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OPIC Board of Directors approves $700 million in financing and insurance for projects in developing countries

Thursday, December 8, 2016

(OPIC)  WASHINGTON – The Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, today approved $700 million in new financing and insurance to support four projects. These private sector-led development projects will invest globally in Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East in a variety of sectors including energy, financial services, transportation, technology, and telecommunications.

“Today, OPIC approved $700 million in support of development projects with the private sector across the globe,” said Elizabeth L. Littlefield, OPIC President and CEO. “In the Middle East, we are supporting projects that will help to bring energy security to the region through the development of natural gas resources. In Sub-Saharan Africa, we are supporting a project that will help address credit constraints that local businesses face. And across Asia and Africa, we are supporting a project that will focus on financial inclusion to target low income populations and small and medium sized businesses that are historically underserved by traditional financial services. We look forward to the long-term positive impact that, together, these projects will have for the people living in these regions.”

The board of directors’ approval for OPIC support of these projects include:

Up to $100 million in financing to Apis Growth Fund II, L.P. managed by Apis Partners, LLP. This private equity fund is focused on financial inclusion and will make investments in financial services across Africa and Asia in growth regions with large populations that have historically been underserved by traditional banking and other basic financial services. OPIC’s support will help provide opportunities to large and widely dispersed low income populations and small and medium-sized enterprises in these regions. The fund seeks to use business models facilitated by the internet and technological innovations to accelerate access to financial services for individuals and SMEs, while decreasing the cost of service delivery.

Up to $100 million in financing to Helios Credit Partners, L.P. managed by Helios Investment Partners LLP. This fund seeks to provide senior secured and second-lien loans to companies in Sub-Saharan Africa that require capital for growth, acquisitions or capital expenditures, concentrating primarily on senior credit to small and mid-sized companies. According to the World Bank, availability of bank lines of credit to African companies is severely limited and only 20 percent of Sub-Saharan African corporations have access to bank loans or lines of credit. OPIC’s support will provide catalytic access to capital for companies that face difficulty obtaining private financing and will have a developmental impact by investing in a variety of sectors to include energy, financial services, transportation, logistics, technology, and telecommunications.

Up to $250 million in political risk insurance in Israel to Noble Energy International Limited. OPIC political risk insurance will cover the Insured’s equity investment related to the development of the Leviathan Field, an offshore gas field that will produce gas for Israel and neighboring countries. The Leviathan Field development will help transform Israel from an energy importer to a net exporter over the coming years. OPIC insurance support will help Israel achieve energy security and reduce its carbon footprint as Israel’s power companies switch from more costly imported fuel oil and coal to domestic gas. This project will help mobilize a steady supply of gas for Israel and its neighboring countries and promote stability in the Middle East.

Up to $250 million in political risk insurance in Jordan to Noble Energy International Limited. OPIC political risk insurance will enable the Insured to supply natural gas to Jordan’s National Electric Power Company (NEPCO), the Jordanian state-owned utility responsible for procuring fuel for power plant operations. NEPCO’s financial condition, while slowly improving, has suffered following the suspension of gas supplies from Egypt in 2013. The project will help Jordan meet its energy demand, which is growing at an average of 6 percent annually and is expected to double by 2020. OPIC support to this project will ensure a reliable source of gas at a sustainable cost to NEPCO and help stabilize NEPCO’s financial position.