Press Release from 2024-05-08 / Group, Investor Relations, Domestic Promotion

KfW promotional business volume in the first quarter of 2024: return to normality after years of crisis

  • KfW’s promotional business volume of EUR 17.5 billion is at the level of pre-crisis years
  • Strong interest in financing for energy efficiency and renewable energies for private clients
  • Continued strong demand for export and project finance
  • Encouraging consolidated earnings of EUR 461 million above the average for the last five years
  • Very stable tier 1 capital ratio of 28.5 %

In the first quarter of 2024, KfW Group achieved a promotional business volume / new business totalling EUR 17.5 billion (03/2022: EUR 41.0 billion, 03/2023: EUR 40.0 billion), which was at the level of the pre-crisis years (03/2019: EUR 16.9 billion). This continued the normalisation of the original promotional business. The years 2020–2023 were mainly characterised by coronavirus aid and energy subsidies which led to a significant increase in domestic commitments (03/2023: EUR 32,8 billion). As of 31 March 2024, domestic promotion at EUR 10.7 billion was back to normal. The decline compared to the previous year was mainly due to the expiration of energy subsidies (03/2023: EUR 19.3 billion). Promotion for private costumers started positively with the focus placed on energy efficiency and renewable energies in particular. However, demand for financing for commercial and municipal companies responded cautiously to the current interest rate environment.

“Our promotional business figures show that Germany is on its way back to normality after the crisis years of 2020 to 2023. Our promotion continues to be important and in demand, but the crisis-related special aid is a thing of the past,”

said Stefan Wintels, Chief Executive Officer of KfW, on Wednesday in Frankfurt am Main.

Stefan Wintels added:

“It is now crucial that we support people, companies and municipalities in their projects to foster sustainability and competitiveness”.

The current very high EU reference rate had a dampening effect on KfW’s lending business in the first quarter of 2024.

This was evident, for example, in the priority area of climate change and the environment. Commitments here declined in the first quarter. The reason for this is that KfW’s leeway in the process for creating terms and conditions is severely limited due to the combination of legal requirements with regard to aid and the current interest rate situation.

At EUR 6.1 billion, new business in export and project finance remained at a very high level (03/2023: EUR 6.7 billion).

Commitments at KfW Development Bank amounted to EUR 508 million (03/2023: EUR 506 million), slightly exceeding the previous year’s figure. At EUR 228 million, DEG recorded twice as much new business than in the prior-year period (03/2023: EUR 110 million).

KfW Group recorded encouraging consolidated earnings of EUR 461 million in the first quarter of 2024 (03/2023: EUR 394 million). Consolidated profit was based on a strong operating result, was above the previous year and exceeded expectations.

At EUR 454 million, the operating result before valuation (before promotional expense) was 18 % above the prior-year level (03/2023: EUR 385 million). This was due to the positive development in net interest income (before promotional expense), which was mainly due to higher interest-related income from the investment of equity. Interest income of EUR 673 million (03/2023: EUR 596 million) remained the group’s main source of income. Due to extensive promotional activities on behalf of the Federal Government, commission income (before promotional expense) also improved, increasing to EUR 167 million (03/2023: EUR 147 million). This was also linked to an increase in administrative expense (before promotional expense) to EUR 387 million (03/2023: EUR 358 million).

Promotional expense amounted to EUR 77 million and was in line with the high level of the previous year (03/2023: EUR 82 million). In the rising interest rate environment, interest rate reductions are still possible to a greater extent, but the leeway is currently severely limited by the level of EU reference rates in some commercial promotional programmes.

Risk provisions for lending generated a positive result of EUR 108 million (03/2023: EUR + 5 million), in particular due to reversals of risk provisions for performing loans as a result of, among other things, a slightly improved macroeconomic outlook as well as for non-performing loans due to the continuing good risk situation in KfW Group’s loan portfolio; in particular, there are no significant risks from the commercial real estate segment.

In an environment that continues to be challenging, the valuation result from the investment portfolio amounted to EUR 49 million (03/2023: EUR 20 million), making a positive contribution to consolidated earnings. Income was generated in particular in the business sectors DEG, marked by exchange rate-induced effects, and in Export and project finance.

Purely IFRS-induced valuation effects from derivatives used for hedging purposes contributed EUR 19 million (03/2023: EUR 87 million) to the result.

At EUR 552.6 billion, total assets were EUR 8.1 billion below the level of 31 December 2023 (EUR 560.7 billion), mainly due to a downturn in the volume of net lending and a decrease in cash and cash equivalents.

