The Overseas Private Investment Corporation transformed into the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation.
OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical world challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. 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, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.
Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC has supported more than $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects, generated an estimated $76 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 278,000 American jobs.
While the Overseas Private Investment Corporation is authorized to operate in more than 150 developing nations around the world, and supports projects in a range of industries from energy to housing, agriculture and financial services, it focuses its work on regions where the need is greatest and in sectors that can have the greatest developmental impact. In recent years, OPIC has increasingly focused on projects that encourage the use of renewable resources. Another key priority is impact investing, which aims to produce positive social impacts while at the same time generating financial returns sufficient to make these projects sustainable.
What OPIC Offers
OPIC provides financial products, such as loans and guaranties; political risk insurance; and support for investment funds, all of which help American businesses expand into emerging markets.
OPIC Financing provides medium- to long-term funding through direct loans and loan guaranties to eligible investment projects in developing countries and emerging markets. By complementing the private sector, OPIC can provide financing in countries where conventional financial institutions often are reluctant or unable to lend on such a basis.
OPIC’s Small and Medium-Enterprise Financing is available for businesses with annual revenues of less than $400 million. OPIC’s Structured Financing focuses on larger U.S. businesses and supports large-scale projects that require large amounts of capital.
OPIC can meet the long-term capital investment financing needs of any size business in a wide variety of industries. OPIC’s minimum loan/guaranty size is $350,000 and the maximum is $250 million. If a project requires more than OPIC’s maximum per-project lending capacity, OPIC is experienced in working with co-lenders to bring sufficient resources to a project.
Political Risk Insurance
Investing in emerging markets presents a variety of political risks beyond an investor’s control. OPIC’s insurance - combined with its financing options - allows U.S. businesses to take advantage of commercially attractive opportunities in emerging markets, mitigating risk and helping them compete in a global marketplace. OPIC insurance provides risk-mitigation products to cover losses to tangible assets, investment value, and earnings that result from political perils.
Political risk insurance is available to U.S. investors, lenders, contractors, exporters, and NGOs for investments in 150 developing countries, including high-risk countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Coverage is offered for small and large investments that provide positive developmental benefits.
In response to the shortfall of private equity capital in developing countries, OPIC provides support for the creation of privately-owned and managed investment funds. OPIC is one of the largest private equity fund sponsors in developing nations. These funds make direct equity and equity-related investments in new, expanding or privatizing emerging market companies.
OPIC has committed $4.4 billion to 63 private equity funds in emerging markets since 1987. These funds in turn have invested $5.6 billion in more than 570 privately-owned and managed companies across 65 countries. Through its commitments, it catalyzes U.S. foreign direct investment and accelerates the economic and social development within these markets.