A federal agency that helps fund development projects in underserved areas of the world plans to start committing capital, not just loans, to private equity firms later this year.

Staff at the newly formed US International Development Finance Corp. plan to recommend several cash commitments to private equity funds at a meeting of the agency’s board in June. Investments are subject to the approval of the directors.

The new agency, authorized by a 2018 law, consolidated the operations of the Overseas Private Investment Corp. and part of the US Agency for International Development.

With an investment ceiling of $ 60 billion, the new American agency aims to be a alternative to the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative.

Previously, OPIC provided 10-year loans to private equity firms that planned to invest in qualifying projects. In a recent example, OPIC provided up to $ 200 million to an Asia-focused Navis Capital Partners fund. The projects funded by the Malaysian company Navis Asia Fund VIII LP had to meet certain criteria, such as country eligibility, and have acceptable goals, such as agro-industry development, health care or manufacturing.

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