Bank of Valletta chairman change: the mandatory company announcement was not made

Published: April 5, 2013 at 3:10am

Earlier tonight I received word from senior Bank of Valletta employees that they were not informed internally of the removal of their chairman and his replacement with another one, but read about it in the online media while they were at the office.

Then I suddenly realised that all the media reports I had read of this chop-and-change quoted the government and not a company announcement.

A company announcement about changes of senior personnel and executives is mandatory for public companies listed on the Malta Stock Exchange, let alone for a change of chairman.

Through my work over the years, I know the drill. The company announcement must be made to the Stock Exchange (which publishes it immediately) before the press release to the media. There are in fact situations in which the media picks up news from the Stock Exchange before it receives the press release.

I’ve just gone to the Stock Exchange website and looked at its most recent company announcements to see whether there is one from Bank of Valletta about the resignation of its chairman and his replacement with another. There isn’t. See the two screenshots below.

That tells me all I need to know about how it happened – summarily. It also tells me much of what I knew already about the Labour party’s respect for procedure, the Stock Exchange rules and the markets.

Yes, fine, the company announcement has to be made by the company (Bank of Valletta) and not by the government, but given that Bank of Valletta tends to be a stickler for procedure in these matters, as the company announcements for the chairman’s resignation last summer and the new appointment some days later show, something went badly wrong here.

Let’s face it: if nobody was told, nobody was going to organise the company announcement. And that’s bad. Shareholders have every right to be concerned if this is the approach the bank will now take under the new chairman. The Stock Exchange should issue a reprimand.



21 Comments Comment

  1. Gahan says:

    Hafna formalitajiet zejda , mhux kullhadd kien jaf mill-gazzetti u l-internet?

  2. Makjavel says:

    Who runs the Stock Exchange?

  3. rjc says:

    Seems also that the market took a shock at the change of Chairmanship. BoV shares down 4c yesterday.

    • BOV shareholder says:

      Is he or is he not the new chairman of BOV? Read today’s Borza ta’ Malta (stock exchange) announcements and there’s no news about BOV let alone chairmanships.

      And on the BOV website Mifsud Bonnici is still chairman.

      MFSA seems to be making the due diligence report about Cassar White.

      Andre’ Camilleri can be considered as dead man walking if Cassar White is not given the approval by MFSA.

      • ciccio says:

        Cassar White is one who sees the glass as half empty. Just have a look at his articles published on The Times.

        It seems that he has not absorbed the “be positive” hype of the Movement.

  4. frank says:

    The trouble is, I don’t sense the correct climate to go around telling others ‘I told you’ because, thanks to them, I’m in the same messed up situation.

  5. Grezz says:

    Ah, but this is Muscat we are dealing with – he who unashamedly admits that Mintoff is his hero. This ‘chairman’ move is a typical Mintoffian tactic.

  6. Noel Buttigieg Scicluna says:

    Another part of the procedure is for due diligence to be made by the Malta Financial Services Authority of the person to be nominated and its agreement obtained. Of course such things can be circumvented…

  7. Antoine Vella says:

    This is going to be the hallmark of this government: total disregard for rules and people, in the Mintoff manner.

    The PN must not let its financial problems distract it from opposing the many civil rights abuses we’ll be seeing.

  8. canon says:

    Who needs rules and procedures. “Kollox taghna Ikoll”.

  9. Mister says:

    Yesterday I passed by MITA’s offices. They have a TV in the reception area. Guess what TV channel was on? One TV of course.

  10. Mister says:

    By the way, can a journalist worth his salt ask how his french buddy Hollande is doing?

    After such an endorsement, the least could do is send him an April Fool’s Card.

  11. PWG says:

    One TV the favourite channel at MITA’s reception area, already.

    Next, will have the receptionist’s desk adorned with assorted Labour memorabilia. And to think we were criticised for bringing up Labour’s past during the election campaign.

    Back to Labour basics.

  12. John Farrugia says:

    Please check you facts well before putting your fingers to work on the keyboard. For a Bank (listedone) to issue a company announcement, the Bank itself must be formally notified of such a change post which it would then proceed with the formalities. The Bank was seemingly not formally notified so no announcement could be issued.

    Please also note that it is also customary for any director of a board of an entity licensed by the MFSA to be pre approved by the MFSA before being formally appointed to the Board.

    [Daphne – That is exactly what I said John: that Bank of Valletta’s failure to issue a company announcement means that the bank itself wasn’t informed. I know exactly what the procedure is. I worked in financial PR for years and it was my job to write the company announcements, get them approved through the regulatory/proper channels and release them. That is exactly why I went and looked for the company announcement and understood the significance of not finding it, while no other news media picked up on it.]

  13. carlos says:

    Giving the right to the Govt with only 23%% of the shares to appoint the Chairman was wrong from the beginning. The previous Nats Govts have always disregarded advices regarding Labour’s behaviour in Government.

  14. ciccio says:

    “The Stock Exchange should issue a reprimand.”

    And the MFSA as the listing authority.

    And Paul Bonello, as the great defender of investor rights. The one who until just a few weeks ago was so critical of the MFSA and of BOV.

    • Gahan says:

      I’m afraid Paul Bonello wants more than his pound of flesh for his “inexperienced clients”.

      He will get the payback in full at the detriment of BOV shareholders.

      And he will be made MSE Chairman after Dr Arthur Galea Salomone (who is a FINCO Holdings director together with Paul Bonello) leaves his post.

    • maryanne says:

      I think the government would have preferred Bonello as chairman but given his recent crusade against Bank of Valletta, it is not practical.

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