MBRmay 2017_PG ALL LR

bdarmanin

MALTA

BUSINESS REVIEW

ISSUE 31 MAY 2017

COVER STORY

CHANGING THE WAY YOU COLLABORATE

We learn more about 3XP, a specialist Omni-channel

Voice & Contact Centre solution provider

06

16

22

26

ANALYSIS: ELECTIONS 2017

Living in a Paradox

Joseph Farrugia’s superb analysis of the current political

and economic scenario

SPECIAL FEATURE: TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS

Reliable Logistics Experts

Jonathan Vella, CEO Express Logigroup, tells why the company

emerges as the solution driver for any freight requirement

SPECIAL PULL-AND-KEEP SUPPLEMENT: MiGEA 2107

Vision & Strategy

An interview with Alan Brincat, Operations Director, Quasar Ltd


Malta Business Review

06 COVER STORY

CHANGING THE WAY YOU COLLABORATE

We learn more about 3XP, a Cisco UCCE ATP, specialist

Contact Centre solutions provider delivering and supporting

world class contact centres worldwide

8 ELECTION 2017

MALTESE GENERAL ELECTIONS 2017

Summary analysis of the snap general elections, which will

be held in Malta on Saturday, 3 June 2017

12 LEADERSHIP

GOVERNANCE

Study by Malta Employers Association on what

Governance should all be about

16 ANALYSIS: ELECTIONS 2017

LIVING IN A PARADOX

Joseph Farrugia from the Malta Employers Association

superb analysis of the current political and economic

scenario

your perfect atmosphere

52

Our Golden Partners

54

06

SPECIAL FEATURE: TRANSPORT

& LOGISTICS INTERVIEW OF THE

MONTH

20 DELIVERING SECURE, SUSTAINABLE AND

COMPETITIVE ENERGY TO EU CITIZENS AND INDUSTRY

The Editor interviews Dirk Beckers, INEA Executive Director

(EC)

22 RELIABLE LOGISTICS EXPERTS

Jonathan Vella, CEO Express Logigroup, tells why the

company emerges as the solution driver for any freight

requirement

SPECIAL PULL-AND-KEEP

SUPPLEMENT FEATURE:

MiGEA 2017

26 VISION & STRATEGY

An interview with Alan Brincat, Operations Director, Quasar

Ltd, outright winners of three prestigious iGaming awards

32 VALUE & OPPORTUNITIES

We meet LVBet’s captivating Simona Pinterova, PR

Manager, who was voted as Malta's Best iGaming Woman

Leader of the Year

26

CONTENTS

May 2017

32

43 PROFILE

DAPHNE CARUANA GALIZIA: THE BLOGGING FURY

We profile Malta’s most prolific and controversial journalists and blogger,

thanks to our association POLITICO SPRL

FEATURE STORIES

46 GAMING IN MALTA

Colin Gregory, Managing Director at EQUIOM MALTA gives an overview

of the Gaming sector in Malta

51 NEW RULES TO PROTECT INVESTORS AND HELP SMES ACCEPT

DIVERS SOURCE OF CAPITAL

Single capital market and ease small firms access to finance

52 SO LONG JOB FOR LIFE

Maria Zahra tells us just why job hopping is getting close to becoming

the norm

54 BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION

RESIN FLOORINGS VOICING THE FUTURE

Antoine Bonello, MD at the Resin & Membrane Centre on maintain

healthy resin florings

PUBLISHER

MBR Publications Limited

OFFICES

Highland Apartment - Level 1,

Naxxar Road,

Birkirkara, BKR 9042

+356 2149 7814

EDITOR

Martin Vella

TECHNICAL ADVISOR

Marcelle D’Argy Smith

SALES DIRECTOR

Margaret Brincat

DESIGN

MBR Design

ADVERTISING

Call: 9940 6743 or 9926 0163/4/6;

Email: margaret@mbrpublications.net

or admin@mbrpublications.net

CONTRIBUTORS

Antoine Bonello; George Carol; Jean Paul

Demajo; Joseph Farrugia; Colin Gregory;

Donata Kalinska; Denise Nestor; Silvia Pedrotti;

Charlie Williams; Maria Zhara

SPECIAL THANKS

Corporate Identities; CELENT; Demajo Dental;

DOI; European Commissioner for Transport; EU/

EP Plenary Session/Institutions – External

Relations; GRTU; ICF MOSTRA; LinkedIN; Malta

Communications Authority; Malta Employers

Association; Ministry for Finance; Ministry for

Transport & Infrastructure; POLITICO SPRL;

Reza Visual Academy; The Malta Independent;

Wikipedia

PRINT PRODUCTION

Printit

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

- Abraham Lincoln, on the accusation that he was

two-faced: “If I had two faces, would I be wearing this

one?”

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Disclaimer

All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by copyright may

be reproduced or copied and reproduction in whole or part is strictly

prohibited without written permission of the publisher. All content

material available on this publication is duly protected by Maltese

and International Law. No person, organisation, other publisher or

online web content manager should rely, or on any way act upon

any part of the contents of this publication, whether that information

is sourced from the website, magazine or related product without

first obtaining the publisher’s consent. The opinions expressed in the

Malta Business Review are those of the authors or contributors, and

are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher.

Talk to us:

E-mail: martin@mbrpublications.net

Twitter: @MBRPublications

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MaltaBusinessReview

EDITORIAL

Malta Business Review

Beethoven rocks France! It was one of the most enjoyable

moments of politics, especially in recent history, when Emanuel

Macron entered the stage on the night following his landslide

victory. They were playing the European Hymn, Beethoven's "Ode

to Joy", and not the Marseillaise, the French national anthem. At

the same time they were showing some young girls showing an

illuminated sign reading, "Hope beats Hate". This, for me, was

very emotional.

A couple of weeks ago in one of the absorbing articles penned

by Werner E Jung- "Who is afraid of the Twitter Man", the author

had expressed the hope, that the bad example of Trump might

encourage the people of Europe to think a little more about their

own future when going to the ballots. It had worked in Austria

and in The Netherlands (although by a close margin), which kept the radicals out. In France the polls

had predicted a big win for Macron, but ever since Brexit and Trump, nobody really trusts polls any

more…. This gets us back to Bernard de Mandeville and his "Fable of the Bees", where he concludes

that, "private vice will create some public virtues" – although, that is bending the story and the

interpretation quite a bit!

It is very refreshing, to see a new young politician who came out of "nowhere" a year ago to come to

power, withstanding the trend towards nationalism all around us and winning the election in France,

of all countries. At 39 he is the youngest head of government since Napoleon. He will have a hell of a

job, since France badly needs social and fiscal reforms. It is said that France cannot do reforms, they

can only do revolutions! Well, his election was the first part of a revolution. Vive la France!

I am very happy to see young people take the helm and get some fresh ideas into our socio-political

system. Time to look forward instead of backward. I am one who does not believe that history

repeats itself; we should learn from it but avoid trying to predict the future on that basis. I watched

how Macron’s electoral win has united the French. Europeans are looking at America, watching how

a great Federation can be destroyed. They seem to be learning from a strikingly bad example. Maybe

Europeans will build a monument for Trump one day; who knows?

Dear Reader, I have been very quiet lately, sorry – I was and I am depressed. I have been watching

Maltese build a wall of hate instead of fraternity, intolerance instead of unity, applaud corruption

instead of morality and it disgusts me to still see a lot of ignorance around instead of intellectualism

and wisdom. I have watched how fear and terror is creeping over stability, chaos instead of truth,

segregation instead of convergence, and above all how hypocrisy rules over fairness. Maybe it is time

for me to join Waldorf and Statler on the balcony on the Muppet Show!

It is hard to face that fact and it will probably take some time for me to come to grip with that.

Suzy Kassem, a contributor to this respectable publication, commenting on how a nation’s greatness

depends on its leader, remarked, “Pick a leader who has substance, not superficiality, character, not

immaturity, who is transparent, not secret, who practices justice, not lawlessness, who is truthful,

not a lier… who is steered by his conscience, not a bribe”.

With a highly successful climax to Malta’s iGaming Excellence Awards, one foreign visitor to our

Island told me that now the event is over, he wanted to make a comment about iGaming. He said,

“As far as I am concerned iGaming in Malta is nothing else but government sanctioned money

laundering! And it was not even the present administration who introduced that legislation. Malta

is really lucky that they are such a small entity within the EU, so they can literally do whatever

they want – it will go unnoticed. Malta does have a long history of piracy, deceit and corruption,

so I guess it is just a way of life. I cannot explain the daily news otherwise; who really gives a damn

about Panama, kickbacks, blind police commissioners, passport peddlers, energy, hospital or bank

scandals? As it looks nothing is going to change with the upcoming elections. Your PM must have a

clever plan to call a snap election. He will probably appoint Keith Schembri as Finance Minister and

Konrad Mizzi as Head of the Gambling Commission.”

Admittedly, it is so frustrating to see, read and hear all these developments about all the ramblings

in Malta, that it has also become thorny to express one’s free opinion. It is for the Maltese people to

clean up their own mess. Up to this point it seems that they can live with it quite comfortably, else

they would be out in the streets shouting for "La Revolution" and setting up a Guillotine in front of

Castille!

I hope that all Maltese, as the French have shown us, will also have good cause to finally come

together and unite following the election results. I Hope we have better weather following the

elections. Enjoy the read!

Martin Vella

Editor-in-Chief

Malta Business Review’s editorial opinions are decided by its Editor, and besides reflecting the Editor’s

opinion, are written to represent a fair and impartial representation of facts, events and provide a

correct analysis of local and international news.

Agents for:

4 5

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

COVER STORY OF THE MONTH

COVER STORY OF THE MONTH

Malta Business Review

CHANGING THE WAY YOU COLLABORATE

Helping Call Centres automate processes and enable customer communication via

social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn

PRODUCTS

3XP belong to an exclusive group of companies that can Design,

Implement and Mantain Cisco enterprise Voice & Contact Centre

solutions, in addition to highly functional and cost effective Small to

Medium Businesses solutions.

3XP Audit 3XP Live 3XP Manage

COMPREHENSIVE NETWORK CARE

IT'S DIFFERENT WHEN IT'S LIVE…

1. 3XP Live Streaming Internet Video Generates A Bigger Audience

2. 3XP Live Streaming Internet Video Provides Content Urgency

3. 3XP Live Streaming Internet Video Whipps Up Online

iGaming Interaction

4. 3XP Live Streaming Internet Video Opens Opportunities

For New Revenue

5. 3XP Live Streaming Internet Video Makes your Audience Stand Out

From The Crowd

6. Streaming live events and content gives your brand or business

a fantastic point of differentiation

3XP Group team during the MiGEA 2017

Whilst we specialise in customer

collaboration solutions, we never lose

sight of the fact that any collaboration

solution requires a strong network at

its foundation.

3XP are OMANI-CHANNEL SPECIALISTS, enabling

business to blend media channels such as:

• Voice

• Video

• Email

• Web chat

• Twitter

• Facebook

• LinkedIn

And much more

6 7

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

ELECTIONS 2017

Maltese general election 2017

General elections will be held in Malta on Saturday, 3 June 2017. The elections will be contested by the Labour, led by Prime

Minister Joseph Muscat, the Nationalist Party, led by opposition leader Simon Busuttil, and four other parties and will see

the most parties fielding candidates since 1962

3 June 2017

Participating parties

The Maltese political landscape is regarded

as one of the most pure two-party systems

of the 21st century, and has been dominated

by moderate centre-left and centre-right

groups for decades; no third parties have

elected MPs since the 1962 election. Six

parties are expected to field candidates in the

2018 election, the first time since 1962 that

Maltese voters will have that many parties on

the ballot:

Nationalist Party implying that

Joseph Muscat let the country down

Malta Business Review

Background

The previous general elections were held on

Saturday, 9 March 2013. The Labour Party,

led by Muscat, defeated the incumbent

Nationalist Party of Lawrence Gonzi in a

landslide victory, taking 39 seats in the

House of Representatives, against 30 for the

Nationalist Party. However, on 5 February

2015 the Constitutional Court ordered two

additional seats to be given to the Nationalist

Party. The Labour Party lost a further seat

when Marlene Farrugia resigned from the

Labour parliamentary group, later forming

the Democratic Party.

Muscat was sworn in as the new Prime

Minister on 11 March. The cabinet of 15

ministers was the largest cabinet in Maltese

history. This record was again surpassed

when Muscat announced a cabinet reshuffle

following the appearance of Minister Konrad

Mizzi's name in the Panama Papers; the new

cabinet featured 16 ministers as well as the

Prime Minister. Mizzi was included in the new

cabinet as Minister within the Office of the

Prime Minister.

Prior to the 2013 elections, Muscat had

pledged that the size of his Cabinet would

never exceed the size of the largest Cabinet

of the Fenech Adami administrations, the

largest of which consisted of 13 ministers.

Following their defeat, Gonzi stepped down

as leader of the Nationalists, with Simon

Busuttil taking his place on 13 May. As of

2016, Busuttil contesting as the Nationalist

candidate as potential prime minister in the

next election.

The Labour Party (PL) of incumbent Prime

Minister Joseph Muscat held a majority in

the legislature since the 2013 election, with

38 MPs at dissolution. The Labour Party

traditionally pursues social democratic ideals,

and is rooted in the mainstream European

centre-left.

The Nationalist Party (PN) of opposition leader

Simon Busuttil is the major opposition party

in parliament, with 29 MPs at dissolution.

The party's last prime minister was Lawrence

Gonzi, who also served as prime minister from

2004 to 2013. For much of its history, the PN

has embraced conservatism and Christian

democracy, as well as European integration.

The Democratic Party (PD) which was

founded when Labour MP Marlene Farrugia

left her party on 4 June 2016. It had 1 MP

(Farrugia herself) at dissolution. Under a

coalition agreement announced on 28 April

2017 PD candidates will contest the election

as Nationalist candidates, with the additional

descriptor "tal-orange", and any elected PD

members would participate in a potential

Nationalist-led government.The Democratic

Alternative (AD), led by Arnold Cassola since

2013, is the most successful contemporary

third party in Malta. It is, however, not

represented in parliament. Originally an

Opinion Poll

Labour Party poster implying that Simon Busuttil

and Marlene Farrugia disagree on proposals

offshoot from the Labour Party in 1989, the

party stresses green politics and sustainable

development. Moviment Patrijotti Maltin

(MPM), an offshoot of the anti-immigration

group Għaqda Patrijotti Maltin led by Henry

Battistino which campaigns against illegal

immigration, Malta's participation in the

Schengen Area, and Islam in Malta.

Alleanza Bidla (AB), a conservative Christian

and Eurosceptic party led by Ivan Grech

Mintoff.

Electoral system

The Maltese voting system is a variant of

proportional representation, achieved

through the use of the single transferable

vote, with five MPs to be returned from each

of thirteen districts. Overall, there are 65

constituency seats, with a variable number of

at-large seats added to ensure that the overall

first-preference votes are reflected in the

composition of the House of Representatives.

Creditline: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia MBR

Corporate

US Dollar

accounts that fit your

business needs

Whatever your corporate activity, if you are working

with US Dollars, we can provide your business with

a suite of banking products including corporate

current and savings accounts, fixed term deposits,

forex services and international payments.

Contact our Sales Relationship Team and discover

how your business can benefit from our US Dollar

Currency services, including competitive interest

rates on US Dollar fixed term deposits.

Freephone 80073110

cm.sales@fimbank.com

On 1 May 2017 Muscat announced a snap

election to take place on 3 June 2017. The

announcement was made during a May Dy

SINGAPORE SÃO PAULO SANTIAGO PARIS NEW YORK MUMBAI MALTA LONDON ISTANBUL DUBAI COLOGNE CAIRO ATHENS

rally organised by the Labour Party in Valletta.

FIMBank p.l.c. is a licensed credit institution regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority and is listed on the Malta Stock Exchange.

All interest rates quoted are on a gross per annum basis.

8 www.maltabusinessreview.net 9

$

Corporate

Fixed Term Deposits in USD

3 month

6 month

1 year

1.30% p.a.

1.60% p.a.

2.30% p.a.

