The Malta Independent 3 March 2024, Sunday
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Malta Stock Exchange marks the 100th corporate listing

Friday, 18 March 2022, 20:09 Last update: about 3 years ago

Thirty years after starting its operations in January 1992, the Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) is marking the 100th corporate listing with the admission of a €3,000,000 bond issue by Class Finance plc to the Prospects MTF market.

Trading in the Class Finance plc bonds commenced on 16 February 2022, and the event was marked by the traditional bell ringing event at the Exchange's premises in Valletta on 16 March 2022.

Class Finance plc is the financing arm of Class Optical, an organisation which operates in the provision of a full spectrum of optical products and services to the optical retail sector.

MSE Chairman Joseph Portelli welcomed the board of directors and the CEO of Class Finance plc and congratulated them on being the 100th company currently raising capital on the Exchange.

"Over the past 30 years, the MSE has managed to develop a robust capital market. Together with my team, we are proud that the Exchange has become the fundraising avenue of choice for companies and that we provide an alternative to bank financing for the local entrepreneurs," Mr Portelli said.

He thanked the MSE team and the service providers involved in the process of every issue, whether on the Regulated Main Market or Prospects MTF. Mr Portelli said these stakeholders make it possible for Maltese companies to raise the necessary finance through capital market issues.

Over the past 30 years, a host of issuers have benefited from the MSE services. These issues cover a wide spectrum of economic sectors such as banking, financial services, automotive, healthcare, food and beverage, insurance, fashion and retail, real estate, retail, pharmaceutical, telecoms, IT and many more. The very first issuer was Bank of Valletta.

In his address, Dr John C Grech, Class Finance Chairman observed that the reason that the MSE has managed to help the growth of local companies over the past 30 years is because it has always been a member of the community and sensitive to the business needs of the local companies.

Co-incidentally, Mr Grech said that Class Optical Group started growing around 30 years ago when Mr Cyril Gabarretta and Mr Robert Tua started opening the first chain of optical stores. Since then, he added, the group continued to grow and has now also expanded with operations in Morocco and Libya, underpinning the group's international growth.

Mr Grech concluded by thanking the MSE team and Calamatta Cuschieri who were the corporate advisors for the issue, for their professional service and for making this issue a success.

Mr Cyril Gabaretta and Mr Robert Tua, the original founders of the company, rang the bell at the MSE building.


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