Archive for February, 2012

Thomson Reuters sells investment operations unit


Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:47am EST

* Sells Portia unit to SSC Technologies Holdings

* Company announced Portia was for sale in April 2011

* Part of ongoing divestment plan

Feb 29 (Reuters) – Thomson Reuters Corp
has agreed to sell its Portia investment operations unit
for $170 million to financial software company SSC Technologies
Holdings Inc as part of an ongoing divestment plan.

The company announced its intention to sell Portia in April
2011. It said on Feb. 9 that it was also looking to divest its
Property Tax Services, Law School Publishing business and
Financial Risk eXimius business, which is part of the Retail
Wealth Management organization. The three businesses combined
had revenue of about $155 million in 2011.

It has also sought to sell its healthcare services unit, but
has said it will resume that process when market conditions
improve.

SSC said it expects its purchase of Portia to close in the
second quarter of 2012.

Portia provides accounting software to investment managers.

SSC said that Portia President Christy Bremner will
continue to run the business, which has more than 140 employees
in Boston, Bangalore, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Tokyo
and Bangkok.

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Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 EN No Comments

Investec Wealth & Investment hires ex Kleinwort Leeds boss

Investec Wealth  Investment hires ex Kleinwort Leeds boss

Investec Wealth Investment has boosted its Leeds office with the appointment of Kleinwort Benson head Jonathan Marsden.

Most recently head of Kleinwort’s Leeds office, Marsden joins as senior investment director. He previously worked as a financial adviser at AWD Chase de Vere.

He will be responsible for developing the company’s private client business working alongside IFAs and intermediaries.

Simon Kaye, divisional director of Investec Wealth Investment who heads up the Leeds office said he was glad to have recruited someone with a good track record in advising clients. 

‘We have long prided ourselves on providing a senior level of expertise that has enabled us to retain our clients over decades, and Jonathan will make a very positive contribution to that endeavour,’ he added.

Parent company Investec has been on the expansion trail of late, with its deal to buy Williams de Broe owner Evolution recently closing and the Investec Asset Management arm of the business hiring former IMF Institute director Leslie Lipschitz as a visiting strategist at its Cape Town office.

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Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 EN No Comments

FIDELITY NATIONAL INFORMATION SERVICES : Multiple Firms Expand their FIS … – 4


™ (NYSE: FIS), the world’s largest provider of banking and
payments technology, today announced it has signed several
new multi-year agreements for its ® wealth management
platform. ST Wealth Management/Stewart Capital Advisors is
just one of several new clients set to deploy FIS’
TrustDesk in early 2012.

Founded in 1902 in Indiana, Pa., ST Bank operates offices
within Allegheny, Armstrong, Blair, Butler, Cambria,
Clarion, Clearfield, Indiana, Jefferson and Westmoreland
counties. ST Bank’s focus on customer relationships and
relationship banking has allowed it to build strong ties
with its customers and community, enabling it to formulate
plans to exceed its customers’ goals.

In addition to ST Bank, Berkshire Bank of Pittsfield,
Mass., has also elected to deploy FIS’ TrustDesk technology
as well as trust operations and back-office outsourcing
services.

These firms selected FIS because of its proven ability to
deliver comprehensive wealth management offerings that
enable efficient management of fiduciary, advisory and
institutional client relationships. TrustDesk provides
support for client relationship management, client
reporting and Web access, portfolio management, investment
performance measurement, compliance and retirement
distributions as well as automated multi-custodial
held-away account processing and reporting. FIS also
provides full trust operations and back-office outsourcing
services. Wealth management front-office and investment
management automation are delivered through TrustDesk and
InvestEdge®.

“The level of integration offered by the complete wealth
management platform through FIS allows us the significant
efficiency of managing both our traditional trust business
and our advisory business on a single common platform,
while addressing the unique requirements of each business
line,” said Malcolm Polley, executive vice president and
managing director, ST Wealth Management. “The broader
corporate relationship between ST Bank and FIS also
benefits the trust and wealth management business by
streamlining vendor management and leveraging shared
infrastructure.”

“Intuitive navigation and comprehensive browser-based
functionality are the foundations of FIS’ industry-leading
wealth management platform,” said Anthony Jabbour, executive vice
president, FIS Financial Solutions Group. “Diverse
financial institution clients utilize TrustDesk for
efficient management of their front, middle and back-office
operations, allowing them to provide superior service to
their current clients and attract new clients. We’re
excited to see such positive momentum for our wealth
management solutions in 2012.”

