Hen­ley and Part­ners’ com­mis­sion on sale of govern­ment stocks ten times what stock­bro­kers charge

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Neil Camil­leri

The 4% com­mis­sion Hen­ley and Part­ners re­ceives on the sale of govern­ment bonds is 10 times higher than the fees charged by li­censed stock­bro­kers, in­dus­try sources have told this news­pa­per.

A re­cently-pub­lished re­port by the IIP reg­u­la­tor re­vealed that the con­ces­sion­aires of Malta’s ci­ti­zen­ship-for-sale scheme are get­ting an ad­di­tional com­mis­sion on the sale of govern­ment bonds – a re­quire­ment for IIP ap­pli­cants.

Speak­ing on TVM’s Dis­sett on Wed­nes­day evening, Jus­tice Shadow Min­is­ter Ja­son Az­zopardi said the news was “scan­dalous” as Hen­ley does not have the nec­es­sary li­cence to take com­mis­sions. He ac­cused Jus­tice Min­is­ter Owen Bon­nici of ly­ing to Par­lia­ment – the min­is­ter had ex­pressly de­nied that Hen­ley and Part­ners were re­ceiv­ing other com­mis­sions other than the 4% they re­ceive on the sale of ci­ti­zen­ship.

He claimed that, be­cause Hen­ley was not li­censed as a stock­bro­ker, the govern­ment was in breach of fi­nan­cial ser­vices laws.

Now it also turns out that Hen­ley are be­ing paid much more than li­censed stock­bro­kers, who have to pay li­cence fees. An in­dus­try source said the stan­dard com­mis­sion paid to bro­kers on Malta govern­ment stocks at ini­tial public of­fer stage is 0.3%. This is paid by the Trea­sury.

“When deal­ing on the ex­change bro­kers charge an av­er­age of 0.25% to 0.3%, even if com­mis­sions are lib­er­alised.”

“It is a shame that I don’t work for Hen­ley and Part­ners,” the source added. “I’d make more than 10 times as much while sav­ing thou­sands in reg­u­la­tory fees.”

Re­act­ing to Dr Az­zopardi’s claims, Jus­tice Min­is­ter Owen Bon­nici de­nied that the govern­ment was in­cen­tivis­ing Hen­ley and Part­ners. “The govern­ment wants to at­tract in­vest­ment and it is will­ing to give them €4 from ev­ery €100 they bring over. This is an in­cen­tive to the con­ces­sion­aire to bring in in­vest­ment,” he said.

In the mean­time Dr Az­zopardi also stated that the PN would not ex­tend the IIP be­yond the cur­rent term. On the other hand, Jus­tice Min­is­ter Owen Bon­nici said the govern­ment would con­sider, to­wards the end of the cur­rent term, whether to launch a sec­ond round of the IIP.

Owen Bon­nici

Ja­son Az­zopardi

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