BNP Paribas IP chosen for French small company fund

HandshakeBNP Paribas Investment Partners has been selected to manage a €1 billion fund that will provide long-term finance for French small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The SME debt fund was set up by state bank Caisse des Dépôts and 17 insurance firms with the support of the French Federation of Insurance Companies.

The fund reflects measures in Europe to fill the funding gap in the corporate sector left by the banks. The Funding for Lending programme set up by the UK government has a similar aim.

The SME fund is part of a broader package aimed at filling the lending gap.

The French Finance Ministry said last week it would relax lending rules that insurers must follow, allowing them to lend more to corporations.

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