On 29 February, Lombard Bank Malta plc issued an announcement to clarify its position with respect to its largest shareholder, Marfin Popular Bank Public Co. Limited (Marfin), following local press coverage on Marfin’s 2011 financial results published on the same day.
Marfin, a Cypriot-based bank, reported a €3.3 billion loss mainly after taking a 60% writedown of its Greek government bond holdings. Following the loss incurred and the requirements to reach a 9% capital ratio by June 2012, Marfin plans to raise cash from shareholders through a rights issue or via a private placement of share to new investors. In this respect, Marfin announced that they are being approached by a number of credible strategic investors.
In its announcement, Lombard Bank clarified that Marfin is not the majority shareholder in Lombard, although it is the single largest shareholder with an equity stake of 48.9%. Moreover, Lombard Bank confirmed that it holds no exposure whatsoever to any member of the Marfin Group nor to any other Greek or Cypriot entity and additionally it also has no exposure to any form of non-Maltese sovereign or corporate securities.
In conclusion Lombard noted that it will continue to implement its policy of a prudent and cautious approach to treasury management.