Home > Business > Special
April 28, 2004
A new investment fund will give the British an opportunity to invest in Bollywood, the Indian film industry, a report in the Financial Times said.
Private British investors, who finance films in the United Kingdom, have had their options narrowed by this year's clampdown on film financing partnerships, but can now look to Bollywood for investment, said FT.com.
Indian films are becoming more and more popular globally, with many Bollywood films appealing to international audiences. The export earnings of some Indian films now makes up almost half of the revenues.
The Bollywood investment fund aims to exploit interest in the Indian industry and will operate in a similar way to a unit trust and allow people to invest in a portfolio selected from more than 800 productions each year, said FT.com.
Bollywood films, with their colourful imagery and songs, have fuelled growth in the Indian entertainment industry, from $2.2 billion in 2000 to about $ 4.4 billion last year, according to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce. This year the industry is estimated to touch the $5.5 billion-mark.
Bobby Ailwadhi, a director of Media Vision Management, which will launch the fund next month, said FT.com.
"This is not a film partnership. This is an open-ended investment fund for the accumulation of capital growth," reported FT.com, quoting Ailwadhi.
Investors will not be able to buy into the Isle of Man-based fund directly but will have to use an intermediary such as an independent financial adviser, FT.com said.
"This is for people outside of India who want to enjoy the level of returns these films are making but don't have experience of producing films themselves," said The Independent in a report, quoting Ailwadhi.
The fund will invest in a basket of different types of films, from low budget to potential blockbusters featuring the top stars. The biggest hits earn between five and 10 times the cost of production, said The Independent report.
The fund will be guided by an advisory panel including top Bollywood producer Pritish Nandy and Udayan Bose, the Chairman of Lazard India. Retail investors need to come up with a minimum of £15,000 ($26,830) to subscribe.
The fund will be regulated by Isle of Man's Financial Services Commission, said The Independent.