FIMBank plc, the Malta-based international banking group, recently announced the issue of 7 per cent Subordinated Bonds maturing 2012-2019. The issue will be of €15 million subject to an over-allotment option of another €15 million, and investors may subscribe for the bonds which may be denominated in EUR and/or US Dollar.
At a meeting with the media held today at the Hilton Malta, Margrith Lütschg-Emmenegger, President of the FIMBank Group, noted that this announcement comes barely a week after the Group reported a record financial performance for the year ended 31 December 2008. The FIMBank Group posted significant increases in its operating income and activity base to register an after-tax profit of USD24.8 million (2007 – USD10.5 million). Whilst the record results were clearly helped by the realized gain on the disposal of the shareholding in Global Trade Finance Limited, India in March, the main operating income contributors nevertheless performed robustly, and had the GTF disposal not taken place, the Group would still have reported a strong profit result. The audited accounts which the FIMBank Board of Directors approved last week in Cairo also show that equity increased by 19 per cent to USD117 million, total assets increased by 9 per cent to USD624 million while liquidity and capital adequacy ratios are strong and above the minima required by regulations.
Mrs Lütschg-Emmenegger noted that this performance was due to the Group’s clear focus, experience and expertise on international trade, particularly for essential goods and with products and in markets that have tended to remain most resilient to the crises. Coupled with rigorous risk management policies and a well-regulated environment which helped guide the Group away from the excesses that have afflicted banks world-wide, this gave speed to an overall strong operating performance in 2008. The media were informed how the Bond Issue will have as its purpose the support of the Group’s expansion into new products, markets and investments, including through acquisitions, and how it forms part of a bigger capital development programme which sees FIMBank’s wide shareholder base continuing to be its point of reference, as demonstrated by a rights offer, bonus share issues and a scrip dividend policy in recent years.
The Bonds shall be offered and issued to the general public at their par value of €100 and USD100, respectively. However, shareholders, as well as directors and employees of the Group, will be rewarded for their loyalty and entitled to subscribe for the Bonds at a discount of 3 per cent, namely EUR97 and/or USD97, and will have their application guaranteed for the first EUR10,000 or USD10,000. Other innovative features of the Bond Issue include the intention that FIMBank will pay the semi-annual interest on the Bonds in cash or by the issue of new shares, at the bond-holder’s option.
Application has been made to the Listing Authority for the admissibility of the Bonds to listing and to the Malta Stock Exchange for the Bonds to be listed and traded on its Official List. Rizzo Farrugia & Co (Stockbrokers) Limited is acting as Sponsor to the application for admissibility of the Bonds to Listing and Lombard Bank Malta plc is acting as Managers and Advisers. Malta Stock Exchange plc is acting as Registrar to the issue.
Full details of the published Prospectus are now available on www.mfsa.com.mt/ (Listing Authority/Published Prospectus) and www.fimbank.com.