OPIC Diamond Agency Will Facilitate Botswana with 250 Million Dollar

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November 2008

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an agency of the U.S. government, has approved a $250 million guarantee facility to help Botswana develop its newly-established diamond cutting and polishing industry.

OPIC said it would provide the guarantee to a company sponsored by Lazare Kaplan International Inc., a De Beers Sightholder based in the US, which in turn will pass on the guaranty to participating banks.

ABN AMRO has already been approved by OPIC as a participating bank and is expected to establish a subsidiary in Botswana.

Other banks operating in Botswana will also have an opportunity to join the diamond facilit.
Participating banks will provide loans to Botswana-based diamond cutting and polishing companies.

It said the facility is projected to leverage the country's diamond resources by increasing employment by more than 3,000 new skilled jobs.