Minimum deposit: USD50,000

Doing Business in US Dollar?


Malta Business Review

ELECTIONS 2017

MEDIA/PR

Malta Business Review

GRTU presents 33 proposals for election,

calls on government to create new

economic sector

democratisation of the powers of the Prime

Minister. Mr Abela said that it is dangerous

and not ideal for one man to have so much

power. He argues that important decisions

should always be backed up by the cabinet's

majority.

GRTU, the Malta Chamber of SMEs, has

this morning presented its proposals for the

electoral manifesto. In a presentation before

the media, GRTU CEO Abigail Mamo explained

that some of the proposals were already taken

aboard by the two major political parties,

such as the removal of SISA, which is included

in the PN election manifesto.

GRTU presented a list of 33 proposals based

on five key principles which includes the

protection of ODZ land. The union believes

that the government should ratify MCESD

agreements without hesitation. Government

should not compete with the private sector.

Ms Mamo explained that government always

has a huge advantage over the private and

it risks destabilizing the local market. The

manifesto looks into the issue with Local

Councils issuing permits for temporary stalls.

GRTU argues that Local Councils do not

have the capacity or the remit to regulate

commerce in their locality. "Unless specifically

related to their religious feats or a specific fair

organised in the locality, Local Councils should

not extend the permits to allow street selling."

The protection of ODZ land is given

prominence in the GRTU manifesto. President

Paul Abela said that he believes that ODZ land

should simply not be touched. However,

he explained that if the need arises for an

ODZ area to be developed, the price should

be hefty enough to serve as deterrent for

investors. He referred to the Zonqor point

project for the American University of Malta.

He said the government should have asked

for double the price so that investors do not

even consider of buying that land. GRTU

argues that there needs to be a mechanism

set in place to properly calculate the price of

ODZ land.

The Chamber for SMEs believes that despite

the recent economic success, the government

should look into creating a new sector where

the economy can flourish. GRTU requests

that in the next legislature, the elected

government should commit the creation

of a new economic sector. The manifesto

also looks into good governance and the

role of the institutions. GRTU believes in the

Transparency in the Planning Authority, or

the lack of, has been one major concern for

GRTU members. Mamo explained that the

restructuring has started but it is far from

completed. GRTU argues that enforcement

should be equal for all. Mr Abela gave the

example of the billboard bonanza and how

the abuse, although flagrant, is still allowed

to happen, especially during an election

campaign. The Small Business Act, which

is present across Europe, should be legally

enforceable. This will help protect small

businesses when, for example, participating

in tenders. GRTU also believes that the

right of appeal against a decision should be

introduced.

GRTU insists that more pro-business

measures should be introduced. Ms Mamo

said that traffic remains one major obstacle

for businesses and retail shops to run

smoothly. GRTU embraces the proposal to

have free student transport for all. MBR

Courtesy: The Malta Independent

10 11

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

GOVERNANCE ELECTIONS 2017

GOZO

Malta Business Review

GOVERNANCE

There should be a strategy for Gozo which reduces the gap

between its GDP and that of Malta by identifying high-end

niches which strike a balance between specific investment

and the retention of its natural splendour.

Gozo still has considerable untapped economic potential

which could preserve the environment, improve the quality

of life of its inhabitants, and attract more people to live there.

This strategy should include:

• A second bre op c cable to improve the infrastructure for

financial, IT and gaming companies.

• Turning all agricultural produc on on the island to organic

farming.

• Converting the island into a wi-fi hotspot.

• Providing special incentives for the di usion of electric cars

and vehicles that run on alternative fuel on the island

• Incentivising a wider di usion of photovoltaic energy.

• Attracting cultural tourism through the establishment of an

annual cultural calendar, which includes the opera season.

• Establish the feasibility of the proposed tunnel connection

between Malta and Gozo. Conducting a cost benefit

analysis to determine the resources required and the

opportunity cost of using such resources vis a vis other

national priorities.

• Increasing connectivity through direct marine linkages

to Sliema and Valle a through a catamaran service, and a

helicopter service.

• Marketing Gozo as a separate product to attract market

niches: religious, health, sport and agritourism.

• Using synergies from organic farming, eco- technologies

and the medical infrastructure to develop a niche in medical

tourism. Gozo can be an ideal destination for cosmetic

surgery and recovery for Maltese and foreign citizens.

• Releasing labour from the public sector to meet demand

for labour in private sector led economic activities.

The introduction of this memorandum highlighted the

importance of good governance and the need to improve

governance structures in the public service and public

authorities.

MEA is proposing the following actions to improve

governance.

3.1 Positions of trust

Although it is understandable that any party in government

needs to appoint persons in positions of trust, the number

of such appointments should be subject to a ceiling. These

appointments should not be perceived to be the result of

political favours.

3.2 Contracts

• All contracts entered by Government with other parties

will be made public within reasonable time – not exceeding

three months – since the date of signing.

• The director of contracts should be given back the authority

to take an active part in adjudication processes, and not

to just act as a regulatory body. Tenders are not to be

adjudicated by Ministries but by independent adjudicators.

• Government will not enter into binding agreements

(commercial or otherwise) with entities whose ultimate

owners are unknown. Such agreements will be made

illegal.

3.3 Direct Orders

• Members of parliament should not hold positions of trust.

This may be in conflict with their duties in parliament.

• There shall be full public disclosure of contracts,

remuneration conditions, including bonuses and perks, of

persons occupying positions of trust.

• All persons occupying a position of trust with public entities

and who have not been employed through a recruitment

process should be subject to a periodic audit by an

independent board to justify their position. The board shall

include representatives from the opposition. As with any

private sector company, they will report on time spent,

activities and results achieved.

• Key positions in Authorities need to be approved by a two

thirds majority in parliament.

• Government should ensure that the parameters that

regulate direct orders are respected and enforced. Any

direct orders that go against these regulations should be

immediately be declared illegal and null.

3.4 State Visits Abroad

• The media will be represented on all state visits abroad. It

will be unacceptable to have state visits in which the media

are not invited. MBR

Creditline: Towards Sustained Economic Growth & Better

Governance, Malta Employers Association

12

www.maltabusinessreview.net

13


Malta Business Review

ERP DASHBOARDS

ANALYSIS & DEBATE

Malta Business Review

Accelerate business growth with

customised ERP dashboards

Accelerate your business performance

By Charlie Williams

Is your business slowing down from internal

process inefficiencies and bottlenecks? Do

you want to improve profitability and reduce

your operating costs? If you don’t have a

clear, concise, real-time view of your business

position, you should consider a cloud ERP

software solution.

ERP streamlines and automates processes,

boosting your profitability while keeping costs

under control. Ultimately, you gain business

intelligence and insights to make better

decisions with real-time dashboards and KPIs.

Acumatica is the world’s fastest growing

provider of cloud ERP software that

empowers small and mid-sized businesses

to unlock their potential and drive growth.

Built on the world’s best cloud and mobile

technology and a unique customer-centric

licensing model,

Acumatica delivers a suite of

fully-integrated applications,

powered by a robust and

flexible platform

all available on the cloud or on-premises for

easy-access anywhere, anytime, and on any

device.

What’s the first thing you see when you logon

to your ERP system? Most likely a dashboard,

and for good reason – dashboards display the

information that’s most important to you,

from among the volumes of data being stored

and processed in the ERP system.

Commonly, dashboards serve to highlight

trends in key metrics, or KPIs that you care

about. If you have profit and loss responsibility,

you would want to see various components

making up revenue and costs. If you manage

the warehouse, you would want to see order

fulfilment lead times, stock turnover, and so

on.

ERP dashboards, such as those found in

Acumatica, offer business leaders a focal

reference point where they can quickly digest

key information about their company's health.

These dashboards typically present key, highlevel

data in the form of tables, pie charts,

and other graphical visualisations. However,

ERP dashboards offer much more than

summarised views of important information.

Users can customise their main dashboard

so that it only displays the data that is most

relevant to their role. A personalised, realtime

dashboard lets you accelerate business

performance with automated processes,

accurate data collection and analysis, and

forecasting capabilities that drive better

business decisions.

Another benefit of ERP dashboards is that

they highlight points of strength, while also

isolating areas for growth. Tailoring your ERP

software to fit your exact needs enables you

to turn data into meaningful information

which makes it possible to manage operations

more effectively – and grow your bottom line

at a quicker pace.

Acumatica’s dashboards provide customised

views of real-time results from across your

organisation, and thanks to cloud and mobile

technology you can access them from any

device. With company data always visible, and

at your fingertips, you too can finally regain

control of your business's path to success.

Learn more about Acumatica:

www.computimesoftware.com/acumatica.

Email us at info@computimesoftware.com

or call us on +356 2149 0700.

MBR

Acumatica ERP delivers adaptable cloud and mobile technology with a unique all-inclusive user

licensing model _ enabling a complete, real time view of your business anytime, anywhere.

A single, real-time version of the truth

Drive better business insights and decisions

through processes automation.

Do more with less

Control workflows and

maximize your efficiency.

Ease of use

Collaborate easily and efficiently on Mac,

PC, tablet, or mobile phone.

EDITOR’S

Note

Charlie Williams is Head

of Business Development,

Computime Software.

Charlie is a seasoned

sales and marketing

professional, bringing 15+

years of senior leadership

experience to Computime

Software, spanning

both the business to business and business

to consumer technology markets across the

globe. Currently, Charlie is responsible for the

commercial growth of Computime Software

through its products, clients, and markets.

Management precision

Cash forecasting, period-end close,

reconciliation and consolidation activities.

High value

Unlimited users with

no increased expense.

Business Software

& Integration Solutions

Smart system

Individuals see only information

relevant to their jobs.

www.computimesoftware.com/acumatica +356 2149 0700 info@computimesoftware.com

14 www.maltabusinessreview.net 15


Malta Business Review

ELECTIONS 2017 ELECTIONS 2017

Malta Business Review

Living in a Paradox

By Joseph Farrugia

The business community believes in high

ethics and governance. Corruption - even if

only perceived - is not good for business. Our

international reputation (which is key for a

number of business sectors and not only the

financial sector) will only be secured if we can

ensure and demonstrate that our institutions

have strong values and ethics. International

business and particularly those which are

highly regulated such as banks will not do

business in a jurisdiction which is perceived

to be of high risk to their reputation. The

mere presence of companies with low ethical

standards in a jurisdiction is enough to spark

alarm and scare off legitimate companies.

Locally, businesses need to believe that

there is a level playing field and strong future

prospects for them to develop further and

invest.

Unfortunately, there have

been too many incidents

– undisclosed contracts,

suspicious direct orders, hidden

accounts by politically exposed

persons, dubious appointments

of persons in positions of trust – which are

certainly damaging business confidence and

Malta’s international image.

Paradoxically, the election is also occurring at

a time of positive economic performance. The

main point of the memorandum presented

to political parties during the run up to the

last election focused on fiscal consolidation.

The document stated that: ‘Political parties

need to assure the electorate through an

unequivocal and measured commitment to

reduce the public debt by an average of 2%

per annum in the coming five years. All other

electoral promises, including any revision

in welfare, pensions and any existing and

projected public sector expenditure have to be

subjected to this fundamental obligation’.

The reason behind the appeal was that in 2013,

inspite of the aftermath of the international

recession and the political instability in North

Africa, the general macroeconomic indicators

were positive and the economy was

performing better than many others within

the Eurozone and the EU. Unemployment, at

around 6500 persons, was significantly below

the EU average and employers were already

experiencing a shortage of labour in many

areas. Malta had also managed to avoid being

dragged in the excessive deficit procedure

as the fiscal deficit was retained at less than

3%. The activity rate of females in the labour

force was increasing considerably, particularly

among younger cohorts.

This momentum was retained, and

also accelerated during this legislature.

Unemployment has continued to decline

to unprecedented levels and the current

administration has introduced a number

of active labour market policies which

have contributed to a reduction in welfare

dependency and to a significant increase the

activity rate. Concurrently, labour market

shortages have been addressed through the

increase in the number of foreign employees,

which currently stands at 34,000 (up from

13K in 2013), or 18% of the labour force. This

phenomenon has had both a positive and a

negative socio-economic impact on Maltese

society, but has certainly contributed to robust

economic growth over the past four years.The

Association has noted with satisfaction that

the fiscal deficit has shrivelled and turned into

a surplus in 2016, with the public debt falling

below 60% of GDP. In a recent statement, the

Association said that: ‘The sustainability of a

balanced or surplus budget depends on the

governance of public funds and to economic

growth generated by the private sector which

can sustain the increased demands of services

such as health and education which are

provided by the public sector.’

The surplus for 2016 should not be a flash in

the pan, but a sustained effort by whoever

is elected to continue to reduce the public

debt during the coming legislature. A

sustained surplus should also not materialise

at the sacrifice of capital projects that are

essential in supporting economic activity

in the medium to long term. In spite of the

overall very positive economic performance

over the past years, the Association has

warned of a number of fault lines that can

change these positive trends, and which

the political parties need to address in the

interest of long term sustainability. These are:

• That our economy will probably not be

eligible to further EU structural funding

post 2020. This is a reality that will have to

be faced in the coming years and one has

to analyse the extent of the growth of the

past ten years which has been attributable

to this injection of EU funds.

• The possibility that the tax incentives

which have been critical in attracting our

financial services and gaming sectors

will be removed or toned down. EU wide

corporate tax reform is major threat facing

these sectors, which have contributed to

29% of the economy’s growth, apart from

the ripple effects that they have on other

sectors. These also happen to be our most

volatile economic sectors, as relocation

to other countries can take place almost

instantaneously.

• Maintaining positive tourism figures

once there is more stability in the

Mediterranean region. Tourism has had

an unprecedented boom during the past

four years, and our capacity has increased

to accommodate these levels of occupancy.

• Increasing Malta’s economic output

capacity. In a country with limited resources

and output capacity, we will have to make

choices as a society, as some activities may

interfere or even disrupt others. A classic

case is the threat to sea cleanliness posed by

the pollution being generated by fish farms.

Will we have to choose between fish farms

or quality tourism, or can there be a happy

coexistence between the two activities?

The same can be said about Malta’s carrying

capacity as a tourist destination in terms of

available accommodation, flight capacity,

and environmental sustainability. The major

future challenge may well be one not of

utilising existing resources to full capacity, but

rather of how to establish the best mix

of economic activities to maximise

sustainable economic performance

together with environmental and quality

of life considerations. In the same way that

ten years ago Malta had to restructure its

economy because of circumstances which

were forced upon it, namely the outsourcing

of our low end manufacturing sector to low

cost destinations, the country will have to

take important decisions which can well

mean the deliberate phasing out or reduction

of activities which yield a low return or which

have an adverse effect on our society’s quality

of life.

• Reconciling economic growth with

objectives related to environmental

constraints and quality of life. This will

become an increasingly sensitive issue in the

coming years. In the same way that leisure

time may take precedence over additional

earnings, people’s priorities will also shift

towards other quality of life indicators such

as less pollution and open spaces.

• The drop in national revenue once the

sale of Maltese citizenship subsides. In

November 2013, MEA had expressed its

reservations about the sale of Maltese

citizenship on the basis of national ethics

and its impact on the country’s reputation

as a destination for the financial services

sector. The revenue is expected to be a oneoff

cash generator, and like the EU funds

cannot be expected to result in a sustained

injection in the economy. Political parties

need to plan for contingency measures

once this well dries up.

• Ensuring that Malta’s reputation of good

governance does not deteriorate further.

Our current rate of economic growth is

strongly dependent on a reputation of

decent and ethical good governance which

has been built over decades. There is an

urgent need to restore and build upon this

reputation in order for this growth to be

sustainable.

Government policies have to be based on an

understanding that Malta has a two speed,

diversified economy, whereby traditional

economic sectors are experiencing lower

rates of growth than those of the new

economic sectors. This may be a source of

social tensions which cannot be addressed

through blanket measures which may be

affordable for some sectors but which may

harm the competitiveness of others. The

competitiveness of traditional sectors like

manufacturing, which still employs 26,000

persons, depends on small profit margins.

