30 OCTOBER 2002

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CareMalta bonds over-subscribed

CareMalta Finance plc announced on Monday that following strong demand from investors, its Lm3.8 million bond issue was closed on the first day of the opening of the subscription lists. The bond issue was underwritten by Bank of Valletta, who also acted as Manager and Registrar to the issue while Wilfred Mallia, of Charts Investment Management Service Ltd acted as sponsoring stockbroker.

Nazzareno Vassallo, Chairman of the CareMalta Group commented, "We are extremely proud and pleased with the response received from investors in CareMalta. This positive response from the general public fills us with increased confidence to continue developing CareMalta as Malta’s leading private organisation specialising in elderly care."

The bonds are paying a rate of interest of 6.5% and mature between 2008 – 2011. CareMalta’s intention is to direct the funds raised through the issue to fuel CareMalta’s expansion in the sector of elderly care as the demographic trend of elderly in Malta continues to increase in the future.

CareMalta Group CEO Ing. Alexander Tranter comments, "CareMalta has established an excellent reputation in elderly care mainly due to our strict adherence to our care philosophy of offering quality care and support services to elderly in purpose built Homes. We sincerely believe that the quality of our Homes and that of our services is what will continue to distinguish CareMalta in the future as the number of elderly continue to increase due to Malta’s rapidly ageing population."

CareMalta today operates four homes for the elderly, Casa Arkati in Mosta, Villa Messina in Rabat and the two Government owned Home in Zejtun and Cospiuca. The company employs nearly 200 full timers and looks after 450 elderly in these four Homes operated by CareMalta.

CareMalta Finance plc bonds are guaranteed by CareMalta Group Ltd., a subsidiary company of the Vassallo Builders Group that has pioneered the building of purpose built homes in the local market to offer private, quality elderly care. The Bond Issue is be underwritten by Bank of Valletta p.l.c., who are also acting as Manager & Registrar, while the sponsoring stockbroker is Wilfred Mallia of Charts Investment Management Services Ltd.

The CareMalta Bonds are being issued at an interest rate of 6.5% per annum payable yearly in arrears. Each bond, which is being issued at par, has a nominal value of Lm100 and will be redeemed at par between 2008 and 2011.

CareMalta Finance has thanked all investors for supporting the issue as well as and all other parties who contributed towards the success of the Issue. The Allocation Policy to be adopted by the company will be announced in due course.

Farsons bond offer subscribed four times over within 90 minutes

The response to Farsons’ recent bond issue by was described by Group Chief Executive Louis A. Farrugia as "overwhelming". The positive response to the two bond issues became immediately apparent when stockbrokers and financial institutions reported a heavy inflow of requests for pre-placements. When opened for general public subscription on 17 October, the offer had to be closed within an hour and a half.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc received applications for a total value of Lm18,543,600 - more than four times the original aggregate total of Lm4,500,000 on offer. Under the circumstances the company decided to exercise the over-allotment option of Lm1,500,000 by increasing the 6.25% Bonds 2006-2008 by Lm500,000 for a total of Lm2,000,000, and the 6.6% Bonds 2010-2012 by Lm1,000,000 for a total of Lm4,000,000. This overwhelming response obviously made the allocation even more difficult.

Farsons announced the allocation policy today in view of the heavy subscription. Acceptance of applications for Bonds is being made on the following allotment policy:

All applications received in terms of the Preferred Allocation will be met in full to the extent of their Preferred Allocation.

Out of the Lm7,437,600 worth of bonds applied for through Pre-Placement Arrangements, an aggregate amount of Lm2,184,000 in Bonds will be allotted to the applicants concerned.

Farsons Group CE Louis Farrugia stated that the allocation policy adopted ensures the fairest possible distribution of available bonds, despite the very strong demand for the bonds. Preferred applicants will receive their full entitlement plus a portion of any excess amount they requested. Similarly, the general public will also be allotted a portion of any amount requested in excess of Lm500. In the case of institutions, their pre-placement offers will be met as to 14% regarding the 6.25% bonds and 34% for the 6.6% bonds

At a meeting with the Group Funding Committee, Mr Farrugia said that the response received to the Bond Issues reflects the confidence which investors and the public in general have in the Farsons Group. On behalf of the Board of Directors, he thanked all applicants for their overwhelming support as well as HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c. who acted as Manager and Registrar, the joint sponsoring stockbrokers and other advisors of the Company who helped to make the Bond Issues such an outstanding success.

The Company shall be informing all applicants personally of the number of Bonds allotted to them and shall be issuing refund cheques where applicable.

Interest on the bonds commenced on 26 October 2002.

