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ICBC Supports Cultural Finance with Four Measures

In recent years, ICBC has placed cultural finance as a key area and built a comprehensive, innovative cultural finance service system covering cultural ideas, cultural heritage, cultural consumption and cultural industry upgrade to drive cultural development and enrich cultural consumption. As at the end of this March, ICBC provided financing worth over RMB 630 billion to the cultural finance sector, making it China’s largest commercial bank financier for the sector. Over 80% of the loans are granted to medium, small and micro-sized enterprises.

According to an official with ICBC, the Bank was the first in the banking industry to launch cultural finance product manual and integrated financial service solutions. It has now formed a service system that covers all products, processes and the entire industry chain of cultural enterprises, including tourist attractions, cable television, movie and TV series production, cinema operation, artwork, advertisements, gold and jewelry, from idea, production, sales to project construction and industry integration of the cultural products. Since 2014, ICBC’s loans in culture and tourism sectors have seen an annual average increase of over 30%, with the balance doubling in five years, marking one of the fastest growing loan sectors of the Bank.

In supporting culture and ideas, ICBC launched financing products such as Yingshitong, copyright pledge loans, direct investment by loan+ funds based on the light assets of culture and idea enterprises to solve the issue that the assets are “visible, but intangible and cannot be held against”. In recent years, ICBC has financed the production and release of over 60 successful movies and TV series such as Nirvana in Fire, Borrow Gun, Turbulence of the Mu Clan, Aftershock, Battle of Changsha, Eastern Battlefield. Through “direct investment+ credit”, ICBC assisted a number of well-known animation enterprises in taking in direct funds and provided loans to help them launch high-quality domestic animation products. In the meantime, ICBC also provided strong support for live action creations with local characteristics, including nearly loans worth RMB 10 billion to support renowned art-performing projects such as the Song City series, Kangxi Emperor Ceremony, Seeking Dreams on the Dragon and Tiger Mountain, Shaolin’s Music Ceremony, Lingling Circus City, Dongjing’s Dream in Song Dynasty, The Charm of West Hunan, The Impression on Lijiang.

To support culture heritage, ICBC has been actively engaged in culture heritage protection projects to promote ethnic culture products that have both social and economic benefits. For example, in Shandong Province, ICBC provided finance support for Qufu Confucius Museum, Ancient Qingzhou City, Ancient Taierzhuang City and Yimeng Mountain, as well as other culture heritages and red tourism attractions with Chinese revolution history. In Nanjing, ICBC led a syndicated loan to build Laomendong into an icon for Nanjing’s history and culture.

In enriching and promoting cultural consumption, ICBC has been focused on building  over 500 major tourism attractions, such as Happy Valley Shenzhen, Zhejiang Xixi Wet Land, Guangzhou Changlong, Jilin Changbai Mountain, Guizhou Huangguoshu, Guizhou Chishui. In addition, ICBC has established the “Internet+ cultural consumption+ finance” service system to boost alignment between consumers and high quality tourism enterprises. By logging onto the ICBC Mall, consumers may purchase local travel services from over 100 excellent travel service providers in Hainan, Yunnan, Guangdong and Guangxi Province, with payment in installment available. ICBC is also working with tourism attractions in Yunnan and other places to promote smart tourism, providing  one-stop services including sightseeing and shopping in branded stores operated by branded merchants.

In promoting cultural industry transformation and go-global initiative, ICBC uses investment banking, debt financing instruments, leasing and asset securitization to support the domestic cultural industry to enhance market competitiveness. Currently, ICBC has established strategic partnership with over 600 renowned cultural enterprises including People’s Daily, CCTV, NRTNC, China Animation Comic Game Group, OCT Group Company, Jiangsu Fenghuang Publishing Group Company, and has provided over RMB 400 billion financing for over 5,000 small and medium-sized cultural enterprises such as Beijing Yachang, Guangdong Zhongkai and Anhui Huawen International. In addition, ICBC developed “equity+ creditor’s rights” financing scheme for the acquisition of Zhejiang Daily Medium Group Co., Ltd., helping complete a major acquisition in the industry. ICBC provided financial consulting services for Wanda Group to acquire AMC, the second largest cinema operator in the US.