Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – Citi announced today with the United States Embassy in Santo Domingo the launch of a loan facility, which will enable leading microfinance institutions in the Dominican Republic, to expand services to an additional 23,000 entrepreneurs, of which 14,000 will be women.
In the Dominican Republic, just over half (56 percent) of adults have a bank account. Lower-income households across the country have less access, with a gap of 23 percent between higher income and lower income individuals. ADOPEM, founded to advance the financial and social inclusion of vulnerable populations in Dominican Republic—namely women and young entrepreneurs—currently serves over 400,000 clients. ADOPEM will receive $10 million to expand their microfinance efforts. This transaction marks the first inclusive finance transactions for Citi in the Dominican Republic.
'We are proud to be able to support ADOPEM's efforts and encourage small businesses to develop and grow. Citi is recognized worldwide for its long-time leadership in this area and we believe that we have the fundamental responsibility to help expand financial inclusion institutions in our country," said Maximo Vidal, Citi Country Head in Dominican Republic.
This transaction is part of the Global Inclusive Finance Framework, an innovative public-private partnership between Citi and the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) from the United States government which enables inclusive businesses and local microfinance institutions in emerging markets to extend microloans to borrowers in need of support. Under Citi/OPIC programs, Citi country businesses, Citi Inclusive Finance and the Institutional Clients Group's Export Agency Finance Group have funded $505.5 million in debt capital to 53 inclusive businesses across 26 countries, helping to catalyse the efforts of over 1.37 million micro entrepreneurs, 87 percent of whom are women.
"At Citi, we aim to harness our global footprint and innovative partnership with OPIC to meet the needs of unbanked and underbanked households in emerging economies," said Jorge Rubio Nava, Managing Director, Citi Inclusive Finance. "These transactions demonstrate how, by working with local intermediaries like ADOPEM, we can provide sustainable financial services that enable lower-income entrepreneurs to achieve greater financial independence and resilience."
U.S. Ambassador to Dominican Republic, Robin S. Bernstein said that "OPIC is a key element offered by the United States government to promote foreign direct investment to developing countries. Loan safeguards and insurance programs ensure greater access to financing by micro, small and medium businesses in the world and Foster the creation of infrastructure, business opportunities, low income housing development and other important development projects."
At a meeting in March with Caribbean leaders to discuss trade, energy investment, and security concerns, President Trump reaffirmed the United States' commitment to working with its partners in the region to foster economic growth, counter predatory investment practices, and strengthen security cooperation. Last May, Acting President and Chief Executive Officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government's development finance institution, David Bohigian visited the Dominican Republic, as a follow-on to President Trump's meeting with President Medina at Mar-a-Lago.
With a portfolio exceeding DOP $8.8 billion and a history of more than 30 years as a microfinance pioneer, ADOPEM has transformed the microfinance industry in the Dominican Republic. ADOPEM holds approximately 30 percent of the market share of the microfinance industry in the country through a network of 74 branches, 200 non-banking correspondents and employs 1,450 staff across the Dominican Republic.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
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The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyses new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities in both the United States and the countries that receive U.S. investment. OPIC fulfils its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity fund managers.
OPIC services are available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States.
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