HSBC’S new management team meets shareholders

HSBC’s Chief Executive Officer, Chris Hothersall, and HSBC’s Chief Operating Officer, Tim Fitzpatrick, recently met with HSBC’s shareholders for the first time since taking over the bank’s top two management posts.

Having been introduced to shareholders by HSBC Bank Malta’s Chairman, Albert Mizzi, Mr Hothersall explained the new management team’s aims for the coming months and also the approach that will be adopted to achieve these aims. Mr Hothersall also gave detailed information about the financial performance of HSBC Bank Malta and of its various subsidiary companies.

Shareholders were also shown a presentation detailing other initiatives such as staff training exercises and HSBC’s work in the community, particularly through the HSBC Cares for Children Fund.

Following the presentations, HSBC’s shareholders were also given the opportunity to ask any questions. Both Mr Hothersall and Mr Fitzpatrick, as well as other senior members of HSBC’s management answered various interesting questions.

"Our fist meeting with HSBC Malta’s shareholders was certainly enlightening and we will be paying close attention to the number of interesting points raised during the meeting," said Mr Hothersall. "HSBC is committed to listening to all of its stakeholders, be they shareholders or customers and to doing its best to continue delivering the best range of financial services products to customers and excellent financial results for shareholders," concluded Mr Hothersall.

New HSBC capital secured funds target future economic ‘hot spots’

HSBC Bank International Limited is offering three new opportunities to invest in capital protected products that also allow investors to benefit from the potential of economic ‘hot spots’ across the world.

The funds promoted locally by HSBC Bank Malta plc, offer capital protection regardless of market performance, and a choice of minimum and maximum returns to suit investors’ preferences. Available between 14 October and 3 December 2002, they are included in the latest issue of HSBC’s best-selling Capital Secured Funds, which have attracted over USD2billion from investors in the last 10 years.

Asia Plus Growth Fund

The Asia region is forecast to post the world’s highest economic growth and is positioned to benefit from a global upturn;

Invests in indices containing over 250 leading companies listed on the principal stock exchanges of Hong Kong, China and South Korea;

The fund offers potential maximum return on capital of up to 112 per cent depending on the investment currency;

Sterling investors are guaranteed a minimum return on capital of 9 per cent, US dollar 7 per cent and euro 8 per cent;

World Growth Fund

Invests on the FSTE 100, Dow Jones EURO STOXX 50, Nikkei 225 and S&P 500;

Designed to maximise the growth achieved during the life of the fund by: using only the best three performing years of the fund to calculate growth weighting returns in favour of the highest annual growth rates - 50 per cent of growth from the best performing year, 30 per cent from the next best year and just 20 per cent from the third;

eliminating any year showing a negative return from the calculations;

Anglo American Growth Fund

Designed to benefit from revaluation of equities in the US and UK;

To obtain the highest level of performance, the fund calculates growth by selecting 70 per cent of the better performing of the two markets, and 30 per cent of the other;

The three funds will run for four years, and investments can be made in Sterling, US dollars or euro. Bonus shares are awarded to early investors.

Clive Parrish, Head of Wealth Management, commented, "At a time of continuing economic uncertainty, our new funds provide the widest possible choice for clients looking for capital security plus the potential for attractive capital growth. HSBC has seen record sales of Capital Secured Funds over the past year - evidence of the enviable reputation we enjoy in this market."

Customers interested in receiving more information can contact HSBC Customer Helpline on 8007 4444 or visit any HSBC branch in Malta and Gozo.

Subject to changes in the rate of exchange if the investment and the base currencies are different and provided the investment is held for the full term.

The value of investments including the currency in which they are denominated can go down as well as up. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. Full details are contained in the prospectus which is available on request from any branch of HSBC Bank Malta plc which is licensed by the MFSA.

New investment managers for Barclays

Barclays International Investments (Malta) Ltd, the Investment Services arm of the Barclays operation in Malta, has appointed two new International Investment Managers.

Keith Brown from Northampton in the UK, has spent a number of years working in a regulated sales environment and will be the Senior International Investment Manager for Barclays in Malta. Richard Wallace, Managing Director of Barclays International Investments (Malta) Ltd said he was delighted to welcome Keith to Malta. He would bring a lot of experience and will work with the existing team here to build up business in Malta.

Also joining Barclays in Malta is Adrian Calleja. Adrian is not new to the financial services industry having worked in the industry in Malta for a number of years.

Richard Wallace said that Adrian was a welcome addition to the Barclays Team in Malta as he brought with him much local knowledge and many local contacts.

Barclays International Investments (Malta) Ltd is situated at Level 9, Portomaso Business Tower, St Julian’s. For further information on the range of products and services available, contact Keith Brown or Adrian Calleja on 21 389458.

Copyright © Network Publications Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07, Malta
Tel: (356) 21382741-3, 21382745-6 | Fax: (356) 21385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt