Bank of Valletta has an investment policy that “clearly prohibits” the purchase of shares or bonds issued by arms producers, and therefore does not stand to make any gains from the soaring stock prices of weapons manufacturers in a period defined by war along Europe’s edges.

Bank CEO Kenneth Farrugia was unequivocal in his response to a question posed by BusinessNow.mt, following the presentation of a standout year for BOV’s financial performance, as to whether Malta’s largest financial institution faces any upside risk from armed conflicts in Ukraine and Palestine.

“Our treasury policy excludes investments in certain sectors,” he said, when asked whether BOV holds any stocks in weapons makers like the EU-based Rheinmetall and SAAB or the US-based General Dynamics – all companies that have seen double-digit increases in their listed share prices over the last 12 months.

Mr Farrugia said the bank is “not interested” in servicing high-risk sectors – singling out adult entertainment as another such industry – in both its lending and investment functions.

“Clearly, arms dealing is one of the sectors that is prohibited from a bank perspective and from a treasury perspective as well.”

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