Annual press conference of NRW.BANK 2015: Successful promotion business continued

Düsseldorf/Münster, March 30, 2015

  • Good promotion year – net new commitments stable (€ 8.9 bn)
  • Strong demand in field of promotion “Seed & Growth” (€ 3.2 bn)
  • NRW.BANK supports infrastructure  (€ 1.7 bn)
  • Equity ratio (CRR) 43.91%
  • Operating result at high level (€ 381.4 million) – Further allocations to reserves (€ 300.3 million)
  • Top rating of “AAA“ again confirmed by rating agency Fitch

In 2014, NRW.BANK disbursed promotion funds totalling approx. € 8.9 billion, which is only slightly below the level of 2013 (€ 9.2 billion; -4%). This can be splited into € 3.2 billion for “Seed & Growth”, € 1.4 billion for “Development & Protection” and € 4.3 billion for “Housing & Living”.
“We again achieved a stable promotion result for 2014, thereby demonstrating that our promotion and financing solutions meet the requirements of the market,” said Klaus Neuhaus, Chairman of the Managing Board of NRW.BANK on the occasion of the annual press conference. “NRW.BANK is very well positioned which is not at least confirmed by last year’s stress test and the AAA rating once again recieved from rating agency Fitch.”

Seed & Growth
After the previous year’s very positive result, net new commitments in the field of promotion “Seed & Growth” continued to grow and climbed to € 3.2 billion, increased by 9% on the previous year’s € 2.9 billion. “Where people want to start up a new business or grow their existing company, NRW.BANK supports them with matching promotion loans or equity capital,” said Michael Stölting, member of the Managing Board of NRW.BANK. The promotion theme “Start-ups” recorded net new commitments of € 520.8 million (previous year: € 485.4 million; +7%). The biggest contribution was made by the NRW.BANK.Gründungskredit, under which the Bank made new commitments of € 431.5 million, which represents an 8% increase on the previous year’s € 398.3 million.

Net new commitments for the promotion theme “SME” also picked up to € 2.6 billion (previous year: € 2.4 billion; +9%).
In particular, the NRW.BANK.Universalkredit – which may be used for start-ups and for growth financing of SMEs – continued the positive trend of the previous year and climbed 29% to € 710.7 million (previous year: € 551.2 million), making an important contribution to the good result. At € 1.4 billion, the NRW.BANK.Mittelstandskredit remains the highest-volume SME promotion product, although it declined moderately (previous year: € 1.5 billion; -8%).

Germany’s SMEs increasingly realize opportunities in foreign markets. This is also reflected in the promotion theme “Exports”, with the NRW.BANK.Ausland programme rise again in 2014, this time by 21% to € 49.8 million (previous year: € 41.0 million). 

Development & Protection

The field of promotion “Development & Protection” remained successful in 2014, with net new commitments more or less on par with the previous year, at € 1.4 billion (previous year: € 1.5 billon; -2%). The biggest contribution was made by the promotion theme “Environment/Climate/Energy”, whose net new commitments remained unchanged from the previous year at € 1.3 billion (previous year: € 1.3 billion). “Promoting the energy transition remains a focal point of NRW.BANK’s promotion activities,” said Klaus Neuhaus. “The promotion and financing products and the advisory services of NRW.BANK help to push ahead the energy transitionin North Rhine-Westphalia.” 

The NRW.BANK.Energieinfrastruktur programme showed a particular positive trend; growing by over 100% compared to the previous year, the programme generated a total of € 415.1 million (previous year: € 165.9 million). The NRW/EU.KWK.Investitionskredit also increased notably compared to the previous year, with net new commitments doubled compared to the previous year to € 24.0 million (previous year: € 12.1 million). By contrast, demand for the  NRW.BANK.Effizienzkredit declined. The programme generated a promotion volume of € 126.2 million in 2014 (previous year: € 149.9 million; -16%).

The promotion theme “Innovation“ was dominated by the NRW.BANK.Innovationskredit which accounted for € 47.2 million (previous year € 46.2 million; +2%) of the total net new commitments of € 54.0 million (previous year: € 76.0 million; -29%).

The promotion theme “Education” recorded net new commitments totalling € 64.5 million (previous year: € 59.8 million; +8%), with the newly established programme NRW.BANK.Moderne Schule playing a particularly important role. Under this new programme, NRW.BANK grants low-interest loans for construction and modernisation measures in school buildings. The final target is to forster inclusion. Net new commitments under this programme amounted to a high € 53.2 million already in the first year.

Housing & Living

“Housing & Living” remains the field of promotion with the highest-volume. The promotion volume amounted to € 4.3 billion (previous year: € 4.8 billion; -12%).
The biggest contribution to this field is made by the promotion theme “Municipalities”, whose net new commitments totalled € 2.3 billion (previous year: € 2.8 billion; -18%). One of the reasons for the lower demand is a shift from the NRW.BANK.Kommunal Invest programme to the NRW.BANK.Moderne Schule programme. Another reason is house banks’ improved funding base. Consequently the demand for  global loans for onward lending to municipalities was decreasing.
Introduced in December 2014, the NRW.BANK.Flüchlingsunterkünfte programme showed a tremendous start. The programm supports municipalities in order to increase or maintain their capabilities to host the growing number of asylum seekers. New commitments since the start of the programme total € 21.2 million, of which € 2.7 million were committed up to the end of 2014.

The volume of the promotion theme “Housing” amounted to € 1.4 billion, which was on par with the previous year (€ 1.4 billon). Net new commitments for the promotion of multi-storey housing increased by 17% to € 393.4 million (previous year: € 335.7 million). "This shows that the further improved  incentives unfolded their desired effect in 2014,” said Managing Board member Dietrich Suhlrie.

Net new commitments for neighbourhood development increased by over 100% to € 67.9 million in 2014 (previous year: € 26.0 million).

The promotion theme “Infrastructure” recorded net new commitments of € 569.1 million (previous year: € 634.7 million; -10%). It should be noted, however, that infrastructure measures are supported not only in this promotion theme but also through programmes in the promotion themes “Environment/Climate/Energy“, “Education “, “Municipalities “ and “Housing“.
Dietrich Suhlrie said: “NRW.BANK invested a total of € 1.7 billion in infrastructure measures, i.e. over 19% of our total promotion volume. This way, NRW.BANK ensures that NRW remains an attractive place for business, no matter whether it’s about neighbourhood development, road construction or social infrastructures.” 

The new NRW.BANK.Baudenkmäler programme recorded net new commitments totalling € 39.6 million by the end of 2014 (previous year: € 7.0 million; + >100%), while net new commitments under the NRW.BANK.Infrastruktur programme amounted to € 120.2 million (previous year: € 134.1 million; -10%).

Results and key figures of NRW.BANK

NRW.BANK’s operating income before risk provisions/valuation reached € 381.4 million in 2014 (previous year: € 400.7 Mio.), which exceeded the Bank’s expectations. The Bank used the good operating income to strengthen its regulatory equity capital and risk-bearing capacity. As of December 31, 2014, total assets stood at € 143.8 billion (previous year: € 145.3 billion). The business volume amounted to € 162.5 billion (previous year: € 164.0 billion). These figures were in line with expectations. The core tier-1 ratio climbed to 40.09% (previous year: € 37.37%). The equity ratio (CRR) stood at a solid 43.91%. 

In the ECB’s stress test, NRW.BANK’s capital remained largely constant even in stress scenarios and the core capital ratio stayed far above the required minimum. Operating income and pre-tax profit were positive in both scenarios of the stress test.




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