With a total capital ratio of 28.6 % and a (common equity) tier 1 capital ratio of 28.5 % (31 December 2023: 27.9 % and 27.9 % respectively), the regulatory capital ratios remain at a very good level. The increase in the equity ratios is primarily due to the recognition of comprehensive income for the second half of 2023.

Details on the business sectors’ promotional activities

1. SME Bank and Private Clients

In the SME Bank and Private Clients business sector, the promotional business volume amounted to EUR 9.0 billion as of 31 March 2024 (03/2023: EUR 10.3 billion). Of this, EUR 3.0 billion was attributable to the SME Bank commercial segment (03/2023: EUR 6.0 billion) and EUR 6.1 billion to the Private Clients segment (03/2023: EUR 4.3 billion).

New commitments totalling EUR 1.4 billion were made in the priority area of start-ups and corporate investments in the first quarter of 2024 (03/2023: EUR 2.2 billion). The decline compared with prior-year period was mainly due to lower demand for ERP promotional loans for SMEs, which is primarily caused by the reluctance to invest due to the economic downturn. New business here reached EUR 1.3 billion (03/2023: EUR 1.9 billion).

By the end of March 2024, new commitments amounted to EUR 1.3 billion in the priority area of climate change and the environment (03/2023: EUR 3.4 billion). This showed a significant decline in commitments in the Renewable energies and in the Climate Action Campaign for Corporates programmes. The reason for this is that the leeway in shaping terms and conditions is severely limited due to the combination of legal requirements with regard to aid and the current interest rate situation.

New commitments of more than EUR 0.2 billion were made in the innovation priority area (03/2023: EUR 0.5 billion).

Private Clients: Focus on energy efficiency and renewables

At EUR 4.3 billion, the majority of the promotional business volume in the Private Clients segment could be attributed to the priority area of energy efficiency and renewables (03/2023: EUR 3.0 billion). The increase compared with the prior-year period was mainly due to the Climate-friendly Construction programme. Commitments for private clients of more than EUR 2.8 billion were made here in the first quarter of 2024 (03/2023: EUR 0.6 billion). In addition, as of 31 March 2024, around 11,200 grant applications for EUR 0.2 billion were committed in the heating replacement programme which was successfully launched on 27 February 2024. As of 30 April 2024, 21,000 applicants received a funding commitment (EUR 0.3 billion). The commitment is made via a digital and automated process in a few minutes. The promotion currently only offered to owner-occupied single- and double-occupancy homes will be extended to all other applicant groups in the course of the year.

The promotional business volume in the residential and housing sector easily exceeded the previous year’s level with new commitments amounting to EUR 1.4 billion (03/2023: EUR 0.8 billion). At EUR 1.1 billion, the residential property programme significantly boosted the new commitment volume (03/2023: EUR 0.8 billion).

In the area of education, new commitments as of 31 March 2024 were at around EUR 0.4 billion, slightly below the level of the previous year (03/2023: EUR 0.5 billion).

2. Customised Finance and Public Clients

With a commitment volume of around EUR 1.6 billion, new business in the Customised Finance and Public Clients business sector normalised significantly compared with the previous year, which was characterised by energy subsidies, (03/2023: EUR 21.6 billion). The decisive factors for the previous year’s high value were extensions and associated restructurings of already existing mandated energy transactions as well as high disbursements of the price brake for gas and heat.

In the Customised financing for corporates segment a commitment volume of around EUR 0.1 billion was recorded in the first quarter, after the prior- year figure o EUR 16.9 billion had also been heavily influenced by special financing in the energy sector.

The volume of business for municipal and social infrastructure was significantly lower than in the previous year, with new commitments of close to EUR 1.2 billion (03/2023: EUR 3.6 billion). This development is mainly the result of the expected sharp decline in disbursements from the Federal Government’s emergency aid / price brake for gas and heat, as well as the result of the current interest rate situation.

With a volume of business of EUR 0.3 billion, individual financing for banks and promotional institutions of the federal states was also below the figure for the prior-year period of nearly EUR 1.1 billion. This was primarily due to the unfavourable interest rate environment and the reluctance of promotional institutions of the federal states to make use of KfW’s general funding.

