19 January 2005

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Air Malta sells 200,000 BOV shares to Deutsche Bank
By David Lindsay
The Malta Financial and Business Times can confirm that national airline Air Malta, currently undergoing a restructuring process crucial to the company’s survival, sold off some Lm890,000 of its shareholding in Bank of Valletta to Deutsche Bank (Suisse) at the end of the year.
Senior government sources had confirmed with this newspaper earlier this month that a Maltese parastatal company had sold a substantial amount of Bank of Valletta shares directly to a leading German bank.
The deal, which saw over 200,000 Bank of Valletta being sold off, was transacted on 28 December and had raised eyebrows on the day, being the largest movement in the equity on a single day all year. With an average price of Lm4.45 for the day, the deal would have amounted to Lm890,000.
The Bank, however, was not obliged by Malta Stock Exchange regulations to report the transaction since the deal represented a percentile far below the five per cent threshold of the company's total capital which, once surpassed, must be reported. The deal of the 28th represented just 0.36 per cent of BOV’s share capital.
The deal comes at a time when the Government and Banco di Sicilia are on the verge of disposing of their 40 per cent combined stake in BOV, possibly to a large strategic partner from overseas. The selling of such a large stake in a Maltese financial institution to a single foreign strategic partner is a highly contentious strategy that has been met with harsh criticism and encouragement alike.
The deal also falls in line with Air Malta’s rationalisation exercise, through which it is introducing organisational changes, cost cutting and the development of additional business opportunities.

 

 



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Editor: Saviour Balzan
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