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KfW proves transparently popular

The flight to quality has brought KfW new bond investor friends to add to an already highly satisfied clientele. The bank hopes to broaden its paper’s appeal still further by stressing its quasi-sovereign status.

Gerhard Lewark

Gerhard Lewark, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau's treasurer isn't a fan of transparency - at least as far as walls are concerned. On the day Euromoney meets him in Frankfurt he's preparing to move into his new office in the neighbouring building. He's not particularly eager because he won't be able to hang pictures on its glass walls. Fortunately for investors in KfW's bonds, though, this is where the dislike ends.

Interrupted by loud banging from next door as builders make the finishing touches, Lewark talks about the progress the German state-owned development bank has made since the beginning of last year. Over coffee and biscuits he chats animatedly about KfW's game plan for the rest of 2002. He laughs a lot, joking about the problems analysts used to have spelling anstaltslast. It's hard to imagine any corporate treasurer being so relaxed these days, at least with a e5 billion global issue in the offing.

"A good credit like KfW is nice to have," admits Lewark. "In times when the corporate bond market was very attractive, it was a little bit harder to explain the attraction of an AAA rated issuer.

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