Our major manufacturers also face internal

competition, meaning that even if a domestic

plant is profitable, the company can still

relocate to other destinations which yield a

higher return.

There is a need for government

and politicians to make active

reforms to curtail corruption.

These need to address the very structure

of our government and authorities as well

as political parties. Our governments need

to move away from the many promises on

transparency, meritocracy and governance

to a framework of actual policies that address

the issues at source.

More and more, we are seeing that in order

to attract foreign direct investment and in

particular in the financial related sectors,

Malta needs to offer a strong banking system.

In todays Globalised economy international

companies require solid financial institutions

and reputable banks which can operate

effectively at international level. The strength

of the international banking system is to the

financial sector as perhaps the network of

international airline connections is to our

Tourism sector. Unless we are able to maintain

our existing banks and attract more

international banks to operate from Malta our

attractiveness as a hub in a number of sectors

will diminish considerable as will those of

attracting business opportunities coming out

of Brexit. The international banking system is

also essential for Maltese companies wanting

to trade internationally.

There is a need for governments to come up

with long term visions. Proposed policies and

projects need to be evaluated against the

true added value which is not only monetary

but also takes into consideration the

environmental as well as social requirements.

The widely-used sustainability needs to be

evaluated and defined according to a set

of objectives and priorities. These priorities

and objectives need to be discussed with the

various social partners and business to set an

economic direction and a stable economic

environment. Other challenges include the

impact of an ageing population on health and

welfare spending, global competitiveness and

the rising cost of the public sector wage bill.

Political parties must be open and rise above

theworrying trend of populism. Politics is

not about telling people what they want to

hear, but to convince the electorate about

the best course of action out of a number of

alternatives, even if such actions might not

be popular in the short term. Many electoral

promises by both major parties are being

thrown in the campaign with disregard to

their cost and implementation. Unfortunately,

recent issues are giving rise to a return to a

highly polarised society, with rising tensions

that are certainly not good for business. MBR

Creditline: Towards Sustained Economic Growth & Better Governance, Malta Employers Association

16 17

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

BANKING

EPP CONGRESS

Malta Business Review

Another Successful

Year for IIG Bank

MINISTER MIZZI HANDS OVER THE NATIONAL TRANSPORT STRATEGY.

Best practices, combining political strategy and concrete implementation.

#Malta

European Commissioner for Transport Ms Violeta Bulc

IIG Bank continued to register significant

as the Bank provided fully to cover impaired

on maintaining its high standard of service

progress in developing its business strategy

which is targeted towards a global presence

loan assets while pursuing a suitable course of

action to recover such debts.

delivery to clients.

in international trade and commodity

finance. This development was supported by

yet another year of significant profits despite

a focus on maintaining balance sheet size

consistent with the average level of 2015,

while concentrating on maintaining customer

deposits within the desired parameters

commensurate to asset growth.

As in previous years, all the income generated

during 2016 will be reinvested in the form

of Tier I capital, since the Board continues

to apply the same policy to ensure that the

equity base of the Bank continues to grow

and sustain its development.

The year-end balance sheet position of

The initial economic indicators and inflationary

expectations for 2017 are encouraging and

should lead to increased levels of activity in

global trade. The Bank is very well prepared to

take advantage of the evolving opportunities,

while still retaining a very positive outlook

should market conditions not develop in line

with existing expectations.

During the year, significant progress was made

in the internal organisational structure, with

additional recruitment of skilled personnel

to increase its operational capacity and to

US$154,109,412 is the result of an exercise

to reduce in excess funding and associated

cost. Loans and advances grew by 8% to

US$89,031,527 while investments in financial

Reporting on the performance of the Bank,

Raymond Busuttil, Managing Director and

Chief Executive Officer of IIG Bank (Malta) Ltd,

continue enhancing its risk management and

compliance team.

During the financial year under review,

the Bank registered a profit before tax of

$4,367,366. Net interest income increased

to $5,516,183 and net fee and commission

income to $813,043. Other income resulting

from trading gains and disposal of financial

assets generated a comprehensive operating

assets reduced to US$20,679,444 in an effort

to minimise the exposure to market risk on

bond holdings, given the prevailing market

conditions.

As mentioned, and in line with the strategy

adopted, customer deposits reduced to

US$120,670,756 from USD143,670,301 at

year-end in 2015.

said: "Our success depends on the exceptional

skills and dedication of our staff. We give

extra attention to our service delivery as this

gives us a competitive advantage, despite our

size. Therefore, I thank our highly motivated

staff and dedicated board members for yet

another very successful year. I also thank our

loyal customers for their trust and continued

support." MBR

Minister Mizzi (right) with EU Commissioner Violeta Bulc, presiding over the Transport

Ministerial Conference in which the Member States adopted the Valletta Declaration on Road Safety.

income of $11,384,825, a 20% increase over

The Bank has a regular customer base on both

the previous year.

the deposit liabilities side of the business and

in its loan asset portfolio. Significant progress

Administrative expenses of $2,905,467, saw a

has been made and opportunities of business

marginal increase of 10% over 2015. A charge

continue to flow despite the moderate

of $4,111,992 was taken to profit and loss

marketing effort, as the Bank concentrates

18 19

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

ENERGY/TRANSPORT

ENERGY/TRANSPORT

Malta Business Review

Delivering secure, sustainable

and competitive energy to EU

citizens and industry

The Editor interviews Dirk Beckers, INEA Executive Director (EC), who explained he was content that the new INEA is now up and

running following several months of cost-benefit study, consultations and other preparatory work. In this exclusive interview

with MBR, Mr Beckers told us that out of the six EU Executive Agencies, INEA will manage the biggest MFF 2014-2020 budget -

around €37 billion.

Background

The Innovation and Networks Executive

Agency (INEA) was officially inaugurated

March 7th, 2014, with an event to recognise

its new mandate and the ongoing successes

in project implementation. European

Commission Vice-Presidents Siim Kallas

(Transport) and Neelie Kroes (Digital Agenda)

as well as Robert-Jan Smits (Director-General

of DG RTD), Mat-thias Ruete (Director-General

of DG MOVE and Chairman of INEA’s Steering

Commit-tee), Fabrizio Barbaso (Deputy

Director-General of DG ENER), and Dirk

Beckers (INEA Executive Director) delivered

short welcome addresses to commemorate

the new Agency, which is responsible for

implementing parts of the Connecting Europe

Facility and Horizon 2020 programmes on

behalf of the Commission.

Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas,

responsible for transport, stated: "I am

confident that INEA will be the ideal

environment to find and promote synergies

so that Europe’s energy, transport and ICT

networks can be successfully developed

together in the years ahead. […] As

policymakers, we have planned a vision for

the future. It will be INEA that will make it

hap-pen.”

Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes

echoed Mr Kallas’ comments, adding: “This

is not just about handling this or that project,

or managing this or that call for proposals.

It is about investing in our future economy

and in our future society through the power

of digital tools. I know that INEA is up to the

challenge.”

MBR: Can you tell us what is the key role of

NEA?

DB: Our key role will continue to be bridging

the gap between policy and implementation,

covering the whole lifecycle of the projects

we manage. It is INEA’s firm intention to live

up to the expectation of the Commission that

the Agency will continue to perform well. May

we all enjoy many years of successful project

implementation, effective programmes and a

very fruitful partnership.

Accountant

Milena Chakarova

Department C

CEF

Andreas Boschen

C1 TRANSPORT

Baltic Sea (DE, DK, SE, FI, EE, LV, LT,

PL), Austria + MoS, ERTMS

Morten Jensen (acting)

C2 TRANSPORT

East Mediterranean, Black Sea, SE

Europe (CZ, SK, SI, HU, HR, RO, BG,

EL, IT, MT, CY) + Marco Polo, ATM

Cristóbal

Millan de la Lastra

C3 TRANSPORT

West Mediterranean, Atlantic (PT,

ES, FR, BE, NL, LU, UK, IE) + ITS, RIS,

Innovation

Christian Faure

C4 ENERGY & ICT

Andreas Boschen (acting)

We hope that with our grant the

technology is really improved

MBR: Could you perhaps give some

examples of projects that are potentially

attractive to private investment with the

help of FC; the kind of projects that can be

used for CEF?

DB: This is a co-ordination, however this will

bring feedback about the projects, based

on the outcome of the projects. We give

feedback to the European Commission on

where we think that they should be changing

their policy based on the outcome we get

on the feedback that we get from Member

States, from beneficiaries that say yes the

Director

Dirk Beckers

Department H

Horizon

2020

Alan Haigh

H1 Energy Research

Robert Goodchild

H2 Transport Research

Marcel Rommerts

Assistant

Montserrat Madern Carretero

MoS - Motorways of the Sea

ERTMS - European Rail Traffic Management System

ITS - Intelligent Transport Systems

RIS - River Information Services

ATM - Air Traffic Management

Internal Control Manager

Ann Vanroelen

Department R

Programme

Support &

Resources

Paloma Aba Garrote

R1

Programme Support,

Coordination &

Communication

Marc Vanderhaegen

R2 Administrative,

Finance, Legal &

Financial Management

Philippe Stalins

R3 Operational Finance

Joachim Ball

R4

Human Resources, IT

& Logistics

Maria Novak

Commission should be more working, or

the priority should be changing. We give

that feedback to the Commission, but then

I would say, as well that the major role we

have and which I’m quite proud to say is that,

we achieved good results in which is also

the reason why the Commission decided

to extend the mandate of our agency. We

have an important role to play towards our

beneficiaries; meaning that we make sure,

since we make all the payments and so on,

to make it an important role to ensure that

the payment delays are short as possible,

and that we even improve them, because

our performance on payment delays must

be extremely short. We make sure that

whenever we get amendments requests from

beneficiaries that they are dealt with quickly.

In fact we are trying to improve permanently

the service to the beneficiaries so that they

feel that their projects have been taken care

of. The feedback from the beneficiaries and

from the Commission services shows that we

are on the right track. The track record is still

improving after this year so I think it’s going

quite well.

MBR: In what ways will INEA be the ideal

environment to find and promote synergies

so that Europe’s energy transport in our

City networks are connected and how can

be these successfully developed together in

the years?

DB: The synergy is something that we

started a while ago and something that we

are working on. We have one thing which is

quite interesting since we have as well a rise in

2020, which is the research part in which we

try to evaluate. We have someone else taking

care of Horizon 2020. This project is starting

to organise meetings because from Horizon

2020 we get to see the results of the research

project and we try to see where this can fit

with the infrastructure, and where it can

lead to projects. There is already an internal

consensus within the agency and we are trying

to see how we can make suggestions to the

Commission. We reflect and consult internally

on how we can give the best feedback to the

commission as well and how we can achieve

synergies between these programs.

Examples from transport area

1. We need good electric batteries and good

charging infrastructure so of course there’s

a lot of research. Researching institutions

normally finish at the level of proto-type

and they hand it over to the operators and

they want to start with a first real market

scale experience and they come in and we

give them a grant to take the risk to run a

real trial in real market conditions to see

how they are accepting technology, the

interconnectors. We hope that with our

grant the technology is really improved

established and the real market uptake can

take place without public market and the

markets take it over.

2. Traffic management: The European union

has also invested a lot in research to make

the sky safer and more environment

friendly and so on. We are now giving

money to deploy at airports, area traffic

control centres.

3. ITS Connected Cars: The cars of the future

discussed with the role of infrastructure

of how they communicate and how data

will be exchanged between individual cars

and infrastructure has a lot of research but

then you have to try it. This combines and

goes together with our colleagues from our

research site. Hopefully the markets and

the manufactures and the road operators

Martin Vella interviewing Mr Dirk Beckers, Director at INEA (Innovation & Networks Executive

Agency and Mr Jean-Eric Paquet, Deputy Secretary-General of the European Commission

will say that the technology is now mature

and proven and safe.

That’s one type of synergy. We also use

another type of synergy on the procedures

that we use between the different programs

so that when we carry out a certain approach,

which is being fruitful and we see the

outcome is doing well, we try to syndicate it

with the other programs as well. First with

the CEF between transport energy/ICT, we try

to have common grounds, as sometimes we

have some common beneficiaries that they

might get the same process.

MBR: How is INEA best place to understand

the market needs and how is it also

positioned with the EU policy framework to

help and deliver these objectives?

DB: Since we are managing now all these

projects, we have the information from the

research files and congolmerate. In particular

on CEF we have an analytical basis, we get

an update for all the projects, by the end of

March. Every year we get an update from

Commission Directorate-Generals, which is

the status report for all the projects and so

this gives us information on all the projects on

where they are, where problems ly; positive

and negative things.

It allows us as well to give them on that basis,

positive feedback to the commission; we give

them a general view of what’s happening,

we give them as well an overview per

member states so that they can see that its

going good in Malta, Belgium, Italy, wherever

and we give them feedback on the projects,

on the idea of projects.

The idea then, is to give them feedback on

maybe where they should change their

procedures, so I would say that since we get

all the input from the projects, we think we

are very well placed to give this qualitative

feedback to the commission to keep them

updated on what’s happening. MBR

The importance of INEA was

key as the Agency is best placed

to understand the market needs

and whether the EU policies

are helping to deliver the EU

objectives

About INEA

INEA is the successor of the Trans-European Transport

Network Executive Agency (TEN-T EA), which was created by

the European Commission in 2006 to manage the technical

and fi-nancial implementation of its TEN-T programme

supporting European transport infrastructure projects.

INEA officially started its activities on 1 January 2014 in order

to implement the following EU programmes:

• Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) – transport, energy and

digital

• Parts of Horizon 2020 – Smart, green, and integrated

transport + Secure, clean and efficient energy

• Legacy programmes - TEN-T and Marco Polo (2007-2013)

INEA’s main objective is to increase the efficiency of the technical

and financial management of the programmes it manages.

Mr Dirk Beckers, Director at INEA

20 21

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS

Malta Business Review

Reliable Logistic

Experts

by George Carol

“Express Logigroup emerges as the solution

being delivered. We suggest that whoever

more efficient and competitive? How does

driver for any freight requirement” –

Jonathan Vella, CEO Express Logigroup

requires the assistance of freight forwarder,

one must find one that suits the needs of

using Express Logigroup consolidate this?

MBR: What services [Solutions] does

Express Logigroup offer to customers?

that individual or organization. The following

are some questions, which would assist in

completing this assessment.

JV: Express Logigroup possess far-reaching

knowledge in logistics for all market sectors

including specialized branches such as the

JV: Express Logigroup offers a diverse portfolio

of services which converge into a freight

and logistics powerhouse. Our experience

is coupled by our flexibility to meet every

customer requirement be it a small sized

package to the transport of large exhibition

events and valuables. Our principles are

based on trust, quality and economical

value, which are being represented by a

management team which brings decades

of experience in the field of transport and

logistics. Our distinguishable yellow colour,

unique branding, brings freshness to the dull

screen of the local freight industry.

MBR: What should a customer keep in

mind/consider when choosing the best

freight option for their business?

JV: One has to be extremely careful when

considering, assigning responsibility onto

a carrier/freight forwarder or operator,

commonly referred as the freight forwarder.

The most notorious situation is that the

assigned party is incapable of delivering on

the agreed terms. Using the right freight

forwarder can save time, money and establish

a more competitive base for the product

Our growth plan is coupled

by primarily investing in our

people.

Does the freight forwarder:

• Have the appropriate network which

services the location of pick-up or delivery?

• Have an experience in handling the type of

product and shipment within the market

place?

• Have experience with the type of carriers

you require?

• Have favorable shipping rates and delivery

schedules?

• Receive good recommendations from other

users?

• Have a reputation for friendless,

competence, efficiency reliability, cost –

effective, trustworthiness and using fair

business practices?

MBR: Choosing the right freight company

can be critical for any business in making it

health, retail, automotive and the chemical

industry. Our highest level of specialist

competence comes from the years of

experience and from listening and adopting

to our customer needs on one hand. On the

other hand, our healthy growth also enriches

our competition. We are reliable logistic

experts, which consolidates and neutralizes

every challenge.

MBR: What are the plans of ELG to continue

improve on the service currently offered in

future

JV: Our plans are ambitious and challenging!

