A total 49.01% of the total issued share capital of Lombard Bank were on Friday transferred to the National Development and Social Fund by means of an off-exchange transfer at the Malta Stock Exchange.

This follows a share purchase agreement which had been entered into in March.

The shares were acquired from Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co. Ltd.

Read: Passport fund will keep some shares in Lombard

The fund’s board of governors said the fund did not intend to increase its shareholding in the bank; it would not act in concert with any other shareholders; it would seek to reduce its shareholding in the bank in an orderly manner, at the right market conditions and by agreement with the regulatory authorities; it had no intention of exerting any influence on the operations of the bank; and the acquisition would not result in a change in control of the bank.

The NDSF is the government agency responsible for managing and administering 70% of the contributions received from the Individual Investor Programme.

The transfer made the NDSF the biggest shareholder in the bank, and Lombard  the bank with the largest government shareholding.

In March 2013 Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co. Ltd was placed in resolution, kicking off a process to dispose of certain assets including its shareholding in Lombard Bank Malta.

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