APS Bank as we know it today was incorporated as a limited liability company fifty years ago, on 1stJune 1970, with an authorised share capital of 2,000 Ordinary Shares having a nominal value of Lm50 each. Its first two shareholders were the Right Reverend Mgr. Salvino Bartoli Galea and Reverend Victor Grech Dimech, who held five shares each, with the remaining 1,990 shares being subsequently issued on 3rdJanuary 1972 to His Grace the Archbishop of Malta, in his capacity as Head of the Archdiocese of Malta.
On 16th June 1973, Mgr Bartoli Galea transferred his holding to the Archbishop, and on 26th December 1975 Rev. Grech Dimech transferred three shares to the Archbishop and one to the Right Reverend Mgr Guido Calleja, in his capacity as the first Administrative Secretary of the Archdiocese.
On 18th June 1977 the bank proceeded to double its share capital to Lm200,000 to the existing shareholders, with the corresponding shares being allotted on 1st November.
On 30th April 1980, Mgr Guido Calleja transferred his shares to the Right Reverend Mgr Philip Calleja, who replaced him as Administrative Secretary, with the same shares being again transferred to the Right Reverend Mgr Edgar Attard, his successor, on 29th September 1987. On 21st April 1989, Rev. Grech Dimech transferred his holding to Abbey Properties Ltd.
On 9th May 1989 the bank increased its share capital through a capitalisation of retained earnings by a further Lm200,000. The additional shares were issued to the existing shareholders in proportion to their holding in the bank.
On 19th July 1991 the nominal value of the bank’s shares was changed from Lm50 per Ordinary Share to Lm1 per Ordinary Share. The share capital was also increased by a further Lm100,000.
On 24th June 1992 the bank issued 750,000 Ordinary Shares to the Uffiċċju Djoċesan tal-Amministrazzjoni (UDA) – Taqsima tal-Finanzi.
On 22nd April 1994, Mgr Attard transferred his shares to the Metropolitan Cathedral Chapter, and on 30thDecember of that same year the bank issued a further 250,000 Ordinary Shares to the Bishop of Gozo in his capacity as Head of the Diocese of Gozo. The five shareholders subsequently saw their holding quadruple in terms of shares as the nominal value was reduced from Lm1 to Lm0.25.On 26th March 1999, the shareholders went down to four when the shares held in the name of the Archbishop were transferred to UDA. However the shares were still being indicated as held by the Archbishop as Head of the UDA.
The Noughties and the Twenty-Tens
Between 2002 and 2005 the bank’s share capital was increased a number of times with the total amount of shares held by shareholders increasing from 6,000,000 Ordinary Shares to 26,000,000 Ordinary Shares. Each time the bank proceeded to issue fresh shares, these were allotted to existing shareholders in proportion to their existing shareholding.
On 2nd July 2007, the shares held by the Archbishop as Head of the UDA were transferred to AROM Holdings Ltd.
On 17th December 2008, the bank proceeded to change the nominal value of its shares from Lm0.25 to €0.60, with the number of shares remaining the same. The bank proceeded to issue further shares to its shareholders on 17th July 2011 and 29th May 2012.
On 28th May 2019, following a rights’ issue, AROM Holdings reduced its shareholding to 79.66%, although all four shareholders had an increase in their share allotment.
The Twenties will see a further dilution of AROM’s shareholding in APS Bank plc, with new shareholders expected to come on board a bank which is financially smart and ethical at heart.
Mr Pace Ross is the Administrative Secretary of the Archdiocese of Malta, and a non-executive director at APS Bank plc