partnership with ProCredit Holding at time when capital for micro and SME lending is truly needed.”

PCH was founded in 1998 by Internationale Projekt Consult GmbH, a German consulting company, as an investment company for investing in the network of ProCredit banks. As of the end of 2008, the Group had 814 branches and over 21,000 employees worldwide.

U.S. sponsors of PCH are TIAA-CREF, a national financial services organization and the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields; and the Omidyar-Tufts Microfinance Fund, which invests in the financial services sector in emerging markets, seeking to demonstrate the viability of commercial investment in microfinance to institutional investors.