German KfW disburses € 19.3 billion in coronavirus aid loans

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BERLIN, May 13 (Reuters) – German state-owned development bank KfW has approved € 19.3 billion ($ 20.99 billion) in emergency loans to help businesses fill cash flow gaps and survive to the coronavirus pandemic, a government document viewed by Reuters revealed on Wednesday.

The figures, compiled by the ministries of finance and the economy, show that KfW has received loan applications from more than 36,600 companies which have requested a total sum of 33.4 billion euros.

The state development bank approved € 19.3 billion, or 58% of the total, but it also approved 99% of all loan applications. This means that a small number of claims are still being verified, with the companies in question asking for a relatively large sum.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government compiled a bailout worth more than € 750 billion to ease the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on Europe’s largest economy as the government goes into debt for the first time since 2013.

The measures include an additional debt-financed budget of 156 billion euros and a stabilization fund worth 600 billion euros for loans to distressed companies and direct participations in companies.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and Economy Minister Peter Altmaier have pledged unlimited liquidity support via KfW loans to help businesses hit by measures to contain the pandemic.

The government is also helping small businesses and self-employed people threatened with bankruptcy with direct payments of up to € 15,000 that must not be repaid.

Participation under this program reached nearly 12 billion euros with around 2 million applicants Tuesday afternoon after some 9 billion euros with 1.1 million applicants in mid-April, according to the document.

This means that less than a quarter of the € 50 billion in funds allocated to this program have been used so far.

$ 1 = 0.9196 euros Report by Michael Nienaber, edited by Thomas Escritt

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