About FIS
FIS (NYSE: FIS) is the world’s largest global provider
dedicated to banking and payments technologies. With a long
history deeply rooted in the financial services sector, FIS
serves more than 14,000 institutions in over 100 countries.
Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., FIS employs more than
32,000 people worldwide and holds leadership positions in
payment processing and banking solutions, providing
software, services and outsourcing of the technology that
drives financial institutions. First in financial
technology, FIS tops the annual FinTech 100 list, is ranked
third on the Barron’s 500, 426 on the Fortune 500 and is a
member of Standard Poor’s 500® Index. For more
information about FIS, visit www.fisglobal.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements that
involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Statements
that are not historical facts, including statements about
our beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking
statements. Forward-looking statements are based on
management’s beliefs, as well as assumptions made by,
and information currently available to, management. Because
such statements are based on expectations as to future
economic performance and are not statements of fact, actual
results may differ materially from those projected. We
undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking
statements, whether as a result of new information, future
events or otherwise. The risks and uncertainties which
forward-looking statements are subject to include, but are
not limited to: changes in general economic, business and
political conditions and other risks detailed in the
“Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information,” “Risk
Factors” and other sections of the Company’s Form 10-K and
other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For More Information:

Marcia Danzeisen, SVP, FIS Global Marketing and
Communications
Phone: 904.438.6083, Email: marcia.danzeisen@fisglobal.com

Mary Waggoner, SVP, FIS Investor Relations
Phone: 904.438.6282, Email: mary.waggoner@fisglobal.com 

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Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 EN No Comments

Cresval Capital Appoints Board Director

Cresval Capital has appointed Dan Gosselin to its board of directors. Gosslein was a senior member of the wealth management group at Blackmont Capital and also the managing director of the public venture capital group. He has held senior global management positions at international and domestic firms including CIBC World Markets, Midland Walwyn Capital, Merrill Lynch Canada and Blackmont Capital.

PRESS RELEASE

Cresval Capital Corp. (the “Company”) (TSX VENTURE:CRV) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dan Gosselin to the Board of Directors. Mr. Gosselin holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh and also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from McGill University. Mr. Gosselin has a strong corporate strategic leadership background, a very good understanding of both the public and private markets and has an in-depth knowledge of the retail and institutional buy-side.
Throughout his career, he has been exposed to all facets of the financial service industry including fixed income, equity trading and sales, investment banking, wealth management and investment management. At Blackmont Capital he was a senior member of the Wealth Management Group and was the Managing Director of the Public Venture Capital Group responsible for servicing the Junior Issuer market. Mr. Gosselin has held senior global management positions with international and domestic firms including CIBC World Markets, Midland Walwyn Capital, Merrill Lynch Canada and Blackmont Capital. He was a member of Midland Walwyn’s Executive Committee prior to the Merrill Lynch acquisition. Currently, Mr. Gosselin is a consultant to senior management of a leading Canadian Independent Investment Banking firm.
About Cresval Capital
Cresval Capital is a junior copper and precious metals exploration company actively involved in two 100% owned projects situated near the productive Bralorne Gold camp in the Lillooet mining district in southwestern British Columbia.
Information on the Companies projects is available on the Company’s website at www.cresval.com.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Lee Ann Wolfin, President
Forward looking statements: This release contains statements that are forward-looking statements and are subject to various risks and uncertainties concerning the specific factors disclosed under the heading “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in the Company’s periodic filings with Canadian securities regulators. Such information contained herein represents management’s best judgment as of the date hereof based on information currently available. The Company does not assume the obligation to update any forward-looking statement.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

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Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 EN No Comments

Chatham House: Gold Standard Impractical But Gold Hedge Against Declining …

Goldcore Bullion and Wealth Management Company

Gold’s London AM fix this morning was USD 1,774.75, EUR 1,321.48, and GBP 1,120.42 per ounce.

Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,765.00, EUR 1,316.18, and GBP 1,113.28 per ounce.


Cross Currency Table – (Bloomberg)

Gold fell 0.3% in New York yesterday and closed at $1,766.80/oz. Gold gradually ticked higher in Asia rising to $1,777/oz prior to slight weakness in Europe which sees gold at $1,775/oz.

