OPIC Board Approves $100 Million for Investment Fund for Southeast Asia

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) today approved up to $100 million in financing to support the establishment of a private equity investment fund designed to invest in companies in southeast Asia, in response to an announcement by President Obama last year.

At a speech in Cairo in June 2009, President Obama announced that the United States would launch an investment fund to support technological development in Muslim-majority countries. OPIC responded last October by issuing a call for proposals to manage a Global Technology and Innovation Fund, intended to catalyze private sector investments that promote technological growth in OPIC-eligible countries Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The fund approved today was among 87 responses to the call.

The Lombard Asia IV fund will make growth-stage investments in public and private companies that are market leaders southeast Asia, particularly Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia. As much as one half of the fund’s investments will be made in start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises. The fund has a target capitalization of $300 million.

OPIC selected as fund manager Lombard Asia IV Advisors, which is an affiliate of Lombard Investments Inc., a San Francisco-based company formed in 1985 to target private equity investments in the United States. While Lombard initially invested exclusively in North America, the firm gradually shifted its focus to Asia. In 1997, Lombard opened an office in Hong Kong, followed by an office in Bangkok in 2001.