German investors are growing uneasy over one main source of certain cash to biotech and high tech companies. The state backed technology investment bank - Technologiebeteiligungsgesellschaft (tbg) - is keeping tight lipped about its reluctance to make further investments in venture stage companies.

Biotech industry insiders are reporting rumors that tbg is now turning down funding deals that would have been positively supported in the past. "In fact," said a German VC who did not want to be named, "the bank appears to have ceased doing deals at all."

The confusion is amplified by tbg's refusal to tell the investment community exactly what is happening. In response to several questions relating to the number of applications filed so far this year and the number of investment commitments, a tbg spokesperson told Ebb & Flow: "We can not answer these questions."

At Sept. 30, tbg reported investments of E167.6 million in 272 company "participations", down 67% compared to last year's total of E504.9 on 642 company participations and a total of E388.6 million in 1999 in 571 company participations.