Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna participated in the ceremony of the listing of the first two small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on Prospects, a new market platform of the Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) designed specifically for SMEs, which was launched last year.
Besides being the first time that companies were admitted to Prospects, it is also the second time that a foreign company is listing on the MSE. The companies, SFA S.p.A., an Italian company, and IG Finance plc, a Maltese company, were the first SMEs to seek finance through Prospects, rather than seeking finance through more traditional means, such as banks.
Minister Scicluna said that “it takes a small country to understand small businesses. SMEs have found a niche whereby they seek credit in a regulated structure with high standards and low costs, and where bureaucracy is heavily reduced.”
The Minister also explained that the listing of SMEs on Prospects is in line with Malta’s efforts to promote the Capital Markets Union within the European Union. This is one of its priorities during its Presidency of the Council of the EU, and a theme which was discussed during the informal meeting of Economic and Financial Affairs Council which Minister Scicluna hosted last week in Valletta.
The Minister for Finance also referred to the fiscal incentives which he introduced within this year’s budget, whereby investors will receive tax credits of 35% of the amount invested in shares in the SMEs admitted to listing on Prospects, up to €250,000 per year. This, Minister Scicluna said, is helping in attracting more investors to the market.