Düsseldorf/Münster, March 20, 2018
- Highest increase in promotional field “Economy”
- Venture capital: one in five euros in NRW comes from NRW.BANK
- Promotion of energy transition and environmental protection: stronger demand for programmes across promotional fields
- NRW.BANK to expand its equity financings and advisory services
There is great demand for promotion in North Rhine-Westphalia – this is not least reflected in NRW.BANK’s volume of new commitments in the amount of € 11.6 billion (2016: € 11.2 billion; +4%), which continued the positive trend of the prior years.
“Promotion in North Rhine-Westphalia is paying off and is well received – this is confirmed by the renewed increase in our promotion figures,” said Eckhard Forst, Chairman of the Managing Board of NRW.BANK, at the annual press conference. “But promotion is much more than access to low-cost promotional loans. To ensure that we will continue to have the right promotional product for each occasion, we will expand our range of equity financings and advisory services.”
NRW.BANK recorded the strongest increase in the promotional field “Economy”, where the result was up by 14% on the prior year to € 3.7 billion (2016: € 3.2 billion). Start-up and innovation projects accounted for € 683.5 million (2016: € 698.5 million; -2%), which means that their share remained almost constant, while the number of new start-ups in North Rhine-Westphalia declined because of the good economic environment. The volume of new commitments for SMEs rose by 19% to € 3.0 billion (2016: € 2.5 billion).
Equity investment exposures also increased. As of December 31, 2017, the promotional bank for NRW invested € 244.9 million through its funds, compared to € 212.6 million in the 2016 (+15%). Seed investments accounted for € 138.1 million.
“In NRW, one in five euros of venture capital comes from NRW.BANK,” said Managing Board member Michael Stölting. “We want to take North Rhine-Westphalia forward as a place for venture capital and motivate more investors and start-ups to come to NRW.”
In the promotional business, advice is almost as important as funding – especially in the promotional field “Economy”, where the Bank organised some 17,000 individual advisory meetings and seminars. In addition, about one third of the roughly 1 million visitors to the Bank’s website were interested in commercial topics.
€ 2.6 billion in new commitments (2016: € 2.7 billion; -5%) show that demand for programmes in the promotional field “Housing” remained high. This includes the funds of the housing promotion programme. Said Managing Board member Dietrich Suhlrie: “NRW.BANK’s housing promotion activities ensure that a significant portion of the urgently needed dwellings are built in the low-price segment. Thanks to favourable conditions, social housing construction is paying off for both investors and tenants.”
2017 saw NRW.BANK finance the construction, the acquisition and the modernisation of almost 10,000 housing units. Given that far less capital was needed to finance refugee accommodation, the volume of new commitments in the housing promotion programme amounted to € 906.6 million (2016: € 1.1 billion, -14%).
The promotional field “Infrastructure/Municipalities”, which generates the highest volume, grew by 3% to € 5.4 billion (2016: € 5.2 billion), with NRW.BANK making available an amount of € 2.6 billion (2016: € 2.1 billion) available for infrastructure projects alone, up by 27% on the 2016.
Under the “NRW.BANK.Gute Schule 2020” programme, which was launched at the beginning of the year, 240 municipalities received a total of € 222.5 million for the refurbishment and modernisation of schools. An amount of € 500 million was made available for this purpose. Funds not used in 2017 will remain available to the municipalities in 2018.
Said Managing Board member Gabriela Pantring: “Many municipalities deliberately decided to call the funds in 2018, either because they need more lead time for their planning or because they plan larger projects and will be able to use the contingents for two years in 2018. As a reliable partner to the municipalities, we help to modernise the schools in North Rhine-Westphalia to support young people and their education.”
Energy transition/Environmental protection is a theme spanning all promotional fields
Demand for the programmes for the promotion of the energy transition and environmental protection was higher than in the previous years across all promotional fields. A total of € 2.2 billion was made available for this purpose (2016: € 1.8 billion, +21%).
These promotional activities are financed through the NRW.BANK.Green Bond, for instance. Being the first regional promotional bank in Europe to issue a Green Bond in 2013, September 2017 saw NRW.BANK issue its fifth Green Bond. The Bank additionally built up its own Green Bond Investment Portfolio, which targets a minimum volume of € 200 million by 2020. As an investor, the Bank now makes another important contribution to climate protection. As at December 31, 2017, the portfolio totalled to as much as € 94.5 million.
Earnings and key figures of NRW.BANK
NRW.BANK’s total assets amounted to € 147.6 billion as at December 31, 2017 (2016: € 142.1 billion). The operating result before risk provisions/valuation adjustments stood at € 395.4 million (2016: € 465.2 million) and equity capital as defined in the German Commercial Code (HGB) at € 18 billion. The core capital ratio (CRR) was 41.34% (2016: 41.76%).
Outlook on 2018
NRW.BANK has identified demand in two fields of action, which will therefore be expanded further, namely equity financing with a focus on the seed phase as well as advice.
The Bank will therefore increase the equity capital it makes available to company founders by € 214 million or 85% to a total of € 465.0 million, while the equity capital made available to SMEs will be increased by € 26 million or 7% to a total of € 380.7 million.
Where advisory services are concerned, the Bank will expand its Venture Center, a specialist advisory unit for technology-oriented up-and-coming business founders from universities and research institutions as well as new innovative start-ups.
Moreover, the Bank intends to intensify its advisory services in the commercial sector and will therefore build up a theme-oriented advisory unit which will cover not only NRW.BANK’s own programmes. The focus will be placed on promotional offerings in the field of company foundations, innovation/digitalization and environmental protection/resource efficiency. These offerings will be targeted at multipliers such as the local chambers or economic promotion institutions.
NRW.BANK is the promotional bank of North Rhine-Westphalia. Its mission is to support its owner – the state of North Rhine-Westphalia – in the completion of its structural and economic policy tasks. In its three promotional fields “Economy”, “Housing” and “Infrastructure/Municipalities”, NRW.BANK uses a wide range of promotional tools – from low-interest promotion loans to equity financing to advisory services. It cooperates with all banks and savings banks based in NRW on a competition-neutral basis. NRW.BANK takes into account the existing offers by the Federal Government, the North Rhine-Westphalian government and the European Union in the arrangement of its promotion.
For more information, visit www.nrwbank.de
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