Mark Watkinson, HSBC Bank Malta’s Chief Executive Officer, stated during the bank’s Annual General Meeting held on 18th April that Malta has the opportunity to become a major trading hub. With the third largest port in the Mediterranean and an unrivalled geographic position that allows it to act as a bridge between the EU and North Africa, the potential is very positive. In support of this vision HSBC recently launched “Malta Trade for Growth” that is designed to meet the aspirations of Maltese companies to find new export markets and to look for more competitive overseas suppliers.
Mr Watkinson explained to shareholders how in 2012, HSBC had delivered a good financial performance in very challenging market conditions, while registering a profit before tax of €95 million increased by 8%, or €7 million, over the comparable period in 2011.
“Malta remains an important part of the HSBC Group, despite the global and regional challenges, with all the three main business lines, Retail Banking and Wealth Management (RBWM), Commercial Banking (CMB) and Global Banking and Markets (GBM), remaining profitable in 2012. HSBC Malta is well capitalised, liquid and optimally positioned to support the local economy whilst exploiting international opportunities, with a clear view to delivering long-term sustainable growth.”
The Bank’s Chief Financial Officer, Josephine Magri, also addressed the shareholders and provided a detailed analysis of the 2012 financial results.
The AGM confirmed the Directors appointed by the majority shareholder HSBC Europe BV: Mr Albert Mizzi (Chairman), Mr Mark Watkinson (Chief Executive Officer), Mr Ranjit Gokarn (Chief Operating Officer), Mr Brian Robertson (Chief Executive of HSBC Bank plc), Dr Philip Farrugia Randon and Mr Charles J Farrugia. Mr James Dunbar Cousin, Ms Caroline Zammit Testaferrata Moroni Viani and Mr Sonny Portelli were elected as non-Executive Directors.
All the ordinary resolutions presented during the meeting were approved by the shareholders in accordance with the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association. The audited accounts for the year ended 31 December 2012 were approved. A final ordinary gross dividend of 7.9 cent per share (5.1 cent net of tax) was announced, to be paid on 27 April 2013. This together with the gross interim dividend of 7.9 euro cent per share results in a total gross dividend for the year of 17.9 euro cent. The shareholders also approved the re-appointment of KPMG as auditors and the maximum annual remuneration of the non-executive Directors.