A Business Model Geared for Success

Interview with FIMBank’s Group Chief

Financial Officer, Ronald Mizzi p.06


Ahead of the Curve

Exclusive interview with Hugo Chetcuti,

founder and visionary behind

The Hugo’s Group p.12


Safety, Security & Respect

Interview with Thierry Hebert, Managing

Director, RCI Insurance Ltd p.18


Geared for Growth & Success

Absorbing Interview with Yobetit CEO,

Nikolai Livori p.30


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Malta Business Review


Issue 42



Absorbing Interview with Yobetit CEO, Nikolai Livori


Interview with Frederik Niehusen (CCO), at

Booming Games, who explains why the Company is

always looking at new technological advancements




Interview with Lauryn Duncan, Sales & BD Manager




The Malta Business Review meets with FIMBank’s Group

Chief Financial Officer, Ronald Mizzi




Jacopo Barigazzi reports on Italy’s populist government’s

potent threat to abandon migrants to their fate at sea





Mark Leonard tells us that the U.S. president is a bully, and

Europe must find the courage to push back





An exclusive interview with Hugo Chetcuti, founder and

visionary behind The Hugo’s Group



Cyprus continues with Greek shipping tradition and sees

expansion in energy markets



Exclusive interview with Thierry Hebert, Managing

Director, RCI Insurance Ltd




Lighting design plays a key role in the functionality

of sporting facilities, as well as providing illumination

for players




The Editor interviews Insp. Sylvana Gafa, Head of the

Victim Support Unit, Malta Police



A brief, interesting overview of findings for a

perception survey carried out in the period of

December 2017



Edwards Lowell’s piece Edward de Bono, PhD in

medicine at Trinity College in Cambridge, who has

written over fifty books, his most acclaimed being the

‘Six Thinking Caps’





Malta Business Review

I was at a reception recently with an old friend of mine,

a successful businessman who is the mastermind

behind big brands. We were discussing his future. He

has ambitious plans to expand his business, but like any

entrepreneur, he is also concerned: Can he pull it off?

What if he isn’t equipped for the next steps? And the

heavy VAT an tax burdens?


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or admin@mbrpublications.net


Jacopo Barigazzi; Antoine Bonello; George

Carol; Jean Paul Demajo; Mark Leonard; C. M.

RUBIN; Ken Wisnefski


DOI; European Parliament Information Office in

Malta; European Parliament, Directorate- General

for Communication/Press Office; European

Research Council; FIMBank; HSBC; LinkedIn; Malta

Communication Authority ; MALTCO Lotteries;

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OPR; POLITICO SPRL; Politico Global Policy Lab;

PTV Group; Taylor & Francis Group; David Wine.




"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The

most certain way to succeed is always to try just

one more time."

Thomas A. Edison


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

Dig into anybody’s future plans and you will hit some

version of this anxiety. It’s always there, aching and

sometimes paralyzing. If we indulge it, we turn down

amazing opportunities. We sacrifice our futures in order to cling to the past. We

lose. And that’s unacceptable. The only way forward is to overcome this anxiety --

and to do that, we first need to understand it. So let’s put the question another way.

Let’s see it for what it really is.

When we worry that we cannot repeat our past successes, we are essentially asking:

What if everything thus far was luck? What if it was my team, or timing, or the

benefits of youth? What if none of it had to do with me?

And let me tell you something: That’s crap.

I know this because of the entrepreneurs I meet. They encountered setbacks --

everyone does! But they overcame them. The experience taught them that they

can survive future setbacks, too. They built one company and learned they can

build another. They evolved as leaders and learned they can keep evolving. At the

beginning of their journeys, they may not have had such confidence in themselves.

But that confidence grew. They proved their worth -- to others, yes, but most

importantly to themselves.

I also know this because I have lived it myself. I remember being at my first magazine

job in Ta’ Xbiex and considering taking a new job. It was scary. But frightened as I

was, I decided to try my hand. Four years later, I was on repeat. I had made good

friends and done good work with the Malta Business Review, was offered another

job elsewhere, and felt the same fear. What if I can’t repeat the success a second

time? But I did. And so I came to a conclusion that, frankly, may sound pompous and

self-aggrandizing, but has helped me walk into every new situation afterward: My

success, I decided, wasn’t created by the company where I worked. It was created

by me.

