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LENDING & CREDIT | Staff Reporter, China
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Chinese and French banks in SME investment alliance

Chinese and French state-owned banks have established a US$189 million fund to support each other's small and medium sized enterprises.

China Development Bank, a policy bank that funds large infrastructure projects, and Caisse des depots et Consignations, which mobilizes institutional savings for long-term investments, have created the fund to take minority stakes in select French and Chinese SMEs.

The fund will invest between Euro3 million and Euro15 million in each company with sales of Euro10 to Euro200 million. It will take minority interest: half in French SMEs that are developing their Chinese market and the other half in Chinese SME that are development in France. Jean-Pierre Jouyet Caisse des depots chairman, described the partnership as "highly symbolic."

Zhang Xuguang, chairman of the China Development Bank Capital, said the bank is confident about the growth potential of French companies despite the unfavorable economic environment.

"French and Chinese companies are very complementary and investing in this complementarity is a winning strategy for us," he noted.

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