Our growth plan is coupled by primarily

investing in our people. We believe in what

the Maltese talent can provide and this is how

we intend to bring the quality leap, which this

industry has been long after. Concurrently we

have continued with our overseas expansion.

We are present all over EUROPE and now

we’re branching into the eastern market

thus providing a wider network, which caters

for all of our customers’ demands. Express

Logigroup brings bright transport solutions

with brighter colours!

MBR

International Freight Forwarding Solutions

We deliver every time.

road sea air

+356 21 221 999

expresslogigroup.com

22

www.maltabusinessreview.net

23


Malta Business Review

eCOMMERCE

E-COMMERCE IN MALTA

IS QUICKLY GROWING

An MCA research has shown that e-Commerce in Malta

is developing at a fast rate

MALTA

BUSINESS REVIEW

SPECIAL FEATURE: MiGEA 2017

The Malta Communications Authority (MCA)

has recently commissioned a study with the

aim of better understanding online shopping

trends in Malta.

A representative sample made up of 800

individuals were interviewed in July 2016.

Results show that e-Commerce in Malta is

quickly growing.

Internet usage across the Maltese population

rose to 81% in 2016 resulting in a 10% and

16% increase when compared to 2014 and

2010 respectively.

The use of mobile devices to access internet

has also increased drastically whereby access

via smartphone increased from 30% to 59%

via tablet from 23% to 40% in the past two

years.

It was discovered that 70% of the respondents

who have access to the Internet conduct

some form of research online before making

a purchase. This applies both if they envisage

to make the purchase online or by visiting a

physical store. Generally, respondents search

for the below listed information:

• Products or services

• Opening hours, location and contact details

• Consumer reviews

• View online catalogue

• Offers

• Ideas, inspirations, suggestions

An increase of 8% (from 70% in 2014 to 78%

in 2016) was reported in e-Commerce in

Malta. Out of these, 89% had made at least

one online purchase in the past 3 months.

This marks a 10% increase compared to 2014

and an increase of 23% compared to 2010.

The importance of a strong web presence

is becoming more important by the minute

as more customers flock online to gather

information and make purchases online. As

a business it is strategically important not to

fall behind.

Financial assistance is currently available to

assist companies to design and develop new

websites with e-Commerce functionality.

Through the e-Commerce Grant Scheme,

co-financed by the European Regional

Development Fund 2014-2020, companies in

Malta will be able to receive a refund of up to

50% of expenses up to a maximum of €5,000.

NIU may guide you in developing an attractive

website using the latest technologies which

more importantly is an effective means to

attract customers and improve their online

shopping experience.

MBR

Credit: Malta Communications Authority

MiGEA SPECIAL FEATURE

HELPING CREATIVE PEOPLE ACHIEVE EXCELLENCE

24


Malta Business Review

Special

Feature

SPECIAL FEATURE: MiGEA 2017 SPECIAL FEATURE: MiGEA 2017

Vision and Strategy

Special

Feature

Malta Business Review

By George Carol

We are delighted to announce that Quasar Limited were voted the winner Malta's Best iGaming Company

of the Year, Malta's Best Employer Brand of the Year, with Alan Brincat, Operations Director, carrying also

Malta's Best iGaming Ambassador of the Year Award during MiGEA 2017. The Awards’ judging panel

comprised high calibre, high profile business leaders or Chief Executives hailing from top corporate gaming

organisations or from distinguished gaming backgrounds. It was a rigorous process including personal

meetings and interviews between the judges and every nominee individually. The voting was based on

entrepreneurial spirit, financial performance, strategic direction, community impact, innovation, personal

integrity and creativity. The process also included a video clip presentation of each nominee which was

aired at the Awards’ ceremony held at the plush Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa. We caught up with Alan, as

Quasar Limited is now officially a multi-award winner at Malta’s iGaming Excellence Awards 2017.

MBR: How did you get started in the

industry, and advance to be recognised as

Malta’s iGaming Ambassador of the Year?

AB: I started working in the industry back

in 2010, soon after I graduated from

university. I had an educational background in

Management and Tourism, but I was drawn

towards the novelty and appeal of the sector

which was starting to flourish in Malta. Even

though back then the local skill pool was not

as mature, I had to work my way up from

the very bottom. I was always lucky enough

to be surrounded by people that believed in

my potential. Over the years I touched with

most aspects of the online gaming operation,

enjoyed every challenge and never settled for

‘good enough’.

MBR: Tell us more about the company you

run and what it stands for…

AB: Quasar Limited operates two leading

online casino brands, QuasarGaming.com and

OvoCasino.com. The company consolidates a

tight knit team of professional and dedicated

iGaming experts. Together we strive to deliver

a customer experience that is second to none

by ensuring players remain entertained and

active for longer. We invest in people with a

shared passion that can build, operate and

take our brands to the next level.

MBR: Describe the market you operate in

and how Quasar Limited has grown over the

past few years?

AB: Quasar Gaming operates in a fastchanging

landscape where most of the

dominant pure casino brands are at most, a

Alan Brincat receiving his MiGEA award

couple of years old. Only a handful of old time

casino giants remain popular or even relevant

today. I attribute our permanence to the bold

strategy the founders took in catering for a gap

by delivering quality land based game content

online, coupled with the initial commitment

to SEO. Since then, company has gone from

a tiny unknown start up with very humble

beginnings, to one of the fastest growing. It is

enough to say that the daily figures we make

today, are equivalent to what used to take us

a month to achieve when I joined three years

ago.

MBR: What are the success factors that

drive your company?

AB: The key success factor behind any

company are its people. We would not

be where we are today if it wasn’t for the

outstanding execution of the team that bring

the vision and strategy to life. An engaging

product, consistent service quality and short

time to market are also crucial in securing

long-term sustainability particularly in an

industry where competitors are just one click

away.

MBR: What are the biggest external

challenges you face?

AB: Over the last few years’ profit margins

have shrunk for operators in the industry

due to regulation and tax. A lot of the

smaller companies who cannot capitalise

on economies of scale are feeling the pinch,

and this explains the surge in mergers and

acquisitions we have now grown used to.

I believe the next challenges we

face are the implementation

of the Fourth EU Anti-Money

Laundering Directive and the

new General Data Protection

Regulation Bill.

Both will have a huge impact; but since they

affect all operators if addressed wisely they

can translate into a competitive advantage for

some.

MBR: Mention one thing that helps you

differentiate from the stiff competition…

AB:

I think the beauty of operating a

lean team where people are not

just a number is that everyone

is very involved and heard.

This manifests itself in our company culture

to promote creativity which is reflected in the

innovative promotions we run. For example,

last October we ran a promotion sponsoring

one lucky player every week with a fourfigure

bankroll for a limited amount of time.

The interesting part was that we streamed

this high roller frenzy on social media to

capitalise on new channels such as Twitch.

tv. If the player turned a profit he got to keep

all the winnings. When he lost, the initial

balance was distributed amongst all the other

participants in the promotion giving them a

reason to tune in and watch the action unfold.

MBR: How does your job affect your family

life?

AB: I am lucky to have supportive partner,

who is also well respected in the industry. I

tend to work late not because I must, but out

of genuine love for what I do. Nonetheless

better time management has been crucial

for me to enjoy time with my son and go

on more regular family holidays. Having

my own child has also made me realise the

importance of the work life balance and that

it can ultimately make employees happier

and more productive. For this reason we

now offer additional benefits, extra leave

allocation, more flexible hours and the option

to work remotely from home.

Quasar Ltd.

MBR: What is the significance of being

named Best iGaming Company and Best

Employer Brand of the Year?

AB: We take great pride that our hard work

is being noticed. It is important for us to

celebrate outstanding work together to

keep the team motivated. The success is

down to the unique work environment and

healthy corporate culture. We make it a

point to organise multiple company events

every year where everyone can unwind and

build stronger relationships out of the office.

Over the last few years we have taken the

whole team to places like Austria, Sicily and

Barcelona and organised events such as track

days and skiing trips. Quasar boasts of very

low attrition levels, so much so that most of

the employees that started with us still work

here to the very day, and we hope they retire

with us too.

MBR

26


Malta Business Review

Special

Feature

SPECIAL FEATURE: MiGEA 2017 SPECIAL FEATURE: MiGEA 2017

Malta Business Review

Value and Opportunities

LVBet is celebrating a prestigious triumph after Simona Pinterova, PR

Manager, was voted as Malta's Best iGaming Woman Leader of the Year

during Malta’s iGaming Excellence Awards 2017

Motivation and Inspiration

by Martin Vella

Held on 5th May and organised by

Malta’s premier business magazine,

Malta Business Review, the awards

celebrated the iGaming entrepreneurial

achievements of individuals and

companies both in Malta and

internationally. The Gala Dinner was

held at the 5 Star Corinthia Palace

Hotel & Spa with the theme of ‘Helping

Creative People Achieve Excellence’,

and was attended by some of the

most successful people from the Malta

gaming community. Winners were

carefully selected for each of the 24

award categories by an impressive

judging panel, consisting of eight

of Malta’s most influential gaming

business men and women.

MBR: What does winning Malta's Best

iGaming Woman Leader of the Year mean

to you and also to LVBet?

SP: Winning Malta’s Best iGaming Female

Leader of the Year means a great deal to me

personally, and I know that the entire LVbet

team have felt a boost from it. Of course, it’s

nice just to be recognized by my peers, but

I’m also proud to be a woman successfully

building an exciting career in an industry that

stands out as an example of diversity and

equality.

MBR: How and why did you decide to

participate in Malta’s iGaming Excellence

Awards 2017 and what chances you gave

yourself to winning?

SP: Awards and events like this really help to

stimulate the local iGaming community, so

being a part of them is important for both

myself and LVbet. They provide the perfect

opportunity to meet some truly inspiring

people, and a bit of healthy competition is

always good. High-profile events like Malta’s

iGaming Excellence Awards 2017, also provide

a great opportunity to highlight the value and

opportunities that the sector adds to the

Maltese economy, hopefully encouraging

more Maltese young people to enter the

industry. As for my chances of winning, I

didn’t really think about it too much - though

I am thrilled that I won, it was being a part of

the event mattered most to me.

Ms Simona Pinterova with Denitza Dimitrova and Trustly

MBR: What has been central to LVBet’s

philosophy and strategy for success?

SP: The customer has always been the driving

force behind LVbet. From day one, we have

been acutely aware that we operate in a

highly-saturated industry, where customers

are presented with massive choice, so

we knew that we had to offer something

genuinely special. By growing a professional

and motivated team, with a clear vision,

we have been able to create a product and

service that delivers true entertainment and

value for our customers.

seeing creative magic transform

initial ideas into tangible and

successful projects is extremely

rewarding

MBR: What is the main driving factor which

motivates you in your work?

SP: Working in iGaming is fast-paced and can

be daunting at times, but seeing creative

magic transform initial ideas into tangible and

successful projects is extremely rewarding. In

this role, no two days are the same and I get

to work with amazing people. Few workplaces

can boast such an incredibly cosmopolitan

and motivated team, with people from all

over the world, and totally different ways

of seeing things – it makes each day an

adventure! I hope that, in some small way, I

play my part in inspiring and motivating those

around me too.

MBR: What has been your biggest challenges

so far as a female gaming entrepreneur and

to what do you most attribute your success?

SP: To be honest, within the Maltese iGaming

industry, there really aren’t many barriers to

women at the entry level. Having said that

however, I do feel that the higher you climb

in iGaming, there’s still a male-dominated

culture. My own experience has proven that

women with determination can thrive, but at

times it has been a challenge to rise above the

chauvinism that I have encountered. MBR

EnergyBet

Gaining popularity with EnergyCasino,

there is now EnergyBet! A quiet, thoughtprovoking

new sportsbook was easily the

most successful, picking up the award for

Malta's Best iGaming Excellence in Customer

Service Award, as judges unanimously scored

points for artistic achievement, game design,

narrative and original property. We caught up

with Slawomir Zieliński - EnergyBet Operation

Manager, who talks about the significance of

gaming awards and how EnergyBet challenge

the more established bookmakers and offer a

wide range of sports betting markets.

MBR: Can you share with us your feelings

after having been bestowed as Malta's Best

iGaming Excellence in Customer Service

Award and what significance this has for

EnergyBet?

SZ: Receiving the Malta iGaming Excellence

Award for Customer Service is an honour for

the whole team here at EnergyBet. Despite

being a very young venture, having only

launched in summer 2016, we have worked

hard to make sure we offer customers a truly

world-class service. To have this recognised by

our peers in the global hub of one of the most

competitive industries, is very rewarding.

MBR: How inspiring is it to see what you

have accomplished together with the

EnergyBet team?

SZ: It’s the second award for EnergyBet,

coming after winning SBC’s Rising Star in

Sports Betting at the end of last year, in

London. Seeing the awards on the shelf in

the office reminds the team that what we are

doing is really noticed by people, and that is

great for motivation and inspiration.

Seeing the awards on the shelf

in the office reminds the team

that what we are doing is really

noticed by people

MBR: How important do you consider such

awards are and what significance do they

have vis-a-vis growth of gaming professional

role models in Malta?

SZ: Aside from the motivational value

within our company, awards like this, from

prestigious bodies, are a fantastic way for us

to back-up our claims when we are trying to

attract new customers or business partners.

After all, everyone claims have the best

product and offer great customer service, but

not everyone can back it up with awards. It

gives people confidence in us, both customers

and other iGaming professionals.

Awards like this definitely help to raise

professional standards across the industry,

and help Malta stand out as an iGaming

centre of excellence. This is great for everyone

involved in the iGaming industry itself, and for

the Maltese economy in general.

MBR: Do you consider this award as a

recognition of the EnergyBet business

model and how does it feel as a winner in

you category?

SZ: Well, it certainly reflects well on the

EnergyBet business model. We have always

believed that though product quality is

always paramount, if you fail to back it up

with excellent customer service, then a

business can never reach its full potential.

Many of our competitors here in Malta have

extremely high standards, so to win against

them means an awful lot to us. We are aware

that we cannot afford to take our eyes off the

ball though, because everyone is constantly

improving, and we want to win again next

year!

MBR: Can you give us your feedback on the

organisation and also tell us how you will

remember MiGEA 2017?

SZ: Our team was impressed with MiGEA

2017. We have been to events and awards all

over Europe, and we have to say that MiGEA

compared very favourably. Obviously, we all

call Malta home, so it is that bit more special

winning here. We will definitely remember

the surprise because, like I said, we were all

aware of just how strong the competition

was, and we genuinely did not expect to win.

Saying that though, we are now confident

we can get some more awards to the trophy

shelf. MBR

28

www.maltabusinessreview.net

29


Malta Business Review

Special

Feature

SPECIAL FEATURE: MiGEA 2017 SPECIAL FEATURE: MiGEA 2017

Special

Feature

Malta Business Review

Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa | Friday 5th May 2017

30

www.maltabusinessreview.net

31


Malta Business Review

Special

Feature

SPECIAL FEATURE: MiGEA 2017 SPECIAL FEATURE: MiGEA 2017

A feather in your cap can

Special

Feature

Malta Business Review

go a mighty long way

By Martin Vella

While some big guns dominated this year’s

MiGEA awards, the event heralded an

impressive haul for Pragmatic Play, virtual

newcomers on the local Gaming stage. With

three award wins it is clearly positioned as

one of the leaders of the next generation

to break on to the scene. The prestigious

accolades awarded to Pragmatic Play were:

Malta's Best Digital Company of the Year,

Malta's Best Gamified Experience Company

and Yossi Barzely, Head of Sales, HR and

Business Development claimed Malta's Best

Outstanding HR Director of the Year.

The multiple wins were announced at the

MiGEA awards during a grand gala dinner

held for the finalists - Pragmatic Play taking

home more highly coveted honours than

any other company. Independent judges

evaluated more than 36 nominations, with

over 16 finalists to select top-place honours in

this annual gaming awards competition.

As Yossi Barzely and his colleagues

accepted the awards during the dinner

and ceremony on Friday, 5th May at the

Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa. They could not

hide their emotions and elation, although

seemlingly somewhat surprised that such an

independent awards event was recognising

significant achievements within the Maltese

gaming industry.

