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OPIC and Citi to Leverage up to $200 Million in Financing to Connect Micro and Small Enterprises with Corporate and Financial Institutions

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

(OPIC)  Support will aid financial institutions and large corporations to include micro and small enterprises as business and supply chain clients
Initiative will help Citi clients unlock economic potential and extend corporate value chains in developing markets

New York – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and Citi have agreed to use their existing framework lending facilities to deliver up to $200 million in financing for Citi’s multinational and local corporate and financial institution clients that are engaged in sectors such as microenterprise, agribusiness, affordable housing, clean energy, education and sanitation.

As financial institutions and other large corporations increasingly recognize micro and small enterprises as potential partners and clients, the OPIC/Citi financing will be used to fund transactions with micro and small corporate suppliers, self-employed individuals and smallholder farmers in rural areas in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.

According to the World Bank’s Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), microfinance institutions increasingly view small enterprises as critical components of their own business growth plans, recognizing the bottom-line value in supporting established micro clients over time.[1] In responding to similar feedback and demand from Citi’s large corporate and financial institution clients that are looking for ways to deepen their relationships with micro and small enterprises, financing through the OPIC/Citi initiative will not only enable Citi’s clients to connect with smaller suppliers and clients, it will also expand opportunities for inclusion by connecting micro and small enterprises with the mainstream financial system.

This new collaboration builds on the success of an existing $350 million partnership between Citi and OPIC, which is providing micro lending services to borrowers in emerging markets worldwide. To date, that program has funded 38 microfinance institutions in 21 countries, which in turn have provided small loans to more than 960,000 borrowers – 91 percent of whom are women. The program was awarded the 2012 International Award for Excellence category by the U.K.-based Business in the Community.

“OPIC is excited to work with Citi to expand access to finance in the developing world to reach into the communities that need it most,” said OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield. “Microfinance and small business lending is critical to local farmers and small enterprises - which often serve as critical points in a supply chain - and to the to the economic health and overall well being of their communities. The OPIC-Citi partnership has proven to be a highly effective tool for investing in emerging markets in a way that yields positive social and economic benefits.”

“Citi is pleased to once again collaborate with OPIC to broaden financial inclusion through an innovative partnership that will leverage the capabilities and business objectives of many of Citi’s clients to help unlock the economic potential of underserved communities in developing markets,” said Bob Annibale, Citi’s Global Head of Microfinance and Community Development. “Like Citi, many of our clients recognize the opportunity associated with reaching new markets, suppliers and customers, and, with OPIC’s support, we continue to develop creative solutions to link them together.”