The Malta Independent 25 May 2020, Monday

Optimum Asset Management suing Vatican Bank in Malta

Tuesday, 24 October 2017, 13:44 Last update: about 4 years ago

Optimum Asset Management is suing Istituto per le Opere di Religione (otherwise known as the Vatican bank) in Malta for defaulting on contractual commitments.

Andrea Suriano, General Counsel of Optimum Asset Management sent a letter to the Malta Independent after it published an article stating that Mr Justice Wenzu Mintoff has been appointed to preside over the case in which the Vatican Bank is trying to recover millions it lost in an investment fund.

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The Associated Press had reported the following: “The Vatican said Tuesday that a Maltese judge would determine the total losses, which it termed ‘significant.’ Italian news reports have identified the investment vehicle as the ‘Ad Maiora’ fund, and said the total losses suffered by the bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works, came to upward of 230 million euros.”

Suriano, in his letter, said: “There has been no loss in the Optimum-Ad Maiora fund and the figure of €230 million refers to the assets of the fund. On the contrary, the investment in Ad Maiora (a fund of funds) was profitable: as such it was exited generating a total return for the investor (IOR) in excess of 7%. The lawsuit initiated by the IOR regards Futura-Kappa (a real estate fund), which invested in 2013 with the objective to acquire, refurbish, reposition and sell the Budapest Exchange Palace, one of the most prestigious buildings in the Hungarian capital. The IOR entered into contractual commitments to invest €41 million. Nonetheless, it only invested €17 million and is, therefore, clearly in default on the remaining €24 million. We are suing the IOR in Malta for breach of contract.”

The Vatican bank is suing Futura Funds SICAV PLC, Futura Investment Management Ltd, Optimum Evolution Fund SIF, Optimum Asset Management S.A., Alberto Matta and Girolamo Stabile.

The main shareholder of the Futura Fund is Futura Investment Management Ltd. The majority shareholder of Futura Investment Management Ltd is Futura Investment Holding Ltd.

Futura Investment Holding Ltd’s main shareholder is Alberto Matta, who is also the sole director.

The Fund’s website reads: “Set up in 2011 by the management team of Optimum Asset Management, Futura Investment Management Ltd is Optimum Asset Management affiliated company. Headquartered in Malta, authorized and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority, Futura was set up in order to originate and execute tailor-made transactions designed to meet very specific investor portfolio needs. The Company acts via Futura Funds SICAV, an investment umbrella Fund also authorized and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority”.

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