"We are delighted to win three of the most

prestigious MiGEA honours for our innovation

and customer partnership, and it is especially

exciting to be the only games provider to win

more than one accolade," Mr Barzely said. "It

is a testament to the focus on our customers

and how much time we’ve dedicated to

understanding the needs of the industry.

We’re thrilled and humbled to be recognised

by such an esteemed panel of judges among

such strong competition."

This year, the Malta’s iGaming Awards saw

Quasar Limited take home three MiGEA prizes,

with Bit8 also scooping two and Netrefer

winning Malta's Best Industry Contributor of

Yossi Barzely receiving his MiGEA award

the Year award for the third time along with

Malta's Best iGaming Technology Provider/

Supplier. Congratulations to them all.

It is a testament to the focus

on our customers and how

much time we’ve dedicated

to understanding the needs

of the industry. We’re thrilled

and humbled to be recognised

by such an esteemed panel

of judges among such strong

competition.

Pragmatic Play stole the show in what was

a glamorous and well-organised award

ceremony, complemented with high-quality

entertainment, excellent dining, great

animation and visual presentations. There is

certainly hard work being done there, coupled

with great innovation and superb numbers.

It looks as though Pragmatic Play means

serious business on the local and international

iGaming scene, as they intend to continue

raising the bar and going from strength to

strength. Its slots and games, such as: 3

Kingdoms, Panther Queen, Queen of Atlantis

and Gold are second to none. Pragmatic Play’s

slots perform better than most and it was

unlucky to miss out on the Casino Supplier

shortlist but Netrefer did make the shortlist

after having made an astonishing impact this

year.

Successful strategic deals and innovative slots

made this a breakthrough year for Pragmatic

Play for its successful slots, casino listings and

as a game provider.

Asked about Pragmatic Play’s success, Mr

Barzely, explained, “Pragmatic Play is proud

to be one of the fastest growing providers of

mobile and desktop digital casino games for

the online gaming industry. Our passion is

Pragmatic Play

unrivalled and we strive to create a gaming

experience that is engaging and evocative.”

“Containing unique in-house content of

over 100 proven slot games for mobile

and desktop, developed in our studios, the

Pragmatic Play games library is defined by

our mantra of innovation and dedication to

shaping the online gaming industry.”

“We are continuously launching new and

exhilarating games. This comes from heavy

investment into research, development and

our people to support our customers’ needs.”

Its relative success in a tough vertical shows

the benefit of doing things differently.

This is something for which Pragmatic Play

should be applauded. If there was an award

for management team of the year, you can be

sure Pragmatic Play’s tight-knit team would

have won it. They would, however, have had

competition from Bit 8. Its M&A attempts

might have come to nothing but it continues

to be one of the best managed companies in

the industry. Look through the MiGEA 2017

and you will see smaller companies making

big waves. None made more of a racket

than Casino Malta and Quasar Limited this

year. While Yossi Barzely sits quietly behind

the scenes, chief commercial officer is out

there making sure everybody knows about

Pragmatic Play.

Pragmatic Play does the nuts and bolts well.

It has a clear vision and delivers a quality

product without fuss or failure. There are a

few sluggish suppliers who could take note.

“The heart of our product offering is our

portfolio of casino games. With a portfolio

of 100 slots and table games, our games

are second to none. They are designed and

built to create a full immersive experience

for players. In addition, we are able to design

customised games with special themes upon

request, as well as developing a customised

Download Casino Client and maintaining fast

delivery,” said Yossi.

There are founders and pioneers in the

MiGEA 2017 and more backstage heroes

than ever before. MiGEA was launched this

year with huge success and with these people

in mind. “Collective awards are nice but the

individual honours allow us to look into the

future. MiGEA is not just about celebrating

those that have achieved great things but

to applaud others for striving for greatness,”

Yossi affirmed.

Mr Barzely concluded, “Lastly, winning

an award can also help your company

demonstrate value internally. In a tough

economy, recognition for a job well done

from a respected, third-party organisation

can go a long way towards lifting employee

morale. After all, in today's ultra-competitive

business world, a feather in your cap can go a

mighty long way. MBR

32 33

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

MBR: You have recently won Malta's Best

International iGaming Consultant Services

during MiGEA 2017. What does this mean to

you and how significant is this achievement

to Kyte Consultants Ltd?

AA: To us this means that finally we have been

officially recognised by the industry that Kyte

is truly one of the top companies to provide

consultancy services to the gaming operators.

Kyte is practically the only company set up to

provide services to the gaming industry, pre

and post licensing, and it’s the type of services

that require specific knowledge and insight

into the industry. There are a lot of part-time

service providers to the industry, we are full

time, fully focused and totally dedicated to

the igaming industry and having an award

shows that we’ve been recognised for it. The

other day I bumped into a person from the

industry and he told me that Kyte would be

auditing him and he was glad that Kyte were

chosen as at least he was assured that the

auditor would understand gaming.

MBR: Were you expecting to win these

awards and what was your reaction after

hearing your name being read out among

the prestigious list of winners, not once, but

twice?

AA: You know how it is in life, you always feel

that you deserve to win, especially when you

and your colleagues always give a 100% to the

industry, our clients and to each other. You

feel you are perfect and the best, this now

proves that it’s not just our perception but

that the industry sees us as one of the best as

well. And that gives us immense motivation

to carry on as a leading service provider and

to continuously strive for improvement.

MBR: How critical is gaming

entrepreneurship and information

technology to Kyte Consultants Ltd?

AA: It is our raison d’etre! Kyte was founded

specifically to service the gaming industry

and we used our technical knowledge and

experience to provide assistance in the

development of control systems and also

gaming systems for the past 10+ years.

Online gaming is based on e-commerce and

relies 100% on technology. With technology

come technical risks and we also specialise in

this area, in such a way that we are able to

provide various consultancy services, audit

services and overall ICT risk management.

Special

Feature

SPECIAL FEATURE: MiGEA 2017 SPECIAL FEATURE: MiGEA 2017

Learning & Understanding

by George Carol

MBR speaks with Alan Alden, Director, who explains how Kyte Consultants Ltd has become an essential piece of

the iGaming ecosystem, and we continue to evolve and learn and adapt to always be a key contributor to our

customers and the industry in general.

Alan Alden receiving his award

As the industry has become more regulated

we are also expanding our knowledge and

skills to provide compliance related services.

Compliance is now an essential part of any

gaming operators’ operational duties.

Humility is key to learning and

understanding how anything

works and functions.

MBR: How have you become an integral

part of the culture of how iGaming operates,

and cater to customer wants and needs?

AA: Humility is key to learning and

understanding how anything works and

functions. We are never afraid to ask and

to question. Every piece of new, acquired

knowledge is then disseminated amongst

the staff and incorporated into our

documentation and processes. We also

participate in as many events as possible and

as affordable and also in working groups,

committees, etc set up to discuss any type

of issue. We are now also re-selling an AI tool

that helps operators with fraud management,

AML monitoring, Responsible Gambling, and

other risks without interrupting the customer

experience. With this tool we feel that we are

now in a position to provide a number of risk

mitigation tools and services to established

operators.

MBR: How has your career evolved with

Kyte Consultants Ltd and which area/s do

you lead today?

AA: Strangely enough at Kyte I am more or

less doing what I have been doing for the

past 26 years, and that is forming an integral

part of risk management. Internal auditing,

PCI DSS audits, ISO 27001 audits, AML/CFT

training, Data Protection services, MGA

Compliance and System Audits, etc are all a

form of control and controls mitigate risks

being faced by operators. The compliance list

continues to grow and become more complex

for operators, probably to a state of overregulation!

Kyte has two directors, Trevor

Axiak and myself. My focus is on iGaming

whilst Trevor focuses more on the technical

audits such as PCI DSS and ISO 27001. Due

to my banking background, I also handle legal

and regulatory compliance matters. It works

very well as it means that each is leading the

areas they are best in. MBR

Special

Feature

by Martin Vella

Kyte Consultants & Contact Advisory Services

Malta Business Review

A FOCUS ON QUALITY

I sit down with

Contact Advisory

Services Director

Trevor Axiak, who

has made quality

his crusade.

Trevor tells us

how the Company

depends entirely

on its people, the

quality of its people

and their knowledge

and expertise.

MBR: What sets you apart from competition

as Malta's Best Corporate & Legal Services

Provider of the Year?

TA: We always try to keep ourselves ahead

of the competition by paying attention in

five key areas that we firmly believe make a

difference:

Industry Expertise: Contact Advisory Services

is a specialist consulting firm in remote

gaming. The directors as well as some of

our consultants have been working in the

industry from the very beginning. As we said

in the interview we had during the awards

ceremony, we are focused on gaming and

hence our consultants are not just consultants

but gaming consultants, our accountants

gaming accountants and so on. We know the

industry and by now the industry knows us as

well.

Consulting: We take a big picture approach

to clients’ needs and goals. We recognise

proactivity is fundamental aspect in

consulting. We always make sure to provide

the customer with a solution that addresses

all his requirements rather than serving him in

one area and leaving him to fend for himself

in another.

Accountability: We believe that we have to

deliver what we promise. We implement

processes and systems that maximize the

benefits of the client. We work with clearly

defined metrics, providing regular reporting

and analysis.

Value: Our service is one of quality but at the

same time our pricing is fair. A good service

does not have to come at an exorbitant price.

Passion: We take our business personally. We

treat our clients as people, not numbers and

take great pride in representing them.

MiGEA has been created as

one of most comprehensive

awards events for the iGaming

industry with some big names

participating in it

MBR: What is the key to success of Contact

Advisory and what has made the Company

work so well in such a competitive highpowered

environment?

TA: There are no secret formulas when

it comes to succeeding in a competitive

environment. It takes determination and lots

of hard work. We are well aware that as a

service provider our product is our services.

In other words, our product is our people.

Our service has to be our main selling point.

We focus on quality in everything we do and

this philosophy is passed on to all employees.

Customers appreciate this and testament to

this is the fact that not only do we manage to

retain customers but those same customers

go on to recommend our services to others.

In this industry, people tend to move from one

operator to another. It is of great satisfaction

when you get clients that have moved to a

different operator but still choose to continue

working with you.

MBR: Should more be done to raise the

awareness of how critical gaming culture

and structures are to the economy?

TA: We think everyone has come to realize

how important the industry is for Malta’s

economy. The problem is that too many

suppliers are raising prices as remote gaming

is seen to be a high paying, cash rich industry.

This may be so, however, if we push prices

up too high then we could lose some of the

attractiveness and also alienate the Maltese

from the industry, especially the property

sector, as prices are pushed up and become

unaffordable for the locals. The awareness

should now be focused to ensure that we do

not over-price ourselves and scare operators

away. We need to build on what we have

and also retain what we have achieved. But

we must not try and get rich quick off the

industry. In the long term the wrong attitude

can come back to haunt us.

TA: Can you give us your feedback on the

organisation of MiGEA and how you will

remember the night of Friday 5th May,

2017?

TA: We would like to thank and congratulate

MBR Publications for making this endeavour

happen. MiGEA has been created as one

of most comprehensive awards events

for the iGaming industry with some big

names participating in it. We believe that

everything lived up to our expectations and

the expectations of the other participants

as well. The event organisers did a fantastic

job in conceptualizing and delivering such a

difficult undertaking. We are honoured to

have been awarded the “Best Corporate and

Legal Services Provider” of the year and we

commit to continue providing our clientele

the best service possible in the future. MBR

www.kyteconsultants.com

www.contact.com.mt

34

www.maltabusinessreview.net

35


J.M. Vassallo Vibro Steel Ltd

Mdina Road, Zebbug, ZBG 9019, Malta

www.jmvibro.com

2146 7421

BANKING

Malta Business Review

INNOVATIVE

ECO-FRIENDLY

RECYCLABLE

HEALTHY

greenbuilding rating

Mineral ≥ 60% Recycled Mineral ≥ 30% ≤250g/kg Low Emission Recyclable

Content in

natural minerals

Grey 62%

White 62%

Content in

recycled minerals

Grey 34%

White 62%

ECO/Kg

emissions

Grey 244 g

White 244 g

Very low VOC

emissions

20gg/m³

Recycled as

inert

NATURAL HYDRAULIC LIME PRODUCTS

FOR ECO-FRIENDLY RESTORATION

Products and services

to build healthy homes

that are kind to the

environment.

FIMBank holds its 2017

Annual General Meeting

FIMBank plc recently held its Annual General

Meeting at the Hilton hotel. In his opening

address, the Chairman of the FIMBank Group,

Dr John C. Grech, explained the background

to the Group’s performance last year. He

referred to the 2016 financial results as a

“vindication of our steadfast resolve to bring

the Group back on the road to profitability”.

Dr Grech added that “after considerable

effort and sound decision-making, today we

are able to witness the financial response to

a successful turnaround strategy, superbly

crafted and ably delivered by FIMBank’s

management team, led by our CEO Murali

Subramanian”. The FIMBank Chairman

stated that “due to the consistent support

of our controlling shareholders, Fitch Ratings

upgraded FIMBank to BB and its Support

Rating to 3 from 5”.

First on the Meeting’s agenda - the approval

of the Group’s Consolidated Audited

Financial Statements, was accompanied

by a presentation by FIMBank CEO Murali

Subramanian, who explained that for

the year ended 31 December 2016, the

Group registered a profit of USD5.3 million,

compared to a loss of USD7.1 million in 2015.

At 31 December 2016, Total Consolidated

Assets stood at USD1.74 billion, a substantial

increase of 21 per cent over the USD1.44

billion reported at end 2015, while Total

Consolidated Liabilities stood at USD1.57

billion, up by 24 per cent from USD1.27 billion

in 2015.

FIMBank Group CEO Murali Subramanian

stated that the successful turnaround of

the Group’s fortunes post 2014, included

an improved origination strategy, the

harmonisation of FIMBank’s product offering,

exploring new product opportunities,

developing a market-appropriate risk

appetite, and the implementation of cost

efficiencies across the Group.

Referring to the immediate outlook for the

Group, Mr Subramanian said that “We will

evaluate further avenues to diversify the

target sectors wherever viable, in order to

reinforce balance, and rebuild or consolidate

the different portfolios”. FIMBank’s CEO

stated that “The overall objective is to further

optimise our business to achieve more

sustainable levels of profitability, generating

greater returns to shareholders, while

strengthening our balance sheet further”.

In conclusion, Dr Grech praised the Group’s

institutional investors, thanking them for their

unwavering support. He also thanked the

directors, management and staff members

for their hard work and the Malta Financial

Services Authority for its guidance. Finally, he

extended his gratitude to all of the Group’s

shareholders for their “understanding, and

their strong demonstration of loyalty to and

confidence in FIMBank”.

For more information about FIMBank plc, visit

www.fimbank.com MBR

www.maltabusinessreview.net

37


Malta Business Review

Malta Business Review

eie educational group

Committed

to Providing

the Best

Education

Learning

Experience

OUR MISSION

To enhance the level of Academic

training and Tuition of both pre and

post graduate levels by:

• Contributing actively towards the

propagation of equal opportunities

for all.

• Continually engaging in the pursuit

of excellence.

• Continually investing in its own

people.

• Striving to afford the best service to

all our clients.

Learning a language or obtaining

an academic qualification is more

important than ever in the global

economy. eie Educational Group provide

students with a first-class educational

teaching and training service at a fair price.

Students ask for an excellent teaching

environment so that they quickly progress

through their course, but also that they will

want to enjoy themselves whilst studying.

At eie Educational Group, you will have a

fantastic studying experience. eie encourage

social interaction trough regular, fun and

varied leisure programmes, as this improves

a learning experience.

eie Educational Group, was established in

January 2000 and their success is built on

a long-standing commitment to the specific

needs of local and international students. eie

constantly expands its worldwide networks,

partners with established renowned

organisations, invests in its facilities and in

social commitments. The eie Educational

Group is redefining the landscape of modern

education.

The eie Educational Group aims to develop

the appropriate competencies and

knowledge needed in planning, evaluation,

research and development tasks in education

and related fields in the midst of societal

changes, both on local and global levels. This

network gives eie the key to be competitive

and to share the collective experience and

continuous professional development with

their cilients.

