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Top Dutch News – 6 December 2023

Stay up to date with the latest news from the Netherlands!  Enjoy reading!

Leasing company Beequip benefits from strict credit conditions imposed by banks. (fd.nl)

Beequip thrives amid strict credit conditions from Dutch banks, offering SMEs an alternative to traditional lenders. With unique risk models and efficient collateral evaluation, Beequip stands out in processing financing requests swiftly. Anticipating a robust 15-20% revenue growth this year, the company benefits from increased demand for leasing business assets, particularly in construction. This success contrasts with traditional banks that impose prolonged and stringent procedures. The article highlights Beequip’s strategic edge in providing SMEs with efficient financing solutions and stresses the importance of European initiatives like the Loan Guarantee Facility in supporting small businesses. The managers emphasize the need to extend such facilities, especially for financing eco-friendly equipment, to facilitate SME growth through flexible terms and lower down payments. Read full article here.

Allianz and Dutch development bank back $1.1 bln sustainable loans fund (Reuters)

Allianz Global Investors and Dutch development bank FMO have collaborated to establish one of the largest “blended finance” funds, raising $1.1 billion. This fund, the largest of its kind since 2018, focuses on investing in loans that support sustainable development goals in emerging and frontier countries. Notably, it stands out for its high private capital-to-public funds ratio, attracting $9 in private cash for every $1 of public funds. Blended finance involves public money providers accepting more risk to encourage private sector participation. Structured as the 25-year SDG Loan Fund, FMO bears the first loss in case of loan defaults, backed by a $25 million guarantee from the MacArthur Foundation. Private investors, including Allianz and Skandia, are the last to incur losses. The fund aims to co-invest in about 100 loans across energy, financial, and agribusiness sectors to aid developing countries in achieving economic growth, equality, and climate change targets outlined in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The fund, having approved nearly $100 million in initial loan investments, will focus on higher-risk areas, including frontier markets, subject to compliance with international sanctions. FMO’s due diligence experts will monitor loan recipients to ensure funds are used appropriately. Read full article here.

Invest-NL invests in the new Dutch Future Fund of €200 million (fd.nl)

Invest-NL and the European Investment Fund (EIF) are collaborating on a second round of the Dutch Future Fund, committing at least €200 million for investment in innovative Dutch companies. While smaller than the 2020 edition, this new fund will focus on energy transition, deep tech, circular economy, and agritech, steering away from larger biotechnology funds. Acting as a catalyst, the Dutch Future Fund serves as a “flywheel,” attracting additional funding and has been successful in bringing significant European investment into Dutch companies. The first fund, with €150 million from both Invest-NL and EIF, leveraged a total of €848 million, yielding a 4.7 times return on every Dutch euro from Europe. The second round anticipates a total size of €400 million, emphasizing direct investments in companies. CEO Rinke Zonneveld expects this fund to facilitate investments in around a hundred start-ups, building on the success of the initial Dutch Future Fund that supported 194 companies, including well-known Dutch entities like Crisp and QuantWare. This strategic shift aims for a more direct impact on emerging businesses compared to the previous fund-oriented approach. Read full article here.

DNB: Savers will take their cash abroad unless banks raise rates (Dutch News)

The Dutch central bank, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), has cautioned that banks must increase interest rates on savings to retain customers, as savers might shift their funds to banks in other European countries offering higher rates. Despite the European Central Bank raising its deposit savings base rate to 4% in September, none of the major Dutch banks offers more than 1.7% on standard savings accounts. DNB emphasized that, despite banks collectively earning a net profit of €10.5 billion in H1 2023, failing to pass on benefits to account holders could lead to public backlash. While only 1.6% of Dutch savers’ money is currently held in foreign accounts, DNB warns this trend may escalate unless banks take corrective measures. The central bank’s annual report highlights growing social discontent over low savings interest rates, suggesting that the desire for better returns might prompt savers to shift funds to foreign banks or explore alternative investment options. The four largest Dutch banks, ING, ABN Amro, Rabobank, and Volksbank, with an 80% market share, are urged to address this issue to remain competitive in the European market. Read full article here.

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