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The OPEC Fund increases support for trade and development in Africa
Vienna, Austria, May 14, 2020. The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) has increased its trade finance program from US$50 to US$100 million to enable international financial services firm Natixis to enhance support for trade and development in Africa.
The unfunded risk sharing agreement sees the OPEC Fund guarantee trade finance transactions supported by Natixis – part of Groupe BPCE, France’s second-largest retail banking group – in developing countries. The program has supported trade transactions such as imports of medical equipment and sugar on the African continent, and in Asia. The original US$50 million agreement was signed with Natixis in 2018.
OPEC Fund Director-General Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa signed the increased agreement with Natixis’ Stephen Menke, Global Head of Marketing and Sales, Trade Syndication and Distribution. Dr Alkhalifa said: “We are pleased to expand our partnership with Natixis. Both our organizations have ambitious development aspirations and recognize the importance of trade to socio-economic progress. This transaction supports Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 on decent work and economic growth and will improve the livelihoods of many business owners, employees and their families across the African continent.”
Anne-Cécile Delas, Natixis’ Global Head of Trade and Treasury Solutions said: “Natixis is proud to enhance its collaboration with the OPEC Fund and to support the growth of trade in emerging countries by means of this partnership. We believe in the economic potential of the emerging markets, which we support for a sustainable improvement of social and economic development.”
The OPEC Fund’s Trade Finance Facility supports private enterprises and governments by facilitating the import and export of strategic commodities and capital goods. Since 2006, US$4.2 billion has been approved under this facility.
Natixis is the international corporate and investment banking, asset management, insurance and financial services arm of Groupe BPCE, the second largest banking group in France with 31 million clients spread over two retail banking networks, Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne. With more than 21,000 employees, Natixis has a number of areas of expertise that are organized into four main business lines: Asset & Wealth Management, Corporate & Investment Banking, Insurance and Specialized Financial Services.
About the OPEC Fund
The OPEC Fund is a development finance institution established by the member states of OPEC in 1976. The OPEC Fund works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international donor community to stimulate economic growth and alleviate poverty in all disadvantaged regions of the world. It does this by providing financing to build essential infrastructure, strengthen social services and promote productivity, competitiveness and trade. The OPEC Fund's work is people-centered, focusing on projects that meet basic needs – such as food, energy, infrastructure, employment (particularly relating to MSMEs), clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education. The OPEC Fund aims to encourage self-reliance and inspire hope for the future.