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Banks support creative industry development

TAIPEI -- The local banking industry has lent financial support to the local culture and creative industries in a bid to help emerging businesses in the sector to grow and prosper, a top financial official said yesterday.

Tseng Ming-chung (曾銘宗), chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC, 金管會), said that in the first fourth months of this year, new loans extended by local banks to firms in the culture and creative industries totaled NT$22.4 billion (US$744 million).

Excluding loans to cable TV businesses, new lending to other local culture and creative firms hit NT$17.7 billion in the four- month period, Tseng said.

He said the five local banks that have keen to extend such loans are Cathay United Bank (國泰世華), Bank of Taiwan(台灣銀行), E. Sun Commercial Bank (玉山銀行), Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合作金庫) and Hua Nan Commercial Bank (華南銀行).

The FSC, Taiwan's top financial regulator, is planning to announce at the end of this year which bank is the most supportive of the sector in terms of loans extended.

The FSC is expected to allow the most supportive bank to broaden its branch network as a reward.

To allow local culture and creative firms to gain access to funding, the government has set up a platform for banks to evaluate these firms before reaching deals to extend loans, Tseng said.

Tseng said the first loan deal through the operations of the evaluation platform will be signed by the end of this week, with an additional five or six likely to come through the same process soon.

Tseng said the efforts to allow local culture and creative companies to secure loans will be the first step in the government's assistance to the industry, adding that the government will help them to list their shares on the local bourse in the future.

In January, the GreTai Securities Market (櫃買中心) launched an incubation board, serving as an additional channel for start-ups in a wide range of industries, including the culture and creative indurties, to raise funds.

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