OFID – the OPEC Fund for International Development – has signed a $50 million unfunded risk-sharing agreement with Natixis., part of Groupe BPCE, France’s second-largest banking group.

Under the agreement, OFID guarantees trade finance instruments issued by banks in developing countries to support the trade transactions of local businesses and corporations. The agreement focuses in particular on African countries and will bolster trade and development.

The agreement was signed for OFID by Assistant Director-General, Public Sector Operations, Fuad Albassam. Thomas Rogé, Director, Trade Syndication & Distribution, and Stephen Menke, Global Head of Trade Finance, signed the agreement for Natixis.

Assistant Director-General and Head of OFID’s Private Sector and Trade Finance Operations Department, Tareq Alnassar, said he was pleased to be working with Natixis, one of OFID’s highly respected partners.

“This agreement will help to stimulate trade in a wide range of African countries,” said Alnassar. “Access to trade finance is integral to social and economic development. This agreement has the potential to make a significant difference from a development standpoint.”

Anne-Cécile Delas, Global Head of Trade & Treasury Solutions for Natixis, said: “By entering this new privileged relationship with OFID, not only do we enhance our capacities to provide larger funds in more than 24 emerging-market countries, but we keep reaching for excellence in terms of the quality of services we provide to our clients.”

Through its unfunded trade finance risk-sharing agreements, OFID has supported a large number of beneficiaries via 328 local and regional banks across 63 countries in all regions.

Low-income countries account for 27 percent of the beneficiaries. The programs support around 4,700 operations, stimulating some US$16 billion of incremental trade.