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FIMBank holds its 2017 Annual General Meeting


FIMBank plc recently held its Annual General Meeting at the Hilton hotel. In his opening address, the Chairman of the FIMBank Group, Dr John C. Grech, explained the background to the Group’s performance last year. He referred to the 2016 financial results as a “vindication of our steadfast resolve to bring the Group back on the road to profitability following the bleak performance of 2014”.

Dr Grech went on to add that “after considerable effort and sound strategic decision-making, today we are in a position to witness the financial response to a successful turnaround strategy, superbly crafted and ably delivered by FIMBank’s management team, led by our CEO Murali Subramanian”. The FIMBank Chairman also underlined the fact that “on the back of consistent support of our controlling shareholders, Fitch Ratings upgraded FIMBank to BB and its Support Rating to 3 from 5”.

The first item on the Meeting’s agenda - the approval of the Group’s Consolidated Audited Financial Statements, was accompanied by a presentation by FIMBank CEO Murali Subramanian, who explained that for the year ended 31 December 2016, the Group registered a profit of USD5.3 million, compared to a loss of USD7.1 million in 2015. At 31 December 2016, Total Consolidated Assets stood at USD1.74 billion, a substantial increase of 21 per cent over the USD1.44 billion reported at end 2015, while Total Consolidated Liabilities stood at USD1.57 billion, up by 24 per cent from USD1.27 billion in 2015. Mr Subramanian highlighted the fact that, “as a result of energetic and consistent recovery efforts”, for the second year running net impairments saw a very significant decrease, this time by more than 70 per cent, to stand at USD2.3 million, compared to USD10.3 million in 2015.

Commenting on the financial results, FIMBank Group CEO Murali Subramanian stated that the pillars for the successful turnaround of the Group’s fortunes post-2014, included an improved origination strategy, the harmonisation of FIMBank’s product offering, exploring new product opportunities, developing a market-appropriate risk appetite, as well as the implementation of cost efficiencies across the whole Group. “These principles provided a platform from which FIMBank has, since then, been successfully stabilising its performance, growing its loan book and reversing the negative financial trend, eventually returning a full-year profit by end-2016”.
Referring to the immediate outlook for the Group, Mr Subramanian said that “We will evaluate further avenues to diversify the target sectors wherever viable, in order to reinforce balance, and rebuild or consolidate the different portfolios”. FIMBank’s CEO stated that “The overall objective is to further optimise our business to achieve more sustainable levels of profitability, generating greater returns to shareholders, while strengthening our balance sheet further”.

In his concluding remarks to the AGM, Dr Grech had words of praise for the Group’s institutional investors, thanking them for their unwavering support. He also thanked his fellow directors, management and staff members for their hard work, dedication and commitment, and the Malta Financial Services Authority for its guidance and support. Finally, he extended his gratitude to all of the Group’s shareholders for their “understanding, and their strong demonstration of loyalty to and confidence in FIMBank”.

Shareholders approved resolutions to declare a 1:80 bonus share issue by capitalisation of the share premium account. Shareholders also confirmed the appointment of retiring Directors and approved the appointment of two new Directors, Mr Hussain Lalani and independent Director Mr Edmond Brincat.