The recently set up Malta Development Bank has held its first meeting, officially operating as the first bank of its kind in Malta.
Addressing the board of directors, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said the bank aims to mainly address market failures by offering financing facilities to support productive and viable operations when the market is unwilling or unable to accommodate them.
Earlier, addressing the “Investment and Investment Finance – the case of Malta” conference, Prof. Scicluna stated that rather than being driven by purely commercial considerations and profit maximisation, the Malta Development Bank would be primarily committed to support socio-economic objectives in the public interest.
It will thus be complementing and supplementing the operations of market players in the financial system, rather than offering any form of competition.
In effect, it will be operating as a lender of last resort on a non-competitive basis as well as financing those projects, such as large infrastructure projects, which because of their long gestation period and risk profile; will inhibit commercial banks to finance such investment.
The Finance Minister said the Malta Development Bank could also act as a catalyst to encourage credit institutions to participate in syndicated loans for local infrastructure development, provide guarantees or co-finance such projects with credit institutions or directly under a Public-Private Partnership initiative.
“Malta’s Development Bank will also seek opportunities to increase the utilisation of the European Fund for Strategic Investments and enhance the financing of infrastructure by blending its resources with other EU funding instruments,” he said.
The paid-up capital of the Malta Development Bank is €30 million, whilst the authorised share capital is €200 million.
The board is composed of Prof. Josef Bonnici as Chairman, and Paul Abela, Rose Azzopardi, Robert Borg, Paul Cardona, Godfrey Grima and Anthony Valvo as Directors. The Bank’s CEO is Rene Saliba.
The Malta Development Bank will be supervised by a specially appointed supervisory board composed of John Cassar White as Chairman and Oliver Bonello (Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Malta), Alfred Camilleri (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance), Chris Cilia and Marianne Scicluna (MFSA) as directors.
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