European Comm’n launches fund

$11.5 million deployed to stimulate lending

BRUSSELS — A production guarantee fund worth E8 million ($11.5 million) over the next four years is to be set up by the European Commission.

Aim is to encourage local banks to extend credit to film and TV productions by guaranteeing cover for a percentage of the loss if the producer can’t repay the loan.

The move is a response to the financial crisis in Europe, which the Commission thinks has made already hesitant local banks even more reluctant to take an active role in the audiovisual sector.

The Commission is looking for a public sector or public service-based financial institution in Europe to run the fund. Other financial operators, such as private banks, investment or venture capital funds, cannot lead bids but can participate as partners.

Bids are due in April and the fund will be launched in the second quarter of this year.

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