07 April 2004

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Sea Malta privatisation plans caught company officials by surprise

Although top Sea Malta officials are aware of restructuring plans for Malta’s sea liner, the idea that the company might soon be privatised caught them by surprise.
Investment and privatisation minister Austin Gatt has indicated that the government is “currently considering the various strategic options for the future of Sea Malta - including privatisation of the company.”
The Malta Business and Financial Times is informed that a restructuring process at Sea Malta is to commence in the coming months and some services currently offered could be discontinued.
The last published accounts of Sea Malta – up to 31 March 2003 - show the company with net current liabilities of Lm3 million and the prior year it was Lm2.3 million. However, turnover has been rising and reached Lm5.6 million for the year ended 31 March 2003 increasing steadily over the past few years.
If Sea Malta is privatised it will follow Maltapost plc Mid-Med Bank, the operations of Malta International Airport to move to the private sector.
Privatisation has had a mixed reception in Malta with many claiming that HSBC has upped banking standards in the islands, but with Maltapost coming in for strong criticism for what is generally perceived as a worse service than what was previously offered.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Malta Financial & Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann
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