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The China-Belgium Direct Equity Investment Fund has been approved by the SDRC (State Development and Reform Commission) in China. The aim of the fund is to support small and medium-sized enterprises (with a turnover of up to Rmb500mn) that are registered in China, by way of minority stakes, with a commitment to remain invested for a period of three to seven years.

The fund will be allowed to invest up to a maximum of 20% of its capital in one project. A 15% share of the fund will be reserved for Belgium-related projects.

The fund has so far raised a capital of €37mn to be invested in selected projects and aims to attract additional investors, the maximum capital of the fund having been set at €100mn.

Fortis and its Chinese partner Haitong Securities are the sole private founders of the Belgium-China Direct Equity Investment Fund, with an initial investment of €10mn each. The fund will be managed by a new joint venture between Fortis and Haitong Securities.