19 July 2006

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Business Today

Bank of Valletta signs EUR155 million syndicated loan

A Euro 155 million syndicated term loan facility arranged for Bank of Valletta by ING Bank N.V. and SANPAOLO IMI Bank Ireland plc was signed on Monday at the Corinthia San Gorg Hotel.
The facility fully underwritten by the Mandated Lead Arrangers, was originally launched at a level of EUR100 million, but was significantly oversubscribed to attract commitments in excess of the original amount underpinning the excellent reputation which BOV enjoys among foreign investors. The Bank, however, decided to scale it down to Euro 155 million.
Tony Camilleri, Chief Officer, Financial Markets and Investments, appeared and signed on behalf of Bank of Valletta while Paolo Andrea Ricciardi and Charlotte Howell signed on behalf of the Mandated Lead Arrangers followed by the other participants signing on the facility.
The official signing of the Euro 155 million term loan was followed by a commemorative luncheon hosted by Roderick Chalmers, Chairman of Bank of Valletta. Amongst the distinguished guests present at the luncheon were Parliamentary Secretary Tonio Fenech, David Pullicino, deputy governor of the Central Bank of Malta, Prof. Joseph Bannister, Chairman of the Malta Financial Services Authority, Joseph Zammit Tabona, Chairman of the Malta Stock Exchange and representatives of the syndicate of international banks forming part of the syndicate.
“Although Bank of Valletta has been tapping the syndicated loan market for a number of years as a means to fund part of our capital markets activities, we see the transaction that we have signed off on today as being one of significance to both the Bank and to Malta,” said Roderick Chalmers whilst addressing the guests during the commemorative event.
Roderick Chalmers said that the transaction has, once again, confirmed the trust and confidence that international financial markets’ have in the Bank of Valletta Group. “The issue was oversubscribed and scaled down, and we see in the syndicate some of the finest names in the world of international banking. Also significant for BOV is that we have been able to close the deal at a new benchmark for our borrowing costs – a keen rate that is well below levels that we have experienced in the past.,” added BOV’s Chairman.
Chalmers said that this constituted a strong vote of confidence in BOV from the international markets. “It is also a vote of confidence for Malta, and for the steps that have been taken by Government to consolidate its finances, and the progress that has been made to date on our Euro adoption convergence programme,” he added.
Chalmers spoke about the challenges and opportunities brought about by Malta’s accession to the EU just over two years ago. “We at the Bank of Valletta are working closely with our customers to deal with both – as well as in preparing ourselves for Euro adoption - and our active participation in new market opportunities that we believe exist, and will continue to develop, in the international Financial Services sector. As Malta’s leading Bank, and a major player in the local economy, we are committed to working with our customers as Malta makes the transition from a somewhat closed and protected enclave to an open market economy,” concluded Chalmers.

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