Malta is a small island nation located in the Mediterranean Sea. The country is known for its rich history, beautiful beaches, and historic architecture. As a member of the European Union, Malta enjoys access to the world's largest single market.
The current economic landscape in Malta is also marked by an alarming degree of unpredictability and turbulence. Companies are struggling to navigate the treacherous waters of credit risk management as the unrelenting waves of uncertainty and volatility relentlessly pound at the foundations of businesses, threatening to capsize them at every turn. The sheer magnitude of the challenges faced by companies in this perilous economic climate is nothing short of daunting, leaving many grappling with how to survive the tumultuous tide.
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a global economic slowdown, and many companies in Malta are facing declining revenues and increased pressure on cash flow. This has resulted in an increased risk of default, making credit risk management even more critical.
In response to the economic challenges faced by businesses in Malta, the government has implemented measures to support businesses and households. In 2020, the Maltese Government increased specific expenditure categories, such as subsidies, from an average of €100 million to €500 million to support businesses and households.
Despite the unfavorable global climate, Malta's economy displayed commendable resilience in 2022, recording strong growth of 4.2% - Real GDP.
Despite the positive macroeconomic indicators and statistics, Malta faces several challenges and issues.
One of the main challenges is the country's over-reliance on the services sector, which accounts for more than 80% of the GDP. This makes the economy vulnerable to external shocks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, significantly impacting the tourism industry.
The recent escalation of the conflict in neighbouring Libya had a material impact on credit risk in the region, particularly in Malta. The disruption of supply chains and the damage caused to infrastructure has led to increased operational risk for businesses and potential loan defaults. In addition, the war on Tripoli has resulted in an increasing level of illegal immigration to Malta.
The Maltese financial industry has been under scrutiny in recent years due to concerns about money laundering and financial irregularities. The European Union has also criticized the country for its weak anti-corruption measures and lack of action against money laundering. The assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017 also raised concerns about the country's press freedom and the independence of the judiciary. This has increased regulatory pressure and led to more stringent compliance requirements, adding to the challenges faced by businesses in managing credit risk.
At the macro level, economic developments have led to changes in interest, inflation, and exchange rates, contributing to changes in credit risk. The increase in interest rates has made borrowing more expensive, while inflation has eroded the value of money, leading to increased risk for lenders. Moreover, the volatility in exchange rates has also led to increased risk for businesses operating internationally, as changes in exchange rates can significantly impact their profitability and ability to service debt.
One of the biggest challenges that companies face in mitigating risk in the current environment is the lack of visibility into the financial health of their customers. The pandemic, conflicts in neighboring countries, and recent regulatory changes have led to significant disruptions in supply chains, making it difficult for companies to obtain accurate and up-to-date financial information on their customers. This lack of visibility can increase the risk of default and make it more challenging to make better-informed strategic decisions.
Therefore, by taking a proactive approach and investing in the right tools and processes, companies can improve their credit risk management and reduce the risk of default. In this direction, Infocredit Group, a leading provider of credit risk management solutions, can confidently help businesses navigate the challenging economic landscape. Its comprehensive range of services, including credit reports, risk assessment, and monitoring provide invaluable insights into the creditworthiness of potential customers, enabling companies to make informed decisions. Our debt collection services strive to achieve the most optimum results in the swiftest means possible, while promising to improve your recovery rates and preserve your existing business relationships. Infocredit Group employs a team of experienced, certified collection specialists who are committed and ideally equipped to handle your debt collection cases, on a local or international basis. Finally, our credit insurance services can reduce credit risk and help you grow your business safely and quickly. With these pillars in place, you can ensure the success of your business while minimizing the risks associated with credit.
Article by Infocredit Group Ltd a Proud member of Delphi Alliance