Edward Scicluna, Finance Minister of Malta, stated at an ESAFON international conference, hosted by Malta’s Stock Exchange in October, that his country’s government is searching for “new opportunities to increase the breadth and depth of its financial services infrastructure, not least its securities markets”.

As a frequent “top-20” member of the World Economic Forum Competitiveness Index, in terms of the regulation of securities exchanges, Malta’s incessant legislative review provides it with the flexibility required to set an environment conducive to the growth of specialized markets, as well as attracting more companies and instruments to the market.

Scicluna added in his remarks that “the Malta Financial Services has also recently reviewed its Listing Rules to allow the admission of alternative company listings with the objective of bringing smaller companies to the attention of wholesale investors”.

Scicluna also sought to attract the attention of financial operators seeking to recover from the global financial crisis by highlighting that “Malta is a country that has demonstrated extraordinary resilience throughout. That it has managed to do so, is mainly due to its diversified, services-oriented economy which is underpinned by a reliable and transparent regulatory environment and a competitive and skilled labor force.”

With respect to figures, Scicluna added that Malta hosts “over 50 credit and financial institutions, including a good number of payment and electronic money institutions which operate in the new economy” and cited that upwards of “600 investment funds and around 200 investment managers and other investment service providers also operate in Malta.” Scicluna also noted that insurance activities, pension administration and trust services are well established on the island.

“This, together with the new capital market structures coming on stream should provide the ideal conditions for boutique exchanges and technology-based market platforms to succeed. Malta is indeed a market opportunity that should be carefully considered.”