No Match Found
Malta Annual Review 2020
“In a world of constant change, the need to know what to do, and how to do it, has never been more pressing. Our Deals, Consulting and Forensics business units making up our Advisory practice have in the last 12 months been proactive in assisting our clients to address the challenges brought about by an increasingly complex business environment, which complexity has been accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In 2020, the pace of Malta’s economic activity decelerated primarily as result of the decline in domestic demand, mainly due to weaker activity in the sectors worst hit by the containment measures related to COVID-19. The financial aid packages launched by Government are helping to cushion the impact on the economy, which is expected to swing from 4.7% real GDP growth recorded in 2019 to 6.0% contraction in 2020. On the positive side, labour market conditions have so far shown a significant degree of resilience despite the scale of the economic shock caused by the pandemic.
Before the COVID-19 crisis, we were very active in assisting clients in raising and listing equity or corporate bonds or in undertaking corporate restructuring transactions on the Malta Stock Exchange. COVD-19 has resulted in capital markets to slow down. At the same time, however we have seen an increased M&A activity as companies seek to leverage on economies of scale as a means of reducing costs as well as to raise the additional capital required to be able to survive in these unprecedented times. We continue to be involved in assisting clients in some of the most significant local transactions. Together with other PwC network firms, in the past year, we were also involved in a number of due diligence, valuation and tax M&A engagements supporting a number of cross border transactions, which include both foreign companies targeting the acquisition of companies based in Malta, as well as local companies venturing overseas. In such cross border transactions, we leverage on the power of our international PwC Deals practice.
In the months following the COVID-19 outbreak, we also helped clients seeking to restructure and manage cash to access greater options and achieve better outcomes by engaging earlier in the distress cycle. Our strength in crisis and restructuring will be key as we support clients to repair, rethink and reconfigure their businesses to ensure they emerge strongly from COVID-19.
In the past year, we continued to be involved in the valuation of complex financial instruments and intellectual property, particularly in asset management, igaming and a number of other sectors. Besides providing such services directly to our clients, we continue to provide extensive support to our Assurance practice in fair value assessments and impairment testing. The requirement for our assistance in this area has become even more essential given the impact of COVID-19 on businesses. In addition, we also provide expert support to our Assurance practice in other specialised areas such as in the reporting in terms of the EU directive on Non-Financial Reporting by Public Interest Entities on the social and environmental impact of their activities.
As our clients’ needs change, we are transforming the way we deliver. When combined with our market and industry expertise, our investments in technology assets and data analytics are allowing us to bring deeper, tailored insights to our clients. This is being made possible through our investment in technology upskilling, which is fostering learning and providing our staff with the skills necessary to provide more valuable insights to our clients through presentation tools and other digital solutions.
We are working closely with our clients to help them navigate this unprecedented period and emerge stronger from this situation. Refer to for our response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Included in this section are a series of webcasts and publications, which we have published earlier this year including a session in which we discuss cash pressures that may be faced by our clients.
In this webcast and related publication, we set out a short guide based on a three-step approach, which should be considered by Management Teams as they seek to stabilise their cash position through this unprecedented period.