HSBC Bank Malta plc issued a Company Announcement which complies with the recent addition of Listing Rules 9.51 and 9.53. These Listing Rules apply to Companies whose shares are traded on a Regulated Market and their financial period commences on or after 1 January 2007. Listing Rules 9.51 and 9.53 specify the following:
“Without prejudice to the provision of the Prevention of Financial Markets Abuse Act, an Issuer whose shares are admitted to trading on a Regulated Market shall make public a statement by its Directors during the first six-month period of the Financial Year and another statement by its Directors during the second six-month period of the financial year. Such statements shall be made in a period between 10 weeks after the beginning of the first half of the year and six weeks before the end of the relavant period”.
The Interim Directors’ Statement of HSBC Bank Malta is based on the unaudited management accounts up to 30 April 2007. The Statement claims that since 1 January 2007 HSBC Bank Malta plc has made solid progress with profit before tax, net interest income and non-interest income improving over the same period in 2006. Furthermore, net interest income includes interest recognised on a sizeable exposure previously categorised as non-performing and that the bank has succeeded in keeping operating expenses under tight control. The announcement also stated that the credit quality of HSBC Bank Malta plc remains sound and that growth in loans and advances during 2007 has been largely mortgage-related. Increased customer deposits and the issue of a subordinated bond helped drive further growth in the Group’s balance sheet.
Shaun Wallis, Director and Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Bank Malta plc commented that the Bank has had a good start to 2007 with results up strongly compared to the same period last year. Mr Wallis states that the improvement in customer experience and sales, and in the bank’s processing efficiency has resulted in a significantly improved cost to income ratio when compared to the same period in 2006. Mr Wallis remains confident that the HSBC Bank Malta can continue to grow their business successfully and in a sustainable manner through 2007.