In the wake of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, many companies are faced with a high level of economic uncertainty. While the sanctions imposed by the international community are causing serious harm to the Russian economy, they are also having an impact on the situation of companies in Germany. For this reason, Vice-Chancellor and and Federal Minister of Finance Christian Lindner today presented a comprehensive package of measures aimed at supporting businesses that are affected by the sanctions or the consequences of the war. The Temporary Crisis Framework adopted by the European Commission on 23 March 2022 provides the necessary basis for government assistance – subject to the required approvals under State aid rules – with the aim of supporting the affected companies in overcoming the challenges.
In the face of the current situation, the main challenge for companies is to secure short-term liquidity. The Federal Government will therefore primarily provide liquidity assistance to support businesses and industries. The assistance comprises:
- A KfW loan programme aimed at securing short-term liquidity. Companies of all sizes will have access to low-interest loans exempted from liability. The scheme will have a total volume of up to approx. €7 billion.
- In addition, some of the expansions of the Federal-Länder guarantee programmes introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic are to be continued for companies which are able to give proof that they have been affected by the war in Ukraine. This applies to the guarantee banks and the large-scale guarantee programme.
Beyond these short-term measures, it is vital to take precautionary action with regard to possible deteriorations in the economic situation of the businesses. In order to be prepared for such eventualities and to be able to take targeted action as needed to relieve particular hardships and prevent existential crises for companies, the Federal Government is working on a set of supplementary measures, including:
- A cost-cutting programme in the form of a temporary, narrowly defined allowance for companies particularly affected by the rise in gas and electricity prices.
- A financing programme for businesses confronted with high collateral requirements (margin calls). The Federal Government is developing a set of standardised criteria to give such companies quick access to KfW credit lines that are covered by a federal guarantee. A loan volume of up to €100 billion in total has been earmarked for this measure.
- Targeted equity and hybrid capital aid. As an option to stabilise particularly important companies, the Federal Government is also assessing the possibility of providing targeted equity and hybrid capital assistance. As far as this is done on a case-by-case basis, the assistance can, for the time being, be provided via KfW in the form of mandated transactions (‘Zuweisungsgeschäfte’).
The exact design of the individual pillars will be developed shortly in close consultation between the two Ministries.