September 18, 2019 / 6:31 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-French financial institutions swing behind Macron's startup call

(Update with detail, background)

PARIS, Sept 18 (Reuters) - State-backed lender Caisse des Depots (CDC) said on Wednesday it was teaming up with Euronext, a pan-European stock exchange, to raise the profile of French startups and attract new liquidity.

The announcement comes a day after President Emmanuel Macron’s pledged to raise 5 billion euros in funds from private-sector investors to give French startup companies a leg up and help the most promising ones grow further.

In a joint statement, CDC announced a 100 million euros ($110.64 million) investment programme dedicated to small caps while Euronext said it was creating a new index, the Euronext Tech Croissance, for small tech firms.

“In rolling out this investment programme, we aim to step up our presence in the listed small-cap Tech segment and help keep the market active,” said Olivier Mareuse, CDC’s Chief Investment Officer.

France is jostling with other European countries to lure investors and budding tech companies and chip away at London’s lead as a startup hub, as Britain edges closer to leaving the European Union on Oct. 31, potentially without a deal.

The Euronext Tech Croissance index will be composed of 150 tech firms with a market capitalization of between 25 million and 1 billion euros.

The CDC said it had already invested 2.5 billion euros in small- and mid-cap companies.

Separately, state-owned bank Bpifrance said it would invest 1 billion euros over three years in technology companies. ($1 = 0.9038 euros) (Writing by Matthieu Protard; editing by Richard Lough and Darren Schuettler)

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