Press Release from 2021-07-08 / Group
KfW successfully raises EUR 50.5 billion in first half of 2021 - Planned annual funding volume adjusted to EUR 75-80 billion
- KfW issues largest green bond in its market segment – strong first half in growing green bond market
- KfW continues to evolve into a transformative promotional bank
“We have made very good use of the stable capital market and look back on a successful first half of the year, during which we not only raised EUR 50.5 billion but also achieved most of the goals we set ourselves”, declared Tim Armbruster, Treasurer of KfW Group. Amid high investor demand, KfW this year expanded its EUR Benchmark Programme by adding a bond with a 15-year maturity. Overall, it has already issued three EUR benchmark bonds in the first half of the year. The euro was the main funding currency in the first six months of 2021, accounting for around 53% of the funding volume. In an environment of rising interest rates, KfW successfully placed three benchmark bonds in US dollars, the second core currency. The US dollar thus took a share of around 28% of KfW’s capital market funding. Investor demand from the banking sector was noteworthy.
After the successful issuance of its first bond referenced to the €STR (Euro Short-Term Rate) in 2019, this year KfW completed the family of new reference interest rates in the core currencies with bonds linked to SOFR (Secured Overnight Financing Rate) and SONIA (Sterling Overnight Interbank Average Rate) indices, thereby positioning itself well for the future. “With these transactions we are supporting the development of the new markets for reference interest rates. At the same time, we are offering our investors high-quality liquid investment opportunities”, said Armbruster.
Overall, KfW is very broadly diversified again this year and has already issued 136 transactions in 14 different currencies in the international capital markets during the first six months, for a total amount of EUR 50.5 billion.
Strong green bond activities in first half
The issuance of green bonds also went very well in the first half-year. KfW has already issued green bonds with a total volume of EUR 7.6 billion in 11 currencies, which equates to approximately 76% of the issuing volume planned in this area for 2021. Particularly noteworthy is a Green Bond issued with a volume of EUR 4 billion, which aligned with KfW’s strategy of establishing a green liquid benchmark curve. The bond is the largest green bond of a non-governmental issuer to date. The order book of more than EUR 18 billion reflects the market’s persistently high demand for high-quality, liquid green bonds.
The issuance of its first offshore CNH bond in syndicated form as a green bond was another important transaction for KfW and reflects the increased investor demand. KfW expanded the range of currencies on offer by issuing green bonds in South African rand, Mexican pesos and Canadian dollars for the first time, thereby winning over new investors.
KfW also continues its activity of investing in green bonds. Its green bond portfolio remained on a level of EUR 2 to 2.5 billion after reaching the target of EUR 2 billion in February 2021. In its investment decisions, KfW takes into account not just the assessment of the financed projects and their expected environmental impacts but, increasingly, also the climate action and sustainability focus of the issuers themselves. The promotional mandate of the Federal Ministry for the Environment was updated and extended accordingly. In the first half of 2021 KfW has already made green bond investments totalling around EUR 374 million. The portfolio volume currently amounts to approximately EUR 2.1 billion.
KfW maintains its commitment to the continuous development of the green bond market in the context of initiatives and will participate intensively in the Executive Committee (ExCom) of the “Principles” (GBP, SBP, SLBP) in the next two years. It had recently advocated for the further development of the GBP, which now also place greater emphasis on the issuer’s sustainability strategy. The updated recommendations on the issuance of green bonds were published in June 2021 at the annual meeting of the Principles.
KfW adjusts funding volume
In response to the strong development of promotional business in the first half of 2021, KfW will revise its funding in the international capital markets for the year 2021 from EUR 70-80 billion to EUR 75-80 billion. The funding needs also take into account funds raised under TLTRO III, the holding period of which is still determined by purely economic factors.
KfW is actively playing its role as an innovative, transformative promotional bank
As a transformative promotional bank, KfW actively supports the German Federal Government in implementing the Climate Action Programme 2030 to achieve the climate goals. KfW has already been working on its Sustainable Finance Roadmap since 2019, thereby placing its strategic focus even more strongly on the transformation of the economy and society with the aim of improving economic, ecological and social living conditions. At the same time, customers and partners need to receive targeted support in the transition process so that the sweeping structural transformation becomes an economic and social success. In order to bring its financing activities in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, KfW implemented initial sectoral guidelines for the shipping, automotive and iron and steel sectors on 1 July 2021. The Paris-compatible sectoral guidelines define the minimum climate compatibility requirements for technologies financed, and with their successively rising level of ambitions they contribute to moving KfW’s financing portfolio towards greenhouse gas neutrality. Two further sectoral guidelines will enter into force for the electricity generation and building sectors in September 2021.
The role and activities of KfW as a transformative promotional bank are also important to its investors, as they are increasingly focusing on issuers’ sustainability activities and enquiring about their impact before they decide on where to invest. The issuance of its ‘Green Bonds – Made by KfW’ and the related transparent reporting has already put KfW in a very good position to provide its investors with impact data on the underlying loan programmes. “As our ‘tranSForm’ project advances, there will be even greater transparency about the sustainability of our entire loan portfolio. I am convinced that this added value will also act as a catalyst through the capital markets in order to drive the global transformation process”, said Dr Günther Bräunig, CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer of KfW, who has helped to shape major developments in the capital market over many years – especially in the area of sustainable finance.