In a fast moving world, challenges are

demanding and change is constant.

Tomorrow’s future depends on today’s

knowledge.

Through its companies, the eie Educational

Group is able to offer the following services:

Academic programmes - Certificate,

Diploma, Bachelor, Master degrees

in various subjects for young and

mature adults are offered through

eie Institute of Education (Licensed

by the NCFHE as an institute of

Further and Higher Education –

License Number 2005-TC-001);

Training programmes - Business

courses, thematic seminars for

business excecutives offered trough

eie Mangement Centre;

English Language courses - English

courses at Beginner, Elementary, Pre-

Intermediate, Intermediate, Upper-

Intermediate, Business English and

Advanced levels are offered through

eie Languages Centre (Licensed by

the EFL Monitoring Board – License

Number 282/MB42)

Student Accommodation - Provision

of quality accommodation around

Malta ideal for students offered

through eie Residences

Internships – Organisation of

Work placement and Internships

for international students offered

through eie internships.

For more information about eie’s degree

programmes, English language courses

or other business related courses you can

e-mail at info@eie-group.com, phone on

+35621332804/5 MBR

COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE

The eie Educational Group

is an acknowledged leader in international education

We specialise in providing

* Higher Educational courses - eie Institute of Education (NCFHE License Number 2005 - TC - 001)

* English Language courses - eie Languages Centre (EFL License Number 282/MB42)

* Executive and Business courses - eie Management Centre

* Internship services - eie Internships

* Student Accommodation - eie Residences

* International Educational services - eie International

• Establishing itself as a leader in the

international education field.

• Contributing towards the social

welfare of the community.

38

eie Educational Group,

Valletta Buildings, South Street, Valletta

Tel: +356 21 332804/5 info@eie-group.com

www.eieEducationalGroup.com

www.maltabusinessreview.net

39


Malta Business Review

ENVIRONMENT

ENVIRONMENT

Malta Business Review

Malta's Future May Be Tied to Achieving

a ZERO CARBON ECONOMY

International Conference Organisers

Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the air are

the highest they have been for 650,000

years, according to European Space Agency

statistics.

CO2 is a heat trapping greenhouse gas and

levels in the air must be reduced. In fact, the

EU's Climate and Energy 2020 package is

binding legislation to ensure all EU member

states including Malta meet its climate and

energy targets for the year 2020; three key

targets: 20% cut in greenhouse gas emissions

(from 1990 levels) 20% of EU energy from

renewables and a 20% improvement in

energy efficiency.

Attaining the 2020 targets is not enough.

The EU is taking action in several areas to

meet the targets if capping global warming

at 2C is to be achieved. This is the highest

temperature scientists estimate the earth

can stand before global warming has a

catastrophic effect on food production and

water reserves, and Malta along with the rest

of the Mediterranean is not exempt from

the catastrophic effects such a change could

bring.

While pressure is being put on both the public

and private sectors to change the way they

operate to reduce their carbon emissions in a

bid to mitigate the impact of climate change,

Climate-KIC and Paragon Europe are looking

at how to achieve a zero carbon economy

beyond 2030 to mitigate the severely

damaging effects of climate change.

Government legislation, the growing green

economy and innovations in low carbon

technology are helping to drive change

and move Malta and our Mediterranean

neighbours towards a low carbon economy.

200 concerned delegates from all over the

world will converge in Malta on May 29 for

what promises to be Europe's most important

Climate Conference this year, 'Towards a Zero

Carbon Economy by 2030' at the Old University

in Valletta, where high-level speakers from the

public and private sectors will be presenting

their views on how business can move to low

carbon operations, how government and EU

legislation is helping to tackle this issue, and

how financial and technological incentives

can assist organisations in reducing their

carbon footprint.

The EU emissions trading system is the

EU's key tool for cutting greenhouse gas

emissions from large-scale facilities in the

power and industry sectors, as well as the

aviation sector. The ETS covers around 45%

of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions. In

addition, National emission reduction targets

set by the EU covers the sectors not in the

ETS accounting for some 55% of total EU

emissions from housing, agriculture, and

waste and transport.

EU member countries have also taken on

binding national targets for raising the share

of renewables in their energy consumption by

2020, under the Renewable Energy Directive.

These targets also vary, to reflect countries'

different starting points for renewables

production and ability to further increase it,

from 10% in Malta to 49% in Sweden.

KIC and Paragon Europe are highlighting the

climate challenges in the cradle of civilisation,

to create a world's first zero carbon economy

solution in the Mediterranean by 2030 and

issue an important Valletta Declaration from

the conference that binds generations to

come.

By organising a conference around 3 important

pillars, the challenges and solutions in green

urban centres, circular economy and green

finance; the conference will also showcase

the key deliverables achieved so far on Smart

Sustainable Districts in the Mediterranean.

Throughout the conference the focus will

be on low carbon mobility concepts, the

operation of smart grids, energy neutral

buildings, the promotion of efficient water

management and improvement of public and

green spaces.

The conference will be opened by the

Hon. José Herrera, Minister for Sustainable

Development, the Environment and Climate

Change. Global expert speakers include

Kirsten Dunlop, Chief Executive Officer,

Climate-KIC, Dario della Sala, Head of Division

"Sustainable Materials", ENEA, Giovanni

Pavesi, CEO, Linde Gas Italy, Jochen Froebrich,

Coordinator of Water and AgriFood, WssTP

and Professors C.S Psomopoulos and G.C.

Ioannides, Electrical Engineering Department,

Piraeus University of Applied Sciences.

Paragon Group Chairman Edwin Ward said:

"With Minister Jose Herrera we agreed to

work over the long term in 3 areas: mobility,

circular economy and financial instruments

to tackle these two: we trust this will frame

how Malta should start preparing now for the

future impact of climate change. A long-term

adaptation and mitigation plan to cope with

the effects must start now.

This includes identifying the areas that will be

prone to sea flooding and building appropriate

flood defences; drawing up a comprehensive

water framework plan to ensure the survival

of the mean sea level aquifer; developing

comprehensive mitigation and adaptability

plans to protect our cultural heritage; and

others. We are proud to lead this from the

front as the the national contact point for

Climate-KIC"

The conference culminates in with a Valletta

Declaration on a Mediterranean Zero Carbon

Economy.

MBR

Achieving the goals of the 2020 package

should help increase the EU’s energy security

and reduce dependence on imported energy,

contributing to achieving a European Energy

Union that

creates jobs, advances green growth and

makes Europe more competitive. Climate-

For the programme and to register: http://

paragonevents.eu/event.php?c=climatechange

or email: events@paragoneurope.eu

40

www.maltabusinessreview.net

41


Malta Business Review

Malta Business Review

RISK MANAGEMENT BUSINESS

AND IT OUTLOOK 2017:

Traversing the Politics of Identity,

Industrialization, and Innovation

Celent has released a new report titled

Risk Management Business and IT Outlook

partnerships in order to achieve a meaningful

step change.

2017: Traversing the Politics of Identity,

Industrialization, and Innovation. The “RiskTech and RegTech players are entering

report was written by Cubillas Ding, a

Research Director with Celent’s Securities &

Investments practice.

this space in earnest, while forward-thinking

financial firms are looking for innovationenabled

change to respond to regulatory and

risk management challenges and ongoing

The shift towards more intrusive, fragmented cost pressures,” says Ding.

and data-intensive regulatory regimes

requires firms to push the envelope to EXHIBIT:

achieve economies of scale, operational

consistency, and transparency to be “However, the road ahead entails being

embedded as much as possible in financial

services business models. Alongside the

weight of industry reform focused on risk,

pragmatic in managing real tensions between

regulatory conservatism around issues of risk

and compliance, balancing business-as-usual

capital, and compliance requirements, commitments, and executing smart tactics in

financial institutions face a new world where adopting new innovations,” he adds.

the forces of industrialization and innovation

intermingle, set against potential fallouts from

the recent tide of identity politics around

populism and nationalism. Macropolitical and

social risks are now important considerations

for risk managers.

Not immune to the broader cost reduction

agenda, risk and compliance functions

In this report, Celent provides an updated

view on where firms stand at the current

juncture around risk and regulatory initiatives,

and how to respond in the near to mid-term

horizon.

Risk management and compliance capabilities

are next in line to ride the innovation wave.

are required to align to a bank’s strategic

responses and contribute to firmwide THE REPORT ANSWERS THE FOLLOWING

efficiency and cost-cutting targets, with the QUESTIONS:

near-term focus on keeping regulators at bay

and keeping the lights on. More institutions

are pursuing efforts to reduce inefficiencies in

What expectations lie ahead for the risk

environment in the near term?

risk and compliance activities, and to optimize

an institution's total cost of risk.

What strategic risk management IT

imperatives do firms need to focus on this

The “industrialization of supply chains” — risk year?

data, risk models, and information production

and reporting processes — will require

firms to invest in emerging innovations,

technologies, IT paradigms, and fintech

What are the important strategies for

success to navigate & exploit current market

dynamics?

KEY FINDINGS INCLUDE:

Political risk must become a key part of a

firm’s strategic decisions in planning, capital

management and stress testing – Risk

Management must work proactively with

business managers to anticipate 'grey swan'

scenarios, however remote they may look.

Firms must look systematically to exploit

emerging innovations, technologies, IT

paradigms and Fintech partnerships in order

to reduce inefficiencies in the lifecycle of risk

and compliance activities, with the aim of

optimizing an institution's total cost of risk.

For the longer-term, financial institutions

must examine the strength of a business case

for converging regulatory, risk and finance

data environments across domains such as

CECL, IFRS 9 and CCAR stress testing.

Creditline: Celent, New York – Michele Pace

MBR

Daphne Caruana Galizia

POLITICO 28 is a guide to the people most likely to shape our world in 2017. It was not easy to decide to highlight one of Malta’s

most prolific and controversial journalists and blogger, who’s latest revelations provoked Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to call a snap

election. Love her or hate her, one thing is beyond doubt: Daphne is known for being a front-runner journalist, revealing controversial

sensitive information.

The best way to think of Daphne Caruana

Galizia is as a one-woman WikiLeaks,

crusading against untransparency and

corruption in Malta, an island nation famous

for both. To John Dalli, a former European

commissioner whom she helped bring down

in a tobacco lobbying scandal, Galizia is “a

terrorist.” To opposition MPs, she’s a political

force of nature, one who fortunately has her

guns aimed at the other side of the aisle. “She

single-handedly brought the government to

the verge of collapse,” says one MP. “The lady

has balls,” says another.

Galizia’s mantra is simple: blog relentlessly

about the “cronyism that is accepted as

something normal here. I can’t bear to

see people like that rewarded.” Nothing

scandalous is too big or too small, be it false

declarations of residency by the beneficiaries

of Malta’s cash-for-passports scheme or

the evening-wear decisions of the prime

minister’s wife.

No one is exempt from Galizia’s digital crossexamination,

and her language is invariably

scalding. “Education minister blows own

trumpet about ethics classes,” is a typical

headline. “How much is she paid again?”

she wrote in October of a government

communications officer. “Enough to cover

the cancer treatment of several patients,

no doubt. But they’ve got to go begging off

charity to get their medication paid for.”

Fear of where her country

has headed has made her

unapologetically pro-EU.

Whatever one thinks of her style, it’s working.

On a good day, Galizia gets 400,000 readers,

more than the combined circulation of the

country’s newspapers (Malta’s population is

420,000).

When she dines out, guests from other tables

come over to wish her well. But her unease

with what she sees as the island’s twin

scourges — big money and shadowy politics

— leaves her bitter. Fear of where her country

has headed has made her unapologetically

pro-EU: “Over my dead body will my children

be stuck on these rocks,” she says.

THE BLOGGING FURY

Illustration by Denise Nestor for POLITICO

Brief about POLITICO 28

POLITICO 28 debuted last year with selectees

from each of the EU countries, but we chose

28 more as a symbolic than a literal figure;

as it happens, NATO has 28 members too.

With Brexit, the EU will soon have one fewer

member; and with Montenegro slated to join

the Western alliance, NATO will have one

more. POLITICO 28 will stay at 28. The choice

of 28 people from a world of possibilities

is bound to be subjective and contentious.

Many worthy people are omitted. Ultimately,

POLITICO’s intention is to produce a POLITICO

28 worthy of discussion and spirited debate.

Career

Caruana Galizia has worked as a journalist

since 1987. In the early 1990s, she was a

regular columnist with The Sunday Times and

an associate editor of The Malta Independent.

She remained a columnist with The Malta

Independent and The Malta Independent on

Sunday, and is the editor of the Taste & Flair

magazine. In 2010, Caruana Galizia criticized

Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera in her

blog, who then opened a libel and defamation

case against her. The case was withdrawn

in November 2011. She was arrested on 8

March 2013 for breaking the political silence

on the day before the 2013 general election,

after she posted videos mocking then-Leader

of the Opposition Joseph Muscat. She was

questioned by police before being released

after a few hours. In 2016, Caruana Galizia was

named by Politico as one of "28 people who

are shaping, shaking and stirring Europe."

Politico described her as a "one-woman

WikiLeaks, crusading against untransparency

and corruption in Malta." MBR

Creditline/Rights: POLITICO SPRL; Wikipedia

42 43

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

DENTAL HEALTHCARE EU GREEN WEEK 2017

Malta Business Review

Young and healthy

with diseased teeth!

By Dr Jean Paul Demajo

Jobs for a

GREEN FUTURE

As dentists we see all sorts of dental problems.

These patients fall mainly into two categories.

There are those patients who suffer from

developing cavities and others with gum

disease. Dentists are very quick to point their

finger at poor oral hygiene, but is it always to

blame?

Of course we see patients with very dirty

teeth and yes this is a cause of holes in their

teeth and inflamed gums. However we also

see patients who have dirty teeth and yet

never require a filling. Others who keep their

teeth very clean but still need fillings.

Predispositions and genetic traits also

play a part. Predispositions include certain

medical diseases and conditions resulting

in a compromised immune system. These

might include diabetes, HIV infections and

leukaemia. Other risk factors such as the use

of tobacco and poor oral hygiene, stress and

certain diets also affect the condition of your

gums and teeth.

With gum disease and tooth cavities, the

best preventive advice dentists can deliver,

is to maintain very good oral hygiene, visit

the dentist 1-2 a year, use floss and stay

away from tobacco and other risk factors.

Remember, in almost all cases gum disease

and tooth cavities can be prevented. Ask your

dentist! MBR

A Case study:

A young woman in her late forties presents herself with mobile upper central incisors. The

teeth have inclined forward and look longer than they ever have. The in-between spaces

have increased and the teeth appear rotated. She is concerned that these two teeth will

fall out by themselves. She also experiences pain on biting. Radiographs show generalized

bone loss throughout her dentition with deep pockets around most of her teeth. However,

apart from these two very mobile teeth, most other teeth were stable with little or no

mobility.

The treatment started with the stabilization of the teeth and gums. The gums required

deep sub-gingival scaling and root planning. This is performed under local anaesthetic

eliminating any discomfort by the dental hygienist; a very important member of the dental

team. The upper central incisors were too diseased and therefore had to be removed. The

teeth were extracted and immediately replaced with two dental implants with simultaneous

bone grafting. A provisional fixed resin-bonded bridge was cemented and used during the

healing process of the implants. Four months later the implants were exposed and ceramic

crowns fixed onto the implants. The patient was placed on a maintenance program and

reviewed regularly.

1. Extra-oral before

treatment showing anterior

teeth splinting with wire to

reduce mobility

2. Extra-oral after removal

of teeth and placement of

temporary bridge

The green transition – we’ve all talked about it, but are we ready to

make it happen? From the Paris Climate agreement to the Circular

Economy Package - the targets are in place across the European

Union that will help green our environment, economy and society,

but we also need the skills that will deliver.

Green Week – the EU’s biggest annual event

on environment policy from 29 May to 2

June – will throw the spotlight on the skills

gaps and potential job opportunities in the

emerging circular economy.