Gold’s slight gains come after two sessions of losses and may be due another massive ECB cash injection expected later this week and the weak dollar.

Today US consumer confidence figures hit the market at 15.00 GMT. A positive number should see gold weakness and a negative number should see safe haven buying.


Gold Spot $/oz 30 Days – (Bloomberg) 

Gold hit a 3 month high last week of $1,787.11 and appears to be consolidating above $1,750/oz. $1,800/oz is the key technical level which hasn’t broken yet, but we expect this will happen – possibly soon which could see gold quickly rise to $1,850/oz.

Central Bank Demand
The IMF managed to create much confusion yesterday by posting incorrect data regarding the Swedish central bank having bought nearly a $1 billion dollars worth of gold bullion or 18.3 tonnes.

The IMF subsequently confirmed they had made an error. But while all the focus was on the discrepancy between the Riksbank and the IMF, the more important development of continuing and significant central bank demand in January was lost.

Western central bank gold buying is likely to be seen in the coming months and years as western central banks realise the absolute folly of selling their gold reserves in recent years, including and especially the Bank of England, and begin to diversify their foreign exchange reserves by buying gold bullion again.

Silver’s Fundamentals
The gold-silver ratio has dropped to its lowest ratio in 4 months to just above 49, as silver has so far seen a 28% year to date rally versus gold’s 13% gain.  

Since 2003, we have said that the gold silver ratio will likely return to the geological gold silver ratio of around 15:1 due to the fact that a huge amount of silver has been used in industrial applications in the last 100 hundred years – making silver even more attractive than gold from a supply demand perspective.

Silver’s fundamentals remain even more compelling than gold’s. 

Chatham House: Gold Standard Impractical But Gold Hedge Against Declining Values of Key Fiat Currencies 
Gold’s use to back the value of the dollar would be impractical and there is little scope for the metal to play a more formal role in the international monetary system, the U.K.’s influential research institute Chatham House or the Royal Institute of International Affairs has said.

While a higher gold price may reflect a lack of confidence in key currencies and low returns on other assets, there’s no consistent correlation between bullion and economic variables that could be used to inform policy decision making, according to a task force that discussed possible roles for gold. 

The metal can be used to hedge against currency devaluation and other risks as part of a portfolio, but not on its own, it said.

“Reintroducing gold as an anchor would undoubtedly be impractical or even damaging, given bullion’s deflationary bias,” the task force, which held discussions over eight months, said in a report today. “Gold can serve as a hedge against declining values of key fiat currencies, and can also be useful for central banks looking to diversify their foreign reserves.”

While the gold standard may no longer exist, nations and international organizations still have 30,877 metric tons of bullion reserves, valued at about $1.77 trillion. 

The dollar has been the world’s reserve currency since the U.S. and allies agreed at the 1944 Bretton Woods conference to peg it to a rate of $35 per ounce of gold. It remained the most- traded legal tender after global currencies began freely floating in the early 1970s. The greenback dropped 12 percent against a basket of six major currencies since March 2009. The U.K. suspended the gold standard in 1931, Chatham House said.

“Greater discipline on financial markets might have been helpful in inhibiting the reckless banking and excessive debt accumulation of the past decade,” the task force said. “However, with the onset of the global crisis, had gold had a more formal role to play, the rigidity it imposes might also have been a handicap when a more flexible policy response was required.”

Including gold in the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights system probably wouldn’t bring substantial benefits, and adding developing economies’ currencies to the basket would be more desirable, according to the task force. SDRs were created in 1969 and are an artificial currency that IMF members use to settle accounts with each other and can be converted into hard currencies.

Chatham House was founded in 1920 and is based in London. Members of the gold task force include Gerard Lyons, chief economist at Standard Chartered Plc, Meghnad Desai, professor emeritus of the London School of Economics and a member of Britain’s House of Lords, and Catherine Schenk, a professor of international economic history at the University of Glasgow.

“For gold to play a more formal role in the international monetary system, it would be imperative for it neither to hamper the system’s performance nor to create unacceptable constraints on national economic policies,” the task force said. 

Gold may “continue playing a significant role in the international monetary system, serving as a valuable hedge and safe haven, particularly in times when tail risks predominate.”

