Atlas Mara, OPIC, and UBN Partner to Fund $200 Million for Inclusive Lending in Nigeria
September 30, 2019
WASHINGTON — Atlas Mara Limited ("Atlas Mara" or the "Company" and including its subsidiaries, the "Group"), the Sub-Saharan Africa financial services group, is pleased to announce that the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government's development finance institution, has entered into an agreement to provide $200 million in financing for Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) to support inclusive lending across Nigeria.
Under the terms of the agreement, UBN will receive a ten-year term loan of up to $200 million from OPIC for investments in digitization, on-lending to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and funding for women-led, women-owned, and women-supporting businesses as part of OPIC’s 2X Women’s Initiative which aims to catalyze investment in women across developing nations.
Commenting on the signing of the agreement, Michael Wilkerson, Executive Chairman of Atlas Mara said: “This funding marks another milestone in OPIC’s ongoing partnership with Atlas Mara in Africa, and the recognition of UBN as a premier Nigerian financial institution poised for accelerated growth. We are grateful for OPIC’s strong commitment to lending in key segments that are critical for economic growth, job creation and women’s empowerment in Nigeria, our largest and most important market. We are excited about the value this funding brings to UBN, its customers and their communities, and ultimately to its shareholders including Atlas Mara, as UBN continues to grow its well-established banking presence in Nigeria.”
David Bohigian, Acting President and CEO of OPIC said: "OPIC is pleased to partner with Atlas Mara and UBN to drive inclusive lending that will benefit entrepreneurs and women — especially underbanked and unbanked individuals and businesses — while fostering economic development across Nigeria."
Emeka Emuwa, CEO of UBN also added: “We welcome this opportunity to partner with OPIC and are well-positioned in Nigeria to further advance lending to key segments of the population, especially SMEs. The 10-year tenor of the OPIC facility provides flexibility to maximize impact across key sectors of the Nigerian economy as we continue to advance proven initiatives including those focused on women’s banking and digitization of the bank’s offerings as UBN leads banking into the future in Nigeria.”
About Atlas Mara
Atlas Mara Limited (LON: ATMA) is a financial services institution founded by Bob Diamond and listed on the London Stock Exchange. With a presence in seven sub-Saharan countries, Atlas Mara aims to be a positive disruptive force in the markets in which we operate by leveraging technology to provide innovative and differentiated product offerings, deliver excellent customer service and accelerate financial inclusion.
For more information, visit www.atlasmara.com
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, and advocacy and by partnering with private equity fund managers.
OPIC services are available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States.
For more information, visit www.opic.gov
Established in 1917 and listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1971, Union Bank is a household name and one of Nigeria’s long-standing and most respected financial institutions. The Bank has a network of over 300 Sales and Service Centers across Nigeria.
Following recapitalization in 2012 from new investors and the appointment of a new Executive Management team, Union Bank has undergone an award winning transformation to re-establish the Bank as a leading provider of financial services in Nigeria.
Union Bank is focused on Retail, Commercial and Corporate Banking. In addition to standard current and savings product portfolio, Union Bank has launched pioneering products into the Nigerian retail market including UnionKorrect, UnionGoal and UnionBetta.
For more information, visit www.unionbankng.com