The week's highlight will be the Green

Jobs Summit on Tuesday and Wednesday

– featuring Commission Vice-President

Valdis Dombrovskis, Commissioner for

the Environment Karmenu Vella and

Commissioner for Employment Marianne

Thyssen, as well as green business

entrepreneurs. It will explore the role of

policy makers, social partners and businesses

to make sure people have the right skills for a

greener economy.

DR JEAN PAUL DEMAJO

Dental and Implant Surgeon,

Trained in London working in

private practice in Malta

3. Extra-oral after

placement of final implant

ceramic crowns

The Summit will also see the LIFE Awards

ceremony on Tuesday evening which this year

celebrates 25 years of successful EU funding

for environmental projects.

MBR

44 45

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

TRUSTS & CORPORATE SERVICES

GAMING OVERVIEW

Malta Business Review

Equiom enters US market

via Guernsey acquisition

Equiom has announced the acquisition

of Virtus Trust Group, a Guernsey

headquartered trust and corporate services

provider with a diverse international client

base and a presence in the Cayman Islands,

New Zealand, UK and the USA, where they

have a US public trustee licence in the state of

South Dakota.

We are dedicated asset guardians,

more than just a service provider.

A partnership built on trust.

Founded in 2005, Virtus offers comprehensive

private wealth management services such as

succession planning, trust and foundation

services as well as investment related

solutions.

Virtus Co-Founder, Roddy Balfour

commented: ‘The market has been aware for

some time that Virtus has felt the need for a

larger strategic partner to expand our client

offering in terms of services and geography.

In that regard, Equiom is the perfect fit and

in terms of client service continuity, our entire

staff will be amalgamating with Equiom’s

Guernsey operations. Taking Virtus from

a standing start to its present substantial

clientele has been very exciting and we

look forward to the next chapter with equal

anticipation given Equiom’s dynamic history,

outlook and plans.’

Equiom’s Global CEO, Sheila Dean said of the

union: ‘The acquisition of Virtus is a fantastic

addition to Equiom. In addition to increasing

our foothold in Guernsey, we will now be

able to deliver structures for our clients in

three brand new jurisdictions: Cayman, New

Zealand and the US. As ever, I’d like to thank

our equity partners LDC and our legal advisers

Gowling WLG for their valued input and

support throughout this acquisition project.’

Whether you are a successful individual or corporation, you can trust Equiom to protect

and nurture your wealth. We are your asset guardians, here to assist with:

• The establishment, formation and administration of trusts, foundations and companies

• Specialist tax & VAT planning and tailored ownership structures for property, yachts and aircraft

• eBusiness solutions, including eGaming licence applications, corporate structures and VAT advice

Twenty five staff members from Virtus

will join the Equiom team, operating from

the Guernsey office and the company will

complete the process of rebranding by June

2017. MBR

About Equiom

To find out more about Equiom, visit

www.equiomgroup.com.

Sheila Dean, Global CEO of Equiom

Trust | Corporate | Family Office | Tax & VAT

Property | eBusiness | Yachting | Aviation | Crewing

www.equiomgroup.com

Equiom (Malta) Limited is authorised to act as a trustee and fiduciary services provider and as a company service provider by the Malta Financial Services Authority.

46 www.maltabusinessreview.net 47

MBR


Malta Business Review

BETTING

FINANCE

Malta Business Review

THE NEW LANDSCAPE

For Betting On Football

By Silvia Pedrotti

Malta Stock

Exchange in

discussions with

Thomson Reuters

“I am very happy to learn that the Malta

Stock Exchange (MSE) is currently in

discussions with multinational Thomson

Reuters over collaboration in various fields,

especially training programmes for the

MENA regim”, said Finance Minister Edward

Scicluna at the official opening of the Malta

Stock Exchange Institute in Mosta.

Kostandina Zafirovska during the Betting on Football 2017 event in London

BtoBet’s CEO, Kostandina Zafirovska was

recently part of the Supplier CEO panel during

the Betting on Football 2017 event in London

at Stamford Bridge organized by SBC News.

“Why Football betting is so central” is one of

the aspects discussed by BtoBet in its recent

industry report.

The media exposure, glamour, money and

accessibility involved in football has turned it

into the most popular sport in the world.

It stimulates the fans to want to get involved

and this is particularly evident in the betting

realm where technology and marketing

have combined to provide unique wagering

opportunities.

BtoBet’s vision on the current landscape of

betting on football and on what the future

holds for operators, suppliers and consumers

is explained in the dedicated white paper

airing topics such as:

• Football popularity and betting opportunity

• Where next with sports-betting and in-play?

• Enabling technology, removing barriers to

consumer understanding

• Far-sighted gaming software provider to

avoid risks and conflicts.

To discover more, download the report at this

link.

The leading companies involved in the

discussions in London agreed on how online

and mobile betting are becoming very

challenging in the igaming business and how

technology is playing a key role in the football

betting industry.

Commenting on the conference, Kostandina

Zafirovska highlighted:

“Today’s bettors are ever more demanding

and are now cross-channel users. The key is

to have the right tools available to, first, collect

the data and second, transform the raw stats

into actionable information about a player. It

means an operator can provide a tailor-made

offer and a satisfying gaming experience,

regardless of the channel that a player is

using to arrive at the product offering. The

Artificial Intelligence plays a central role in this

process.”

About BtoBet

BtoBet is a pioneer in new technologies for

iGaming operators and the betting industry

by using technological intelligence as its

main base for its products. It offers unique,

customizable, secure and flexible cloud-based

systems delivering unprecedented capabilities

to drive sportsbook and iGaming business.

BtoBet ‘s Technical team is in Skopje and has

an ever growing team of developers. BtoBet’s

dynamic Sportsbook team operates from

Rome, whilst Malta hosts the commercial

and marketing center. Visit our site on: www.

btobet.com. MBR

MSE Chairman Joseph Portelli added

that a memorandum of understanding

between the two parties will be signed

soon. Minister Scicluna welcomed the

news that multinationals such as Thomson

Reuters viewed Malta as a reputable

country from where to operate and strike

strategic partnerships in various fields,

such as education and the development

and promotion of Corporate Governance

Software for Northern Africa and the Gulf

regions. Head of Thomson Reuters’ New

Business Development for the Middle East

and North Africa Eric Hammar said that

Thomson Reuters has years of experience

in the sector and operates from several

countries.

He said that the company is very proud to

be collaborating with MSE. He added that

Malta offers many opportunities thanks to

its vibrant gaming and financial sectors. The

ceremony saw the inauguration of the Malta

Stock Exchange Institute at its new premises

in Mosta after taking up operations from the

Malta International Training Centre. MBR

Courtesy: Minister of Finance

10th FINANCE MALTA ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Minister Edward Scicluna addresses Financial

Services Practitioners

Minister for Finance Prof. Edward Scicluna

Minister for Finance Prof. Edward Scicluna

reiterated that Malta, as a member of the EU,

is a financial and tax jurisdiction which has

successfully undergone various routine due

diligence checks from both the EU and the

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and

Development (OECD).

In his keynote speech, delivered at the 10th

Finance Malta Annual Conference, Minister

Scicluna said that Malta ranks positively in the

Tax Justice Network’s Financial Secrecy Index,

which measures tax jurisdictions according

to fifteen criteria, ranging from Knowledge

of Beneficial Ownership, Corporate

Transparency, Efficiency of Tax and Financial

Regulations and International Standards and

Cooperation. This, ranking together with a

highly-regulated financial sector, bodes well

for the continuing success of the financial

industries and igaming industries. The

Financial Services Practitioners should defend

their industry from unfair external criticism.

Regarding Malta’s Presidency of the

Economic and Financial Affairs Council of

the EU (ECOFIN), Minister Scicluna said

that Malta succeeded in brokering the Anti-

Tax Avoidance Directive II in spite of major

hurdles.

Similarly, good progress was reported

concerning the drawing up by the EU of

a blacklist for third countries, while the

Dispute Resolution Mechanism and various

Vat-related files are progressing well. The

Common Corporate Tax Base (CCTB) will

feature for a preliminary discussion at next

week’s ECOFIN meeting. MBR

Courtesy: Ministry of Finance/Photo: MFIN

48

www.maltabusinessreview.net

49


Malta Business Review

EP: HEH

EU/SMEs

Malta Business Review

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT OPENS

THE HOUSE OF EUROPEAN

HISTORY On 6 May 2017

Parliament President Antonio Tajani officially

opened the House of European History on

Thursday in a formal ceremony cutting a

ribbon in the presence of former EP president

Dr Hans-Gert Pöttering (chair of the Board

of Trustees) and Professor Wlodzimierz

Borodziej (chair of the HEH Academic

Committee). The museum will be open to the

public as of this Saturday 6 May.

European Parliament President Antonio

Tajani said "This house is about the things we

have in common, the events we have lived

through together. This is indeed not only the

House of European History, it is also the Home

of European identity and European memory."

The Museum also offers educational

programmes; events for local and visiting

publics; publications and a range of online

information.

House of European History web site: http://

historia-europa.ep.eu/home

Downloadable audio-visual material on the

HEH, the building up of the collection, the

permanent and temporary exhibition and the

opening events: http://audiovisual.europarl.

europa.eu/house-european-history MBR

NEW RULES TO PROTECT INVESTORS

and help SMEs access diverse

sources of capital

Former EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering,

Chair of the Board of Trustees of the HEH said

"The House of European History is intended to

help citizens to step into the future wisely and

with confidence, a future which, from today’s

standpoint, looks likely to be troubled and full

of threats. It is a house which, by showing us

the dynamics of European history, enables us

to better understand recent history, as well as

the present. “

Professor Wlodzimierz Borodziej, Chair of

the HEH Academic Committee, said “Like the

Union, the work of the House of European

History will never be complete. It will always

remain a record of the time in which modified

versions of the permanent exhibition and of

the subsequent temporary exhibitions will be

born. Last but not least, it will remain a record

of the disputes about this, our tiny appendix

of Asia, where we nest and which we have the

right to be proud of.”

The House of European History (HEH) aims to

encourage citizens to reflect upon and debate

about the history of Europe and of European

integration. It wants to increase knowledge,

arouse curiosity and, over time, become a

place for the exchange of ideas, reflection

and debate about Europe and its history,

linking up people, institutions and networks

dealing with European history. Visitors will

be challenged to critically assess European

history, its potential and its future.

"Interactions. Centuries of Commerce,

Combat and Creation" is the House of

European History's first temporary exhibition.

It will run until 31 May 2018. It illuminates

exemplary moments and revealing stories

of encounters and exchanges in European

history.

Uniform rules on the information given in

investor prospectuses were approved by

Parliament recently. They aim to protect

investors, create a more efficient single

capital market and ease small firms’ access

to finance.

"The prospectus is a concrete example of

how we will build Capital Markets Union. We

made the prospectus regulation more fitting

for the current environment; it will benefit

all issuers who want to raise funds on the

market, ending the over-reliance of small

firms on bank funding. The new prospectus

will reduce costs and increase the readability

and relevance of investor information, which

will in turn improve investor protection",

said Petr Ježek (ALDE, CZ) during the debate.

Prospectuses are legally required documents

published when securities such as shares in

companies or the right to acquire them and

non-equity securities such as bonds are

offered to investors or admitted to trading.

Prospectuses should be publicly available

and published on the website of an issuer or

a financial intermediary.

Protecting investors: key information and

warnings

Under the new rules, the information that a

prospectus provides must enable investors

to make an informed assessment of assets,

liabilities, profits, loses and rights attached to

investment products.

Prospectuses should include an accurate,

clear seven-page summary (with an extra

one, two or three pages where a given type

of a security requires further explanations),

providing:

• key information that investors need to

understand the risks and make an informed

decision,

• information on the issuer, on the securities,

on the offer to the public and on admission

to trading, and

• a clear warning of the risks involved, such as

the risk of losing part or all of the investment.

The summary should be read as an

introduction to the prospectus and be

consistent with other parts of it.

Helping SMEs: EU growth prospectus

A key aim of the Capital Markets Union,

for which the prospectus regulation is an

essential step, is to ease access to finance for

small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

As SMEs usually need to raise lower amounts

than other issuers, the cost of drawing up a

full prospectus could be disproportionately

high for them. MEPs therefore established a

specific, standardised and lighter EU growth

prospectus regime for SMEs, issuers on an

SME growth market and other issuers wishing

to raise smaller amounts of money, i.e. up to

€20 million over a twelve-month period.

Once approved, these prospectuses would

be eligible for the EU passporting regime,

enabling them to be offered to the investors

across the EU.

The final text was adopted with 517 votes in

favour, 109 against and 71 abstentions.

Next steps

The new rules will apply from 24 months after

their entry into force. MBR

Credit: Dorota Kolinska, Press Officer / EP / REF. :

20170329IPR69062

50 51

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

HR

BUSINESS APPOINTMENTS

Malta Business Review

So long job

FOR LIFE!

By Maria Zahra

Hertz Malta appoints new

General Manager

Hertz Malta, operated by United Garage

Ltd, a subsidiary of the United Group of

Companies, has appointed Ron Scerri as

General Manager, responsible for its local

car rental & Lease operations.

One of the oldest Hertz franchisees in Europe,

United Garage Ltd has been operating the

leading car rental brand since 1961.

Mr Scerri comes with years of experience

in management having worked with some

leading international brands both locally

and abroad. Commenting about his new

appointment, Mr Scerri said “I am proud to

be joining Hertz Malta, at such an important

and exciting time for the company. The Hertz

brand has a rich legacy in the local car rental

and lease sectors with more than half a

century of experience in the country.”

Hertz Malta has recently opened its new

headquarters in Luqa, just a few minutes away

from the Airport. “These new offices not only

helped us reorganise our management and

administration teams to be able to function

Ron Scerri

more effectively, but will also allow us to reassess

and strengthen our customer-service

approach and more importantly, Hertz’s local

presence and visibility.” “As we gear ourselves

up for the approaching busy summer season,

Hertz in Malta is in the process of boosting its

fleet of rental cars with new and interesting

makes and models to continue to fulfill all

our customers’ needs and preferences.”

concluded Ron Scerri.

MBR

A few weeks back I wrote about the

millennials and the Gen Z, and how

businesses and employers need to change

to attract and retain them. Discussing

this topic with a few of my clients, I can

comfortably say that on average, the lifespan

of an employee is two years, particularly in

certain sectors.

Job hopping is getting close to becoming the

norm and employers seem to be resigning

themselves that this is the future of

businesses, and I must add that job hopping

is not limited to the millennials and the Gen

Z.

Earlier generations would’ve aspired for a

‘job for life’ when starting their career, but

are, nowadays, also moving on to other jobs.

The fact that leaders are considering

this employment lifespan as the norm

is worrying. There are huge impacts on

businesses, not only in relation to the costs

of recruitment and selection but also in

productivity and training. We need to start

addressing this issue because the truth

is very rarely that employees are purely

leaving because of ‘better opportunities’.

There are deeper underlying causes to

seeking better opportunities. What can

possibly be a better opportunity if you are

happy and satisfied with your job?

You are probably answering this question

with ‘better money’, ‘more flexibility’ or

‘they might not be happy doing what they’re

doing.’; all of which are understandable and

possible, but very rarely the push factor to

resign.

I have been speaking to a number of

employees who have left their job in the

recent months and I’m sharing some of the

reasons I’ve heard:

• I felt like a number.

• My feedback was never appreciated.

• I was never listened to.

• I was never given the right induction and

training to do my job well.

If you are reading between the lines, there

seems to be a leadership situation. The

real and harsh truth is company leadership

could have done something to stop their

resignations. Until top management starts

to realise and recognise this, the situation

will not change.

Truly valuing our people, by offering training

and development, spending time with them

to listen to their feedback and concerns,

empowering them to explore different jobs,

exposing and involving them to different

things within the company, is key to stopping

the business impact and consequences that

job hopping is causing. MBR

52 53

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION

BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION

Malta Business Review

Resin floorings

voicing the future

By Antoine Bonello

The desire to know more and the need to

discover new things form part of the human

gene. We constantly develop new ideas,

materials and products to meet today’s

exigencies and to satisfy our lust for more.