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Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 EN No Comments

Close Brothers UK intermediary acquisitions head to retire

Close Brothers Asset Management head of intermediary acquisitions Stuart Dyer is to retire from the business.

Dyer, who will retire in April, has led the company’s acquisitions of Scott Moncrieff Wealth Management, Cavanagh, Allenbridge Group and Chartwell.  

Close Brothers Asset Management chief executive Martin Andrew says: “Dyer has been a great support to me personally and to the business.  I shall miss him and we wish him all the best in the future.”

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Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 EN No Comments

Current market correction is a good buying opportunity: G Chokkalingam

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Monday, February 27th, 2012 EN No Comments

Photo Release — Leading Wealth Management Firm, BiscayneCapital(TM), Launches …

MIAMI, Feb. 27, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — BiscayneCapital™, one of the leading wealth management firms in Latin America, announces the launch of its 2012 publicity effort called “Valores“.

A photo accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=11785

This campaign will consist of a series of print advertisements whose messaging is intended to reach both the ultra-high net worth families in Latin America and their intermediary advisers, including attorneys and certified public accountants.

“BiscayneCapital’s new Valores campaign validates our commitment to treating our customers like they are family,” said Maribel Garcia, vice president of Marketing Operations at BiscayneCapital. “By doing so, we remain loyal to our company’s core values by providing exceptional customer service through the comfort of one, highly experienced financial advisor.” Garcia added.

This yearlong branding campaign includes a mix of advertising in select print publications that place an emphasis on luxury, lifestyle, travel automotive such as: Pluna, American Airlines “Nexos”, Forbes Argentina, and Audi magazines, to name a few.

BiscayneCapital will also be raising its brand awareness through sports sponsorships for five star events like the Nokia Summer Cup in Punta del Este, Uruguay and the ProAm Charity Tennis Tournament in Key Biscayne, FL.

About BiscayneCapital™:

BiscayneCapital™ is one of the preeminent providers of wealth management services to high-net-worth individuals and families in Latin America.

Founded in 2005, BiscayneCapital has distinguished itself as an industry leader in Latin America by offering objective, personally tailored investment strategies that meet the specific goals and objectives of its clientele.

Through its customer-centric approach to relationship building, BiscayneCapital’s highly experienced professionals are able to offer a global array of product offerings through an open architecture platform that uses state-of-the art technology.

The firm’s clients also benefit from a number of valuable alliances with top U.S. investment banks and Swiss and German financial institutions.

BiscayneCapital’s global headquarters are in Miami, Florida, and has a central operations center in the country of Uruguay along with satellite offices all throughout Latin America.

www.BiscayneCapital.com

CONTACT: Media Contact:
         Aymee Zubizarreta
         zubizarretA Group
         Tel: 305.799.0750
         Email: AymeeZubi@Me.com
         Skype: AymeeZubi

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Monday, February 27th, 2012 EN No Comments

RBC Wealth hires three directors in HNW push

RBC Wealth hires three directors in HNW push

RBC Wealth Management has hired three directors to bolster its  high net worth and ultra high net worth teams.

Paul Avant, Alex Charalambous and Alex Dean will all join RBC’s London-based UK private client wealth management division. 

Working in the executive services team, Avant will serve as a relationship manager dealing with corporate executives.  He has held senior posts Barclays Private Bank, Schroders and HSCB Private Bank.

Charalambous comes on board from JP Morgan Private Bank, where he spent six years.  Most recently at the private bank he was tasked with establishing and running a private banking team in San Diego.  Along with Dean, who joins RBC from Barclays Wealth, Charalambous will focus on building out RBC Wealth’s book of UK resident and non-domicile client base.

The pair will report to Philip Harris, head of UK private client wealth management.

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Monday, February 27th, 2012 EN No Comments

Non-performing loans at HSBC Malta up from 3.6% to 5.1%

Non-performing loans at HSBC Bank Malta rose from 3.6 per cent in 2010 to 5.1 per cent in 2011, Chief Executive Officer Mark Watkinson said yesterday.

Announcing the yearly results in his first appearance before the media since his appointment at the beginning of the year, Mr Watkinson said this rise was not unexpected and in line with the situation in the market and in competitor countries.

While retail banking non-performing loans remained relatively stable, an increase was registered in commercial loans.

