Can Banif disclose the value of the share acquisition?
This investment consists of the acquisition of Portuguese shares in the Malta branch. For us it’s an investment because we transferred our investment upfront, but off course the money went to Portugal. In the past, Al Faisal Holdings had assets in other banks but this is the first substantial acquisition and our intention is for Banif to go offshore. In terms of the existing business in Malta, we can see that there is an opportunity to become a large bank and a meaningful player because Malta is growing economically. and we can say that from the due diligence the employees are doing very well. They are qualified and loyal workers and our intention is to keep them and continue to invest in them. The only thing we can say is that they lack the tools and resources to grow and we will be investing in this and also employing more people.
What exactly was the government’s role in what seems to be a private deal between two private entities?
It all started when a Maltese business delegation led by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat visited Qatar in 2015. Al Faisal Holdings, which has a diversified investment portfolio (real estate, hospitality, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, education) around the globe always looked at Malta as an offshore jurisdiction where foreign companies can reg-