Industries that produce our daily novelties

use of high precision machinery and have

very high standards when it comes to

cleanliness and dust control. Dust can affect

their machines and the equipment loses

its precision or worse can sustain damages

worth thousands of euros.

One of the great ways to control dust in an

industrial environment is by installing durable

resin flooring. The finish is seamless and can

withstand heavy traffic, machinery, palletisers

and acids. The same can be said for hospitals,

pharmacies, restaurants and were a high level

of sanitation is required.

The pharmaceutical and food industry are

always being audited and frequent inspections

means a constant need to have perfect looking

glossy floors. Pharmaceutical production

tends to have the strictest operational

guidelines in any industry imaginable and this

means that have very high expectations when

it comes to their flooring. Printing facilities on

the other hand use massive palettes loaded

with tons of papers, leaflets, brochures and

other printing material. These massive loads

are shifted around with lifters and palletisers

causing enormous stress on the floor.

A poor quality floor can easily get damaged,

and cracks and holes start to form in the

concrete. Furthermore if ink drops on the

floor it can erode the concrete. Restaurant

and Hospitals on the other hand require

something that can be easily washed, nonslip

and anti-bacterial, while the automobile

industry requires something that is resistant

to oils and acids.

The finish is seamless and

can withstand heavy traffic,

machinery, palletisers and

acids

A solution to the above mentioned exists in

the form of epoxy resins, they are continually

applied abroad and are made to last long and

deliver. So why many speak badly about resin

flooring especially in Malta, the answer can

be divided in two.

1 Lack of product knowledge and application

2 Low quality materials

Before applying a resin flooring the following

is to be verified.

1 The grade and strength of the existing

concrete screed

2 Humidity levels inside the concrete

3 The usage of the area

Resin flooring can never be implemented

on weak structures and humid areas as it

will detach due to vibrations and negative

pressures from below. A humidity and

concrete grading test is recommended prior

to any installation and eventually treated

accordingly with a consolidator and a vapour

barrier.

Before any coat is applied it is important to

know the use of the area in question, thus to

determine which the best protective coat for

your requirements. There is no such thing as

one product fits all when it comes to resins.

Avoid plastic and acrylic based materials as

they tent to flake and detach at the very first

sign of stress. UV rays play a very important

role as epoxy resins do not withstand it and

are not recommended for outside use or

were there is direct sunlight. For this purpose

polyurethane resins can be used without any

restrictions.

Prior to any resin finish a primer must be

applied. A good primer penetrates the

substrate and stops the dusting effect in

concrete; it also consolidates and increases the

bonding abilities of your finish product. The

right primer will guarantee better adhesion to

the substrate, longer life and reduces the risk

of chipping or breaking. By properly priming

and sealing the substrate you are reducing

the risks related to detachment. The finish

coat must be resistant to the customer’s

exigencies; serious companies like NAICI can

provide a detailed datasheet together with

the required certifications and laboratory

tests that guarantee the flooring meet all EU

norms. An important factor is the quantity

of the material applied. Do not relay on the

amount of coats applied as they tend to differ

from one person to another. Always make

sure that the right amount of kilos consumed

matches the data sheet, which is about 300g

per sq m for the primer and 650g per sq m for

the finish. This way you can be sure that the

right amount is applied.

A bad workmen always quarrels with his tools,

the product alone is not sufficient and an

important factor is good workmanship. Resin

can have very undesired effects if applied

wrongly. Unfortunately materials do not

speak so they can’t defend themselves when

someone applies them wrong. If you have

in mind to hire third parties to do your resin

works always make sure they are members

of The Malta Professional Waterproofing

and Resin flooring Association, only in this

way you are guaranteed that the persons

you are hiring knows exactly what it takes to

implement a good waterproofing system.

The Malta Professional Waterproofing and

Resin Flooring Association were formed

with an aim in mind, to teach and promote

the correct use of materials and proper

workmanship. We are also proud to say

that professional formation with regards

waterproofing and resin flooring to all

Maltese applicators is now a reality. The

NAICI International Academy together with

the Malta Professional Waterproofing and

Resin flooring Association and The Resin and

Membrane Centre, Malta’s largest showroom

We are Quality

PROFESSIONAL WATERPROOFING MATERIALS & RESIN FLOORINGS

Visit our showroom for professional advice on how to protect your home.

The Resin and Membrane Centre, 264, Old Railway Track, St. Venera

Web: www.theresincentre.com E-mail: info@theresincentre.com Tel: 27 477 647 Mob: 99 477 647

with regards waterproofing and resin

floorings are regularly organising seminars

on waterproofing and resin flooring for those

who wish to learn more about them and also

to learn how to correctly implement them.

This academy is renowned in Italy for its

constant dedication in the trade Industry.

Visit www.maltawaterproofing.com

Tel: 27477647 MBR

54 55

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

PHOTOGRAPHY

MONEY MARKET FUNDS

Malta Business Review

REFLECTION

REFLECTION

EXILE VOICES:

An exhibition celebrating the Europe Day

Training to the language of image addressing Syrian

refugee children in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Conducted by Reza Visual Academy

NEW RULES MAKE CASH FLOW

INVESTMENTS BY START-UPS

AND SMES SAFER

New rules to make money market funds

(MMFs) more resistant to crises and market

turbulence were approved on Wednesday.

MFFs supply easily accessible liquid

assets to business start-ups and small and

medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), but can

be vulnerable to panic runs on their money.

To improve MFFs’ stress resistance, the new

rules require them MMFs to diversify their

asset portfolios, invest in higher-quality

assets, meet liquidity and concentration

requirements and have in place sound

stress testing processes conducted at least

quarterly.

MMFs assets will have to be valued at

least once a day and the result should be

published daily on the MFF’s website.

Rapporteur Neena Gill (S&D, UK) said:

“I believe this is a win-win deal for both

major European MMF sectors, variable and

constant net asset value MMFs (VNAVs and

CNAVs) respectively.

The key aims of preventing future systemic

risks and runs on funds have been addressed.

I am particularly pleased that we found a

viable operational model for low volatility

net asset value MMFs, which was included

at the European Parliament’s initiative”.

LVNAV: a new type of MMF proposed by

MEPs

Parliament proposed a new category of

MMF: Low Volatility Net Asset Value MMF

(LVNAV MMF) designed specifically to work

for small firms in the real economy.

Its key features include:

• a diversified portfolio with stringent

concentration requirements to reduce risk,

assets described more precisely and subject

to strict conditions,

• only limited use of the amortised accounting

method to value assets,

• strict daily and weekly liquidity requirements

to fulfil potential redemption requests,

• improved transparency, to ensure that

investors and supervisors get better and

earlier information.

LVNAV MMFs should only be authorised for

a period of five years, says the text. The EU

Commission is to assess whether these rules

are fit for purpose four years after they enter

into force and propose whether LVNAV MMFs

should be authorised further or indefinitely.

MBR

In 2013, I went on an assignment for Arte as a photoreporter to Iraqi Kurdistan, a land that

welcomes millions of refugees and plays the role of a shield against the Islamic State.

There, I met refugee children living in the Kawergosk refugee camp. With them, I launched

the first photo-training workshop conducted by Reza Visual Academy in this area. When I left

them, I made a promise: I would show the world their visual testimonies.

Since then, the training workshop is continuing. Two other training workshops have been

launched, addressing Yazidi refugee and IDP children, in Kabarto and in Baxika, near Arbat.

Thanks to the willingness of these young camp reporters, their photos have already been

exhibited on the Seine River banks in summer 2015 (Dream of humanity), in Photo’aubrac

festival in 2015 and 2016, in Duhok University, in Iraqi Kurdistan, and at the European

Commission in Brussels, in 2016.

Today, their work is exhibited in the centre of Erbil. The promise has been kept and I am

proud of these students who have become my teachers: their work is an example of unfailing

commitment and humanity. MBR

REZA

To commemorate May 9th, 2017

Sami Abdul Rahman park, Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan

Amphitheatre near lake, 5 p.m.

In the presence of the students from Kawergosk camp.

The « Exile Voices, camp reporters » exhibition prints are supported

by the EU Local Area Development program and the UNDP-Iraq.

For the publication of the book "Seul le vent"

Credit: Dorota Kolinska, Press Officer / EP / REF. : 20170329IPR69061

Minister Edward Scicluna addresses

German media in Berlin

On Tuesday, Minister for Finance Edward

Scicluna addressed the Germany press at

the Maltese Embassy in Berlin, where he

dispelled fake news appearing on the German

media. He also gave a description of Malta’s

tax regime, and an account of the work in

progress related to the Council Presidency.

Minister Scicluna dismissed the story carried

on German and Maltese media about an

alleged leak of details on 70,000 offshore

companies, many of which were of German

origin. He quickly discounted this story as fake

news on various counts. He stated that the

Register of Companies - which holds a much

lower number of companies than stated - is

publically available online. Furthermore,

Malta does not have an offshore company

register.

Minister Scicluna also told the press that

Malta ranks high in the list of transparent

jurisdictions and compares favourably

with respect to major European countries,

including Germany. This can be gleaned

from the Tax Justice Network’s Financial

Secrecy Index. The index is based on fifteen

criteria ranging from Knowledge of Beneficial

Ownership, Corporate Transparency,

Efficiency of Tax and Financial Regulations,

and International Standards and Cooperation.

With respect to the work carried out during

the Presidency of the Economic and Financial

Affairs Council of the EU (ECOFIN), Prof.

Scicluna said that Malta is keeping to its

programme priorities, having succeeded to

broker the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive II in

spite of major hurdles. Similarly, good progress

was reported concerning the drawing-up by

the EU of blacklist for third countries, while

the Dispute Resolution Mechanism and

various Vat-related files are progressing well.

The Common Corporate Tax Base (CCTB)

will feature for a preliminary discussion at

next week’s ECOFIN meeting. Following this

meeting, Minister Scicluna had a bilateral

meeting with the German Federal Finance

Minister Dr Wolfgang Schäuble at the Federal

Finance Ministry, where topics of mutual

interest to both countries were discussed.

MBR

Courtesy: Ministry for Finance/Photos: MFIN

56

www.maltabusinessreview.net

57


Malta Business Review

NEWSMAKERS

Malta Business Review

Promoting entrepreneurship

for islands' economic growth

Insular areas have to tackle a number of

specific economic challenges connected

to their geographical characteristics. Low

population density, high transport costs, small

size and fragmentation of markets depending

on a few economic sectors and niches as

well as the dominance of smalls firms make

these economies even more dependent on

entrepreneurial initiatives than other regions.

"Cities and regions are the catalysers and

enablers for entrepreneurship and start-ups –

to co-create the European mentality for new

jobs and sustainable growth. As policy-makers

we must create favourable conditions for

entrepreneurs and start-ups with place-based

and tailored strategies that focus on exploiting

their comparative advantages in promoting a

more efficient use of their existing natural,

cultural and geostrategic assets", said CoR

president Markku Markkula.

"Islands tend to develop different approaches

in order to be in a position to keep up with the

social and economic development of other

regions in mainland Europe. Whilst a one size

fits all approach may be counterproductive,

islands’ potential could be better exploited

through measures aimed at alleviating the

constraints of insularity such as improved

trade and digital connections as well as aid

to foster entrepreneurship and economic

development", said Christian Cardona,

Maltese Minister for Economy, Investment

and Small Business.

About 17.7 million Europeans live on the

EU's 362 lowly populated islands with a GDP

that is less than 80% of the EU's average.

However, most challenges for SME and

entrepreneurship development can be

tackled by adequate public support policies.

Cohesion policy is essential argued Marie-

Antoinette Maupertuis, member of Corsica's

regional authority and rapporteur of the draft

opinion on entrepreneurship on islands.

"Entrepreneurs in island regions and island

citizens in general have to cope with structural

constraints, which lead to additional costs

that severely impact on the islands growth

and development prospects as well as on

their fair integration in the single market. We

demand that in cohesion policy post 2020

special attention is given to islands in order

to compensate for the economic effects of

natural constraints and that the complete

territorial integration of island populations

in single market is ensured so that they are

given the same opportunities in production,

innovation and trade as those living in the

main land", said Ms Maupertuis.

She further called on EU institutions and

Member States to extend business incentives,

to ease public procurement and state-aid rules

(particularly for transport and energy), and to

give more concerted financial, technical and

policy support to help entrepreneurs diversify

the "economic monocultures" that dominate

many islands as well as to promote features

of the 'sharing', 'circular' and 'knowledge'

economies.

The draft opinion, which will also take the

conclusions of the seminar into account,

is scheduled for adoption during the CoR

plenary session on 11 May. The CoR study

on "Entrepreneurship on islands and other

peripheral regions" which was presented

during the event will be available on the CoR

webpage end of May. MBR

FITCH’S CREDIT RATING REPORT CONFIRMS

A NEW PN GOVERNMENT’S COMMITMENT

TO FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY

Hate speech and fake

news: remove content,

impose fines, foster media

literacy?

In its latest report on Malta’s economy and

fiscal standing, the Credit Agency Fitch

referred to Partit Nazzjonalista’s most recent

pre- budget document dated October 2016

which “contained proposals for expansionary

fiscal measures...coupled with reforms to

contain public spending”.

In view of these proposals, the Credit Rating

Agency concluded that both main political

parties share a broad commitment to fiscal

responsibility.

This report contradicts recent claims made

by Joseph Muscat that a new PN government

will stall the economic progress. The only

factor that is holding the economy back and

putting jobs at risk is the uncertainty caused

by corruption allegations and scandals

involving Joseph Muscat and his closest aides.

Joseph Muscat’s failure to act in an effective

and expedite manner when faced with the

undisputed facts that Konrad Mizzi and Keith

Schembri opened secret financial structures

in Panama and New Zealand irreparably

damaged his government and is now seriously

damaging Malta’s economy.

Recent revelations of kickbacks and serious

regulatory failings are putting further strains

on Malta’s reputation and consequently the

economy. Joseph Muscat is not and cannot

be the solution in this scenario. He is the

problem and should go now. MBR

58

MEPs worry about the proliferation of hate speech and fake news, particularly in social

media, they said in a debate in the EP end May. But they disagreed on how best to

respond. Ideas aired included removing false and defamatory content, imposing fines to

non-cooperative companies and fostering media literacy.

The internet has created new opportunities for the media, but it has also made it easier

to deliberately spread fabricated news stories to fool readers. Parliament President

Antonio Tajani called attention to the issue in a statement:

“When we consider press freedom, we also have to look at the internet. It is a source of

knowledge as much as it is a source of concern. Almost half of all Europeans get their

news from social media. This has made spreading fake news far too easy. There are

mounting concerns over disinformation and hate speech, used to promote radicalisation

and fundamentalism, particularly among young people.”

During the debate, members of the human rights subcommittee are to discuss the

World Press Freedom index compiled by Reporters without Borders as well the European

Endowment for Democracy (EED) activities in the field of media freedom and how the

EU is reacting to disinformation and fake news.

Many speakers called on internet companies to step up their efforts to ensure that false

and defamatory content is removed quickly. Some asked the European Commission to

explore the possibility of proposing new EU legislation in this field.

But there were warnings against censorship and public control of media outlets. Several

MEPs also said it is necessary to improve media literacy among citizens, especially

youngsters, given that social media are now the main information source for many of

them. MBR

ARE THE CORE OF TODAY`S BUSINESSES

The fusion of two leading IT companies forming J2 Group providing quality IT Services

with over 20 years of experience with offices in Malta and Gozo, offering tailor-made IT

Solutions fitted around your personal and unique requirements. ICT Solutions including

IT Consultancy Services, IT Outsourcing, Office Setup & Network Installation, Onsite &

Remote Support, Internet & Wireless Configuration, Hardware Support, Computer &

Laptop Repairs, Hosted & Web Services, Google Apps & Office 365, Microsoft Azure,

Infrastructure Setup, Microsoft Hyper-V & VMware Virtualization, Multi-Company Payroll

& Accounts, Point of Sale Systems, Stock Systems, Custom Software & Websites.

TALK TO US

J2 GROUP MALTA, OSCAR ZAMMIT STR MSIDA, MALTA EUROPE

j2groupmalta.com | info@j2groupmalta.com | +356 21360038

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines