Edward Scicluna was speaking during the Institute of Financial Services-Malta (IFS) Annual Dinner, held at the Hilton on Monday 15th December 2014.
“The Government is seeking to strengthen the sustainability of the country’s capital markets, in particular to improve access to a wider and more competitive source of capital options for SMEs,”
He said that in this regard, the Government is proposing to spearhead the development of a ten-year Capital Markets Development Plan to make the capital markets much more attractive to a wider group of companies and stakeholders, to widen the economic value creation.
The Government already foresees that an important strategic thrust of this Plan will be the development of an environment that is conducive to the growth and re-generation of SME businesses, the Minister said.
“Accordingly, the Government is working with the Malta Stock Exchange to introduce a new capital rising and trading segment dedicated to SME Growth Companies,” the Minister said, adding that the Government would be announcing more details shortly.
The Minister also underlined that since last year when he had similarly addressed the IFS Annual Dinner, Malta’s fiscal and economic circumstances had improved considerably.
He noted that despite skepticism that Malta would successfully reduce its deficit below the 3% threshold the Government was determined and had made this a reality, reaching the 2.7% target for 2013. “For this year, the Government’s target remains 2.1%, and recently, published statistic for October shows that we’re close to reaching fiscal targets also for this year,” Edward Scicluna noted.
He added that the Commission’s announcement that it intends to place Malta in the preventative arm of the Stability and Growth Pact, “gives clear indication that the Commission expects Malta to exit EPD early next year.”
The Minister also noted that in a single year, the Government was able to address the macro-economic imbalances that were highlighted by the Commission last year, and were, in the Commission’s In-Depth Report, declared to no longer “constitute significant risks” and therefore no longer identifiable as imbalances.
Minister Edward Scicluna also welcomed recently published figures pertaining to GDP growth, which placed Malta among leading EU countries on economic growth.“It is especially encouraging to note that during the first nine months of 2014 we had an average growth of 3.5%, which is the Government’s target rate for next year. That we managed to reach next year’s target this year, is especially encouraging,” he noted.
Tuesday 16th December 2014