BME ORDINARY GENERAL SHAREHOLDERS’ MEETING
BME’s General Shareholders’ Meeting, which was held today in Madrid remotely due to the Coronavirus crisis, approved the annual accounts for 2019 as well as all other agenda items, and reached a 39.8% of attendance.
The Meeting also approved the distribution of a gross final dividend of 0.42 euros per share on May 8 and the re-election of Maria Helena dos Santos as Board Director for a new four-year term.
Antonio Zoido started his address by conveying his condolences to all those affected by the pandemic and stressed how all markets and systems managed by BME have operated with normality under these delicate circumstances. “Regulated securities markets play an essential social and economic role in all circumstances, including in times of alarm. They guarantee liquidity for investors and preserve the transparency, fairness, security and integrity of financial transactions”, the Chairman of BME said.
Zoido then informed shareholders of the main improvements in Corporate Governance at BME. The Company complies in full with 67.2% of the recommendations of the Code of Good Governance.
In this respect he stressed that last year BME approved its Corporate Social Responsibility Policy and that the Company carried out a review of its performance in matters of Corporate Social Responsibility and carried out a specific materiality analysis.
SPEECH BY THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
The CEO of BME, Javier Hernani, also started his speech by highlighting the importance that the Equity, Fixed Income, Derivatives markets, as well as BME Clearing, Iberclear and all the companies and infrastructures managed by BME, remain operational during the most critical phase of the pandemic.
“Companies and investors know that they can continue to rely on the stock markets in all circumstances. I am convinced that together we will manage to overcome this crisis, just as we have overcome other difficult moments in the past”, he stated.
The CEO of BME then explained the main financial figures of BME last year, in which the company obtained a net profit of 122.8 million euros, 9.9% less than in the previous year. Hernani highlighted the good performance of the company's business model in terms of its degree of diversification and its positive capital ratios, with a return on equity (ROE) of 31.7%, which is 13.6 points better than the sector average.
He also valued positively the growth in financing via capital markets achieved by Spanish companies, promoted by the Capital Markets Union and which connects with the BME’s core activities. “Last year new investment flows and equity financing came close to 17 billion euros, which ranks the Spanish stock market in the thirteenth position in the world and second in the EU, according to data provided by the World Federation of Exchanges”, he stated. He went on to mention the consolidation of MAB and MARF as alternative sources of financing for all types of companies. The MAB incorporated 22 companies last year and there are already 78 companies that have raised finance through MARF since its creation, 6 of them Portuguese.
Hernani also shared with shareholders the highlights of the first quarter of 2020, published this morning. BME obtained a net profit of 34 million from January to March, 7.7% more than in the same period of 2019. “It is the best first-quarter result for two years”, he added.
The address of the CEO of BME ended with a brief word about the Tender Offer launched by SIX Group for all the shares of the company, whose acceptance period will end on May 11. He recalled that the tender includes an industrial plan that enhances BME's strategy and that has received the favourable opinion of BME’s Board of Directors.
“Our strategy, our investment plan and organisational tasks will continue to focus on boosting our business model and transforming it towards the future”, he concluded.
Links to other documents of interest:
Speeches by the CEO and the Chairman:
Photos of the Meeting: