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Standard Bank, OPIC and Wells Fargo Sign $300 Million Facility to Support Power and Infrastructure Projects in Africa


September 21, 2016

New York, NY – Standard Bank of South Africa (SBSA), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, and Wells Fargo Bank announced a $300 million facility to fund power and infrastructure projects in Africa. The 12-year funding line for Standard Bank, the largest African banking group by assets, was signed on the side lines of the US-Africa Business Forum in New York City.  SBSA will provide $33 million from its balance sheet to support transactions financed by the facility.

At least $150 million of the facility will support power transactions as part of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, with up to $100 million available for other strategic infrastructure projects beyond the power sector.

Says Sim Tshabalala, Standard Bank Group Chief Executive: “Power and infrastructure play a crucial role in the economic development of Africa. We are delighted to be part of such an important initiative and look forward to working with OPIC and Wells Fargo to promote sustainable economic growth and to make a real difference to the lives of the people of Africa. Standard Bank has the experience, knowledge and presence in Africa to make this project a resounding success.”

“OPIC is excited to collaborate on an initiative that will have a long-lasting impact on the lives of millions throughout Africa,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC President and CEO. “By supporting both infrastructure and power projects, this forward-thinking loan facility brings badly-needed capital to the table and will pave the way for future development in Africa to take root and grow.”

"Wells Fargo is pleased to sponsor this landmark facility for The Standard Bank of South Africa, which will utilize proceeds to finance renewable energy projects in low income, IDA-eligible countries in Africa, where such infrastructure is key to promoting environmentally sustainable development.  Wells Fargo is proud to have worked in close partnership with OPIC to arrange and co-lend in support of this project”, said Richard Yorke, head of Wells Fargo’s International Group.

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About OPIC

OPIC is the US Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help address critical development challenges and in doing so, advances US foreign policy and national security priorities. Because OPIC works with the US private sector, it helps US 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, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds, when commercial funding cannot be obtained elsewhere. Established as an agency of the US Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers.

All OPIC projects adhere to high environmental and social standards and respect human rights, including worker's rights. By mandating high standards, OPIC aims to raise industry and regional standards of the countries where it funds projects. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 160 countries worldwide.

About Standard Bank Group

The Standard Bank Group is the largest African banking group by assets with approximately USD 128 billion in assets at 31 December 2015. It has operations in 20 African countries, including South Africa, and representative offices in key markets around the world, including New York. Standard Bank has a clear purpose: Africa is our home, we drive her growth.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,600 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 36 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 268,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 27 on Fortune’s 2016 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.