APS Bank plc debuts on the Malta Stock Exchange
APS Bank will make its debut on the Malta Stock Exchange in the coming weeks after an offer to sell up to 110 million shares worth €0.62c each has been oversubscribed. The Bank is raising capital to drive its future growth strategy.
The IPO is the first in the Bank’s 112-year history and marks the start of the next phase of growth for a bank that has earned a reputation for its community-minded approach and business ethics.
APS Bank was founded in 1910 by Jesuit Father Michael Vella, with the aim of helping working class individuals, at a time when a national welfare state was virtually non-existent.
“More than a century later, our mission is still anchored in the community and in the simplicity and accessibility of the banking experience,” said Marcel Cassar, Chief Executive Officer of the Bank. “Of course, it’s an entirely different world in which we provide the service today, but the fundamentals haven’t changed.”
In addition to its basic banking services, APS Bank also devotes considerable time and resources to supporting the arts, culture and education in Malta. It has undertaken projects aimed at protecting the country’s heritage, as well as helping it meet the challenges posed by climate change.
In fact, APS has become synonymous with green finance, regularly promoting green opportunities through its portfolio of lending and investment products. As Liana DeBattista, APS Chief Strategy Officer, says, “Authenticity is one of the Bank’s core values and at the heart of everything we do. We try to reflect this in all of our services, to keep our products and terms and conditions simple to be inclusive of everyone, to be first to market with sustainable products.
Like any other business, the Bank strives to achieve profitability across all of its operations, but Chief Financial Officer Ronald Mizzi says it does not allow profitability to become an obsession because great value is also given to its social program and its long-term vision.
“Research shows that entities with a truly sustainable program tend to have a lower cost of debt and cost of equity and are able to generate higher returns due to the real value of a strong ESG strategy” , adds Ronald Mizzi.
Like Marcel Cassar, the Bank’s President, Martin Scicluna, believes that APS Bank’s desire to serve the community is what sets it apart from others. This emphasis on community as well as a sense of “collegiality” are both at the heart of the Bank’s culture, he says.
“Our set of corporate values are embodied through five principles of Excellence, Authenticity, Passion, Inclusiveness and Contemporary Thinking, and they are communicated and anchored in our Behavioral Ethics,” says Martin Scicluna.
This is evident from the Bank’s efforts to provide sources of finance to those who do not meet the financial endurance criteria, through partnerships with governmental and non-governmental organizations. This is also reflected in the Bank’s relentless drive for a more sustainable Malta.
Over the past few years, opinion polls have repeatedly shown citizens’ growing concern about their quality of life and the need to protect the environment. By positioning itself as an ethical banking partner and the leading promoter of sustainable practices within the Maltese financial sector, the Bank and its leaders have shown the vision needed to remain relevant and forward-looking.
Following the successful initial public offering (IPO), APS Bank will now have a broader and more diverse investor base as it embarks on a three-year growth trajectory.
The capital increase will open up new opportunities, including diversifying the Bank’s lending into currently unserved economic sectors, as well as growing the value of assets under its management through new and innovative products that meet the needs of clients.
“The IPO is not an end in itself, but rather a significant transaction that will unlock future value for the Bank. Our end goal here is the successful execution of the Bank’s strategy and ambition to grow further and continue to generate sustainable and superior returns for investors,” concludes Ronald Mizzi.
APS Bank plc is regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority as a credit institution under the Banking Act 1994 and to carry on investment services business under the Investment Services Act 1994. investment. The Bank is also registered as a tied insurance intermediary under the Insurance Distribution Act 2018. .
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of APS Bank plc.
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