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Citigroup Inc. (C) Launches $200 Million Fund To Lend To Small Businesses

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On Wednesday, Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) said that it has launched a $200 million fund to help encourage small business lending in low income US communities. Vikram Pandit, the chief executive of Citigroup said in a statement, “Too many small businesses, microenterprises, charter schools and community service institutions simply do not have access to credit, yet they are engines for economic growth.”

In a statement the bank said that it has tied up with Calvert Foundation and Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) to deliver financing for small business and community development. Calvert Foundation is a non-profit organization that manages more than $200 million raised from investors. Since 2008, OFN, a financial intermediary, has originated more than $23.5 billion in financing. The bank said that Citi will provide $199 million of capital through a combination of equity and loans. Calvert Foundation and OFN will contribute the $1 million balance.

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