Large Dutch schemes welcome government venture capital fund

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Several large Dutch pension funds have responded positively to the launch of a €2.5bn government-backed fund focusing on social projects and venture capital.

Invest-NL – jointly launched by the ministries for Foreign Affairs, Finance, and Foreign Trade & Development Co-operation – is to focus on energy, sustainability, mobility, food, and digitalisation, according to Dutch financial news daily Het Financieele Dagblad (FD). It will launch next year.

The €382bn civil service scheme ABP said the project demonstrated an acceptance from the Dutch government that investment in such areas had been hampered by a poor ability to translate ideas into viable propositions.

ABP said it would closely monitor developments involving the investment fund.

The FD reported that the €67bn metal scheme PMT saw opportunities for co-operation between Invest-NL and the existing Dutch Investment Institution (NLII), an initiative of 12 institutional investors.

PMT added that, through providing venture capital, NL-Invest could provide significant help to startup companies.

Jan Willem van Oostveen, investments manager at the €185bn healthcare scheme PFZW, emphasised the importance of sufficient investment propositions that meet the criteria of large pension funds in terms of scale and risk profile.

“NL-Invest could be the initiator for these projects,” he said.

The government said it would offer entrepreneurs risk-bearing capital, guarantees, export credit insurance, and international finance programmes.

Invest-NL is also developing large social projects both locally and abroad.

The government said that it also expected the vehicle to attract funding from institutional investors as well as European funds and programmes.

Invest-NL will enter a joint venture with FMO, the Dutch finance company for developing countries, and will also co-operate with export credit insurer Atradius Dutch State Business.

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