Lebanon Businessnews News

BDL to subsidize bank credit
for film, theater production
Loan should not exceed $3 million
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The Central Bank (BDL) said it will subsidize bank loans in lira granted to local projects in film and theatrical production, including the cost of intellectual property rights.

According to BDL’s intermediate circular 416, the subsidized loans pertain to the production of films for both cinema and TV whether documentaries, narratives, or educational programs. It also involves theatrical works.
The loan should not exceed LL4.5 billion ($3 million) unless there are valid reasons that are acceptable to the BDL’s Governor. The loan’s tenure should not be more than 16 years, including a grace period of two years.

BDL’s initiative will provide a badly needed and vital financial support to the art and audiovisual production industry, especially since the loans will be long term and have low interest rates, said Maya de Freige, President of Fondation Liban Cinéma (FLC). The movie production industry needs financing not just for making films, but also for marketing purposes, she said.

At least 90 percent of a project benefiting from the subsidized loans should be implemented in Lebanon, according to BDL. The project has to create job opportunities, contribute to economic and social development, and support intellectual creative skills.

Marketing, especially abroad, is a must because the domestic market is small, de Freige said. It is also costly and therefore producers need subsidized financing to give them stronger negotiation power. She also said that the movie industry still does not benefit from equity financing under BDL’s circular 331 except for technology-based projects. FLC will continue its efforts to obtain additional financial support for the movie industry.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Apr 13, 2016
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