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Pension funds commit 800 mln euros for Dutch business lending

AMSTERDAM, April 8 (Reuters) - A new institution created by 
a group of Dutch pension funds with government backing said on 
Wednesday it has gathered 800 million euros ($870 million) for 
lending to small and medium businesses in the Netherlands. 
    The Nederlandse Investeringinstelling (NLII) was founded 
last year to help address the lack of available credit for small 
and medium enterprises in the Netherlands, despite record low 
funding rates for the country's banks via the European Central 
Bank. 
    The country's major pension funds -- including names such as 
ABP, PGGM and others which collectively manage 1.4 trillion 
euros in assets -- agreed to fund the NLII, following arguments 
by politicians that it made sense for them to increase 
investment in the country where their members live. 
    The NLII said on Wednesday it has set up a Business Lending 
Fund with 500 million euros in assets, expanding to 1 billion 
euros. The fund, run by Robeco  RBEN.AS , will participate in 
bank loans to healthy companies in sectors where banks cannot 
accept further exposure. 
    And the NLII said it had launched a Subordinated Loan Fund 
with 300 million euros in assets, for lending to otherwise 
healthy business that are too heavily indebted to qualify for 
further bank credit. 
    The fund will be run by Aegon Asset Management, and loans it 
issues will receive a state guarantee on 50 percent of loan 
principle. 
    In a statement, the NLII said on Wednesday it expects the 
total amount invested in its funds to grow to 2 billion euros by 
2018. 
 
($1 = 0.9218 euros) 
 
 (Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Anand Basu) 
 ((toby.sterling@thomsonreuters.com; +3120 504 5002; Reuters 
Messaging: toby.sterling.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) 
 
Keywords: NETHERLANDS FUNDS/
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