All in all, HSBC Bank Malta delivered a solid performance in the year ended 31 December 2011, against a backdrop in which eurozone debt concerns continued to dominate European market sentiments.

The reported profit before tax of €88.3m increased by 6.3 per cent, or €5.2 million, over the comparable period in 2010. On a like-for-like basis, excluding non-recurring items, profits were in line with the prior year’s performance.

Mr Watkinson also announced that provision for impairments rose by 50.1 per cent or from €5.5 million to €8.3 million in 2011. This was principally due to a €4.0 million impairment taken on Greek government bonds held by the life insurance subsidiary in the available-for-sale bond portfolio. The life insurance subsidiary’s remaining exposure to Greek debt is modest and stands at a net book value of less than €2 million.

All three main business lines, Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Commercial Banking and Global Banking and Markets all contributed positively to the bank’s overall performance.

But for some one-off items, the bank’s performance would closely echo that of last year.

The non-recurring items, which in one way or another impacted on the balance sheet, were:

The card acquiring company has been sold. This was a decision taken at global level by the HSBC Group since this is non-core business. In this case the sale resulted in a revenue of €10.2 million. Mr Watkinson said he had done the same when he was in charge of the Philippines branch.

The early retirement scheme for employees amounted to a negative impact of €8.5 million, after taking into account some items relating to previous years.

The Life Company increased its profits by €5.2 million, part of a €6.9 million gain as a result of a refinement in the methodology used to calculate the present value of in-force long-term insurance business imposed at group level. This benefit was eroded during the year as the yields on euro swaps continued to fall and the market value of investment holdings reduced.

Lastly, there was the disposal, by the bank, of high volatility holdings in what were considered to be weak European holdings, impacting the balance sheet by €2.1 million. In view of significantly heightened stress in the eurozone debt markets, the bank reduced its exposure to higher risk eurozone countries through selling holdings in the available-for-sale bond portfolio at a net loss of €1.6 million.

Speaking at the announcement of the results, Mr Watkinson, said: “We have delivered another good set of results that saw pre-tax profit increase by 6.3 per cent with a return on equity of 15.7 per cent. The bank’s capital and liquidity position remain strong and we have a firm grip on both our risks and costs.

“We will continue to focus on improving productivity and cost effectiveness to ensure long-term business sustainability. The bank’s strategy is clear and we continue to emphasise our competitive advantage as an international bank and as an important part of HSBC, one of the world’s largest and strongest banking groups.”

Net interest income improved by 5.2 per cent to €129.3 million compared with €122.8 million in 2010. The increase reflected growth in mortgage lending and improved balance sheet management. Net fees and commission income of €33.5m in 2011 was marginally down on the prior year. Growth in account services fees were offset by a decline in stockbroking fees largely due to the slow-down in local capital markets bond issuance activity.

HSBC Life Insurance (Malta) Ltd generated a profit before tax of €11.3 million compared to €12.6 million in 2010. Underlying new business performance generation, particularly with respect to life-insurance protection was encouraging. The business benefited from a non-recurring gain of €6.9 million

Other net operating income increased significantly, from €5.2 million in 2010 to €23.6 million in 2011. The increase was driven by, as stated, the sale of the card acquiring business and the non-recurring gain in the life insurance subsidiary relating to a methodology change.

Operating expenses of €98.2 million were €10.6 million or 12.1 per cent higher compared to the previous year with a cost efficiency ratio of 50.4 per cent compared to 49.7 per cent in 2010. Costs increased principally due to the staff voluntary retirement scheme provision of €11 million and due to higher costs relating to utilities, regulatory fees and compliance costs.

Staff costs increased by 15.8 per cent, but after considering the early retirement scheme, staff costs have increased by just 1.3 per cent also considering the impact of a three per cent salary increase as a result of a collective agreement.

Administrative expenses rose by 10.8 per cent (VAT 17.5 per cent increase, utilities 33.3 per cent increase, the IT operating system 27 per cent increase).

During 2011, the bank continued to invest in expanding its business and transforming its operations. A new banking computer system was introduced at a cost of €10 million during the year and the roll-out of upgraded branches and ATMs at a cost of €11 million continues.

Mr Watkinson spoke about the optimisation of the bank’s network. There was more investment in branches with the introduction of new state-of-the-art ATMs and a new system.

