The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic) is offering a US$150mn guarantee to support Citibank <> projects in Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

The guarantee is designed to help Citibank expand availability of credit in the region. Citibank and Opic will share the risk for individual loans originated under this facility, each of which will be cleared by Opic for US effects, environmental, human and workers” rights.

The Opic facility will enable Citibank to expand its presence in these countries, by helping to close the gap between loan opportunities and the limited amount of financing available in Russia and Central Asia.

“In every corner of the globe, the growth of private enterprise depends on the availability of banking capital, which is typically difficult to obtain in emerging markets. This Opic lending facility will enable Citibank to further leverage its commitment in this vital region by helping those markets overcome that challenge, and therefore to start down the road to accelerated economic growth,” says Ross Connelly <>, Opic’s executive vice-president and chief operating officer.