3. KfW Capital

Commitments in the KfW Capital business sector amounted to around EUR 43 million as at the first quarter of 2024 (03/2023: EUR 878 million), which are invested in the VC ecosystem via the “GFF/EIF Growth Facility” component of the Future Fund managed by the European Investment Fund, the funds of which KfW provides on a fiduciary basis. In the same period of the previous year, a one-off commitment of EUR 800 million for the European Tech Champion Initiative, which was set up as a component of the Future Fund and managed by the EIF, was the driver of the high volume. The lower volume in the first quarter is also due to the usual fluctuation in large-volume commitments during the year for fund holdings; the investment pipeline is filled as planned until the end of the year. With the support of the ERP Special Fund and the Future Fund, KfW Capital invests in European VC funds, which in turn support start-ups and innovative technology companies in Germany, typically with a multiple of the capital contributed by KfW Capital.

One of the largest VC umbrella funds in Europe at EUR 1 billion, the Growth Fund Germany (“Wachstumsfonds Deutschland”), which reached its final closing in November 2023 and was able to raise substantial private capital, committed EUR 35 million in the first quarter of 2024 (already EUR 324 million in total). KfW Capital acts as an investment adviser for the Growth Fund Germany.

4. KfW IPEX-Bank

KfW IPEX-Bank, which is responsible for the Export and project finance business sector and provides financing to support German and European businesses on the global markets, had a very good start to the year. At EUR 6.1 billion at the end of the first quarter, their new commitments remained around the same level as the same period last year (03/2023: EUR 6.7 billion). All business sectors contributed to new business. One highlight is the “Mobility” area, which has included the rail traffic industry, maritime industry and aviation sectors since the beginning of the year and accounts for more than half of the total commitments of EUR 3.3 billion. For example, financing was provided for Germany’s first completely climate-neutral hydrogen-operated container terminal in the Port of Duisburg, various ships for fleet renewal (e.g. for ferry traffic to the Faroe Islands), for battery cell production and “green” steel production in Sweden, as well as for onshore and offshore wind farms (e.g. in the USA, Australia, Turkey, Finland and Lithuania), with which KfW IPEX-Bank is supporting the transformation process worldwide.

5. Promotion of developing countries and emerging economies

KfW Development Bank

At EUR 508 million, commitments in the KfW Development Bank business sector in the first three months matched the level of the same quarter of the previous year (03/2023: EUR 506 million). EUR 154 million came from the federal budget, EUR 275 million were KfW funds and EUR 79 million was mandated financing. For example, EUR 150 million of KfW funds were committed to support a comprehensive reform programme in Uzbekistan for a social and green transition.


In the first quarter of 2024, DEG pledged EUR 228 million from its own funds to private companies for investments in emerging and developing countries (03/2023: EUR 110 million). Most of this went directly to local companies in the service sector and the manufacturing industry. Regionally, the commitments were distributed approximately equally across Africa, Asia and Europe/Caucasus. DEG, which is focused on sustainable positive development and climate impacts, is also committed in 2024 to promoting the transformation of private companies in developing countries with needs-based financing and advice.

6. Financial markets

KfW raised EUR 35.6 billion in the international capital markets to fund its promotional business in the first quarter of 2024 (03/2023: EUR 28.1 billion). That corresponds to around 38 % of its planned funding volume of EUR 90 to 95 billion for the whole of 2024.

The funding share in the domestic currency of the euro was 54 % in the first quarter. At 34 %, the USD funding volume was significantly above the average USD volume of recent years. This was due in particular to the favourable framework conditions in the USD market compared with the euro and high demand from investors. In addition to EUR and USD, KfW issued bonds in four other currencies in the first quarter, including GBP (8 %) and AUD (4 %). Revenue from the issue of green bonds amounted to EUR 2.9 billion, representing a share of 8 % of the total funding volume. In total, KfW has already issued three green bonds in three different currencies (USD, AUD and NOK) under its new Green Bond framework, which has been in force since January 2024.

Key figures of the income statement (EUR in millions)01/01/2024 – 31/03/202401/01/2023 – 31/03/2023
Operating result before valuation
(before promotional expense)
Promotional expense7782
Consolidated profit461394
Consolidated profit before IFRS effects from hedging443306

Key figures of the statement of financial position (EUR in billions)31/03/202431/12/2023
Total assets552.6560.7
Volume of business718.3724.4

Key regulatory
figures (in %)
(Common equity) tier 1 capital ratio28.527.9
Total capital ratio28.627.9

1) The capital ratios stated take into account the eligible interim results according to Art. 26 (2) of the Capital Requirements Regulation, which deviate from the respective annual results in accordance with IFRS.

An overview of the business and promotional figures is available in table form at: Business and Promotional Figures | KfW

KfW Annual Report online: Reporting Portal | KfW


Portrait von Sybille Bauerfeind