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Investors double commitments to Dutch corporate lending fund

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The Dutch Investment Institution (NLII) said new commitments during a second funding round doubled the assets in its corporate lending fund (BLF) to €960m.

It said that the additional assets have been pledged by NN Group, the large metal schemes PMT and PME, insurer ASR, and the European Investment Fund (EIF), most of whom had already participated in the initial funding round.

According to the NLII, €195m has already been lent to small and medium-sized companies in the Netherlands since the fund’s inception in 2015.

A spokeswoman said that the SME fund was now closed and would focus on issuing €250m of loans annually.

She added that no decision has been made yet about setting up a successor corporate lending fund.

Commenting on the new commitments, Loek Sibbing, NLII’s chief executive, said that the fund had already enabled a number of Dutch companies to grow.

So far, 11 loans of between €10m and €24m have been issued to companies in various sectors of the Dutch economy, including agricultural businesses, food manufacturers and leisure companies, according to the NLII.

The €137bn asset manager Robeco is acting as manager for the SME fund. It also conducts analysis of all proposed loans.

Erik Hylarides, BLF’s manager at Robeco, said that all parties were “extremely positive” about the new type of financing, adding that the BLF had been able to achieve “attractive returns for investors with excellent prospects”.

The NLII said that the participating investors will receive interest on their investments in the BLF at market rates.

According to Robeco’s Hylarides, the NLII recently added Deutsche Bank to its panel of co-issuers for loans, which includes Rabobank, ING and ABN Amro.

The BLF provides loans of between €5m and €25m, with one bank then issuing a loan on the same terms for at least the same amount. The combined loan to be issued is therefore at least €10m.

To qualify for a loan, a company’s net debt and operational results must be between €10m and €100m and between €5m and €50m, respectively.

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