Marcel Cassar / APS Bank

APS Bank CEO Marcel Cassar has shed light on how Malta has undergone a significant transformation to become an “international financial centre”, 30 years on from when he attended a conference launching this shift.

He was speaking as the Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) hosted APS Bank’s ringing of the bell ceremony on 17th January 2024 to mark the listing of €50 million 5.8 per cent unsecured subordinated bonds due 2028-2033 on the official list of the exchange. The issue marked the first tranche of a wider €150 million bond issue, the proceeds of which are meant to be an integral part of the bank’s plan to strengthen its Tier 2 Capital requirements for European Union regulations. The bond issue closed on the same day as it opened following strong interest.

“30 years ago today, I was in Gozo in preparation for an important two-day conference that was going to launch Malta’s transformation from an offshore centre to an international financial centre,” Mr Cassar said.

He remarked that those were “momentous days” that would be followed up by a “raft of important legislation”, including changes to the MSE Act, a new Insider Dealing Act, Banking Act, Investment Services Act, Professional Secrecy Act, and other amendments.

“Because of those building blocks of 30 years ago, and of the good stewardship of the MSE throughout, we are where we are today, ringing the bell once again,” Mr Cassar continued.

APS Bank Bond Issue
The ringing of the bell ceremony / APS Bank

Additionally, MSE Chairman Joseph Portelli said that over the years he has seen how APS Bank works and he “really respects its culture of doing the right things.”

“APS Bank has a very strong duty to its shareholders, and this is something which I fear we do not talk enough about,” he affirmed.

“When you are a corporate entity, and you issue an equity on any exchange, you have a serious responsibility to your shareholders, to not only create a profit and pay a dividend, but to grow that profit and dividend, Mr Portelli explained.

The event was attended by members of the APS Bank management team and colleagues who have closely worked on the bond issue. There were also representatives from the sponsor and managers Rizzo Farrugia & Co., legal counsel Ganado Advocates, and the management staff of the MSE.

Featured Image:

APS Bank CEO Marcel Cassar / APS Bank

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