Six branches are being closed – four were closed on 15 February and two will be closed on 15 March. This has been brought about by a significant change in customers’ habits: there has been a 14 per cent decrease in across the counter trade while 13 per cent of the bank’s transactions are now done on the Internet and 11 per cent are done through the use of card products. These levels are about the same as one finds abroad.

HSBC Bank Malta now has 25 bank branches and three satellite branches.

Other than the exposures noted above and investments in Maltese government debt, the group has no exposure to southern European government debt.

The group’s available-for-sale portfolio remains well diversified and conservative.

At a bank level, while there was a marginal deterioration in non-performing loans from 3.6 per cent to 5.1 per cent, in general asset quality remains good and loan impairments declined to €4.1 million (11 basis points of the overall loan book) compared with €5.3 million in 2010.

Net loans and advances to customers increased by €53.8 million to €3,344.2 million. Mortgage market share remained stable. Gross new lending to customers amounted to €656 million which reflects the bank’s continued support to the local economy.

Liabilities rose by €141.8 million during the year and stood at €5,458.4 million at the year end. The increase in liabilities reflected a rise in placements with the bank offsetting a small fall in customer deposits.

The bank’s liquidity position remains strong with advances to deposits ratio of 75.9 per cent, compared with 73.7 per cent at 31 December 2010.

The bank strengthened its capital ratio by 140 basis points to 11.6 per cent. This exceeds the 8.0 per cent minimum regulatory requirement. The bank intends to maintain a conservative approach to capital and will continue to build capital where appropriate.

The board is declaring a final gross dividend of 7.2 cent per share (4.7 cent net of tax). This will be paid on 27 April to shareholders who are on the bank’s register of shareholders at 19 March.

Mr Watkinson focused on the bank’s strategy for the future. The bank intends to leverage its belonging to one of the largest and best banks worldwide, especially through the Premier service, now available in 80 countries.

The bank also will seek to encourage selective asset growth. According to a survey published last week, Malta’s trade is seen as expanding by 83 per cent by 2026 and the bank intends to be at the forefront of this expansion.

The bank also intends to fully support Malta’s vision of itself as a key financial centre.

HSBC Bank Malta is a key player in the Maltese economy: it is one of the largest employers in the country and in 2011 it issued €656 million in new loans, just down from €682 million 2010.

It paid the government no less than €36.8 million between VAT, National Insurance and tax.

Mr Watkinson said: “The outlook for 2012 looks very challenging. While the Maltese economy has performed relatively well over the last 12 months, the continuing uncertainty in the eurozone will likely act to slow the domestic economy.

“That said HSBC Bank Malta remains confident in its abilities to rise to the challenges of the next 12 months.”

The first rays of the sun can be glimpsed and dawn is nearly breaking, Mr Watkinson said. There is room for careful optimism. Tourism figures in 2011 stand to be strong and there is also growth in real estate. Although a slow kind of growth, there has been no downturn in real estate as happened in other countries.

There are also signs of an early pick up in the US economy, especially in economy and employment.

It is true that Europe is still battling the Greek problem but there are increasing signs that many significant steps have been taken and there is now just a little way to go.

Since he has taken over, he has been meeting people from the financial services sector and has been impressed by some very good names that are now looking at Malta as a possible alternative to Dublin or Luxembourg.

Profit before tax of €88 million for the year ended 31 December 2011 – an increase of €5 million, or six per cent compared with €83 million in 2010.

Profit attributable to shareholders of €58 million for the year ended 31 December 2011 – up €4 million or seven per cent, compared with €54 million in 2010, resulting in earnings per share of 19.7 cent, up seven per cent.

Total assets of €5,835 million at 31 December 2011, up €174 million or three per cent, compared with 31 December 2010.

Loans and advances to customers were €3,344 million at 31 December 2011, an increase of €54 million, or two per cent, compared with 31 December 2011.

Customer accounts were €4,403 million at 31 December 2011, a decrease of €60 million, or one per cent, compared with 31 December 2010.

Return on equity for the year ended 31 December 2011 was 15.7 per cent, compared with 16.1 per cent in 2010.

Cost efficiency ratio for the year ended 31 December 2011 was 50.4 per cent, compared with 49.7 per cent in 2010.

Capital adequacy ratio of 11.6 per cent at 31 December 2011, compared with 10.2 per cent at 31 December 2010.

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Sunday, February 26th, 2012 EN No Comments