15th February 2017, 13:54
The 50 percent share of Gibtelecom owned by Telecom Slovenia in 2015 was paid for by the Gibraltar Savings Bank, which now owns 100 percent of the shares in the company. This came to light in Parliament today following an exchange where the investments of the savings bank were scrutinised by Opposition MP Roy Clinton. Gibtelecom’s Chairman, Joe Bossano, said he didn’t agree with Mr Clinton that this investment would have carved into that year’s surplus if it hadn’t come under the savings bank’s books.
In the summer of 2015, the Government announced the 50 percent share of Gibtelecom owned by Telecom Slovenia had been sold for 47.7 million euros. The 7500 shares appeared in the audited accounts of the Savings Bank in March 2015. The matter has now been brought up by Roy Clinton in Parliament, and it appears that the other 50 percent of the company also comes under the Savings Bank’s books. Mr Clinton asked what the rationale for the the transfer of the shares was. Mr Bossano said he was responsible for anwering on facts in Parliament and not thoughts.
Mr Clinton asked whether there would have been a deficit in the Improvement and Development Fund if the shares of Gibtelecom had been reflected there instead of in the Savings bank’s books. But Mr Bossano said that was not necessarily the case, and that some other asset would have been sold to make up the deficit.
The Minister also revealed that the sales of the shares had been carried out in two trunches, in August and October 2015. Asked about how the valuation of the shares had been carried out, Mr Bossano said this had been based on the interest in the company at the time.
The March 2015 audited accounts show that the Savings Bank now owns 100 percent of the 15 thousand shares in Gibtelecom.