BOV shareholders approve dividend and bonus share issue
BOV shareholders approved a final gross dividend of €0.13 per share, which represents a gross payment of €0.19 per share during the annual general meeting. The Board’s recommendation of a bonus issue of one share for every 10 shares held was also approved by shareholders. This will result in an increase of the permanent capital to €330 million.
Addressing the shareholders for the first time as the BOV Chairman, John Cassar White, commented on the satisfactory performance of the BOV Group that registered a profit before tax of €115.8 million, a five per cent increase compared to the previous year. The Group continued to strengthen its core Tier 1 capital ratio which now stands at 11.7 per cent, up from 10.7 per cent last year. In his speech, the Chairman made reference to the Banking Union and he mentioned the fact that BOV, being a domestic systemically Bank, will now be under the direct supervision of the ECB.
Looking forward, the Chairman commented on the positive prospects for the Maltese economy which is expected to grow at a faster rate. Job creation, rising disposable income and innovative investment opportunities are expected to be the main drivers of economic growth.
He concluded his intervention by reaffirming the commitment of the BOV Group to support the local economy, particularly the small and medium enterprises, while protecting shareholders’ value.
Charles Borg, CEO of Bank of Valletta gave a detailed analysis of the factors that had a marked impact on the Bank’s financial performance.
Financial Year 2013 witnessed a resilient Bank of Valletta that retained its deliberate prudent approach in managing its balance sheet, with a view to maintain strong capital and liquidity buffers, while safeguarding its asset quality. Earlier this year, the bank paid back two Long Term Refinancing Operation (LTROs) loans totalling €170 million. “This means that the entire bank’s funding is now wholly composed of customer deposits and long-term senior and subordinated debt, with no reliance on the international money markets,” explained Mr Borg.
FY 2013 was characterised by customer centric innovation across all business lines, as BOV responded effectively to changing customer needs, sharpening its customer value proposition and delivering an experience that is aligned to the bank’s brand promise. This year, Bank of Valletta reviewed its visual identity to project a fresher and bolder identity.
Mr Borg reported that during FY 2013, Bank of Valletta opened six regional Investment Centres across Malta and Gozo. This was one of the initiatives undertaken by the bank with the objective to give a new structure to the investment advisory service, in line with the changes implemented in the regulations of this sector as well as investors’ expectations.
Following the Chairman’s and the CEO’s address, four resolutions were put to the meeting. These resolutions included approval of the Profit and Loss Account and Balance Sheet for the year ended September 30, 2013, and the Directors’ and Auditors’ Reports. In addition, a gross final dividend of €0.13 per share, which represents a gross payment of €39,000,000 as recommended by the Directors, was approved for payment on December 20, 2013.
The re-appointment of Deloitte Malta, jointly with Deloitte United Kingdom, as Auditors was also approved. Approval was also obtained to increase the issued share capital of the bank (from €300 million) to €330 million and to capitalise €30 million from retained earnings for the purpose of a bonus issue of one share for every 10 shares held on the January 17, 2014.
Shareholders elected the following directors Joseph Borg, Mario Grima, Paul Testaferrata Moroni Viani, George Wells, Franco Xuereb and Joseph M. Zrinzo. Chairman John Cassar White and Taddeo Scerri were appointed by the Government until the 2014 AGM, while Roberto Cassata was appointed by UniCredit until the 2015 AGM.