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Dutch Investment Institution unveils first funds for SMEs

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The Dutch Investment Institution (NLII) has launched its first propositions for local corporate financing for institutional investors. 

It said it expected its new investment funds for subordinated loans (ALF) and corporate loans (BLF) to initially attract €300m and €500m, respectively, to finance small and medium-sized companies in the Netherlands.

The NLII estimated that the new funds would open up €2bn in financing capacity over the next three years.

More than 50% of the funds’ initial target has already been committed by institutional investors, including the €60bn metal scheme PMT and the €20bn pension fund for the printing industry, PGB.

The pension funds have committed €100m in total to the BLF.

Both funds will begin issuing corporate loans over the summer, according to the NLII.

It added that ABN Amro, ING and Rabobank were to act as intermediaries.

The BLF is the former NL Ondernemingsfonds, launched initially by exchange company Euronext and asset manager Robeco.

It is to issue loans of between €5m and €25m, which could be doubled by the bank involved.

The ALF is to issue subordinated loans of between €150,000 and €5m to “healthy firms that could otherwise not get bank credit”.

Banks are committed to at least double a subordinated loan, which has a 50% guarantee from the Dutch government.

The NLII is meant to act as an intermediary to increase the long-term options for institutional players to invest in the Dutch economy.

It is to take stock of the demand for projects and financing needs and mould propositions into the appropriate scale, structure and risk/return profile for institutional investors, it said.

The investment institution – headed by industry veteran Loek Sibbing – has developed its propositions together with institutional investors, banks, Aegon Asset Management and Robeco, as well as the Ministry for Economic Affairs.

Sibbing said the NLII expected to launch investment propositions for sustainable energy and housing, infrastructure and schools at a later stage.

The NLII also announced the appointment of Rein Willems and Jan van Rutte as members of its supervisory board, with Willems in the role of chairman.

Willems was chief executive at Royal Dutch Shell from 2003 to 2007 and is currently chairman of the supervisory board of energy company Essent and a member of the advisory board for responsible investment at PGGM Asset Management.

Van Rutte is currently on the supervisory board at SNS Reaal and Ormit Holding.

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