The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US government agency which looks to assist US private investment overseas, has announced plans to launch a $100m private equity fund focussing on the former Soviet Union states.
The announcement of the fund came during US President Bush’s recent trip to Russia. OPIC will contribute a loan of at least $33m to the fund and is currently seeking proposals for a fund manager, which it hopes to have arranged towards the end of June.
OPIC currently supports eight private investment funds, with committed capital of $1.2bn, which can invest in Russia and its neighbouring states. Those funds have already invested a total of $820m in 142 enterprises.
In addition to Russia, the fund will look to invest in companies across a broad spectrum of sectors in the Republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
OPIC president and CEO Peter Watson believes the fund, which targets regions that lack equity funding from the private sector, will accelerate economic growth in the region. “The fund will both attract investment capital to Russia and provide an appropriate risk and return balance for the US government.”