Entrepreneurs talk a lot about taking responsibility for failure. It’s a good message:

No excuses! We need to own our mistakes; it’s the only way to learn from them. But

let’s not forget to own our successes, too. Our confidence should build upon itself

-- knowing that we only start from scratch once, that we have what it takes, that our

past simply shows a way forward.

We are entrepreneurs: We work with what we have got. Sometimes it’s a lucky

break. Sometimes it’s not. The important thing is that we keep moving forward, and

know that because we took one big step forward, and we didn’t fall down, we will

stay standing when we take that next step, too.

Martin Vella


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:



Malta Business Review


A Business


Geared for


By George Carol

The Malta Business

Review meets with

FIMBank’s Group

Chief Financial

Officer, Ronald Mizzi

who discusses the

Bank’s financial

model and how this

will positively impact

its future growth.

Ronald Mizzi



Malta Business Review

MBR: FIMBank has recently announced

positive financial results. What are the

key elements which constitute the Bank’s

successful business model?

RM: FIMBank is a trade finance Bank with

its very core business centred around

trade between countries and continents.

Since trade is a prime mover for the global

economy, FIMBank has positioned itself in

key geographical regions trailing the major

trade flows and financing an extensive

range of commodities. These transactions are

relatively short-term in nature, with a typical

transaction maturing within an average of

180 days. What makes this interesting is the

fact that the transactions are self-liquidating

with the repayment of the financing

structure being generally derived from the

delivery of the goods. The short-term nature

of the business enables the Bank to adapt

to changing landscapes be they economic,

political or others impacting the business.

FIMBank also has a network of regional

offices or subsidiaries strategically located to

service the different types of clients and the

various stages of a trade transaction. Our

model revolves around a suite of products

including trade and commodity finance,

forfaiting and factoring, complemented by

the more traditional payments and cash

management services.

MBR: What has been done in recent years to

ensure optimisation of FIMBank’s financial


RM: The Bank has never shied away from

adapting to different business realities and

exploring new areas of commercial growth.

One particular niche we have been operating

in over the years is the ship finance business

which complements the trade finance model.

FIMBank is ultimately a client-centric business

and with a business model able to adapt to

clients’ needs. Over the years we have looked

at our operations in the different geographical

regions and have rationalised on some whilst

expanding others. We also addressed our

service delivery channels by for example

launching FIMBank Direct, a state of the art

self-service digital banking platform enabling

our clients to have direct access to their cash

balances and catering for their trade finance

and foreign exchange needs. Another niche

area of business being tapped into here in

Malta is real estate financing – targeting

reputable developers who are aiming for a

personalised service and to whom FIMBank

can then extend its wider range of expertise

and services.

MBR: FIMBank had recently announced a

Rights Issue. How will this impact the Bank’s

upward trajectory?

RM: With a recent capital injection in excess

of 100 million dollars, it is imperative that

FIMBank maintains the pace of transformation

and delivery of results. The Group is now able

to expand its business reach and grow its loan

book. This means that FIMBank will be able

to service its larger clients in a more effective

way and also widen its client base to a level

which was not possible to achieve before.

More diversification is also synonymous with

a superior risk culture, with the latter being

a central theme during the last turnaround

years and will continue being perennial in

the years ahead. The Rights Issue was also a

tangible show of support and backing by the

Bank’s majority shareholders sealing one of

the largest foreign direct investments in Malta

over the last years.

Looking ahead, the driver

for success lies in our spirit

to achieve better scale whilst

remaining rooted to our business

fundamentals and expertise

MBR: What effect will the capital injection

and continuous accounting and regulatory

changes have on the Bank’s financial


RM: The new investment in the Bank will in the

first instance strengthen its capital base in a

regulatory landscape which requires stronger

banks to safeguard the interests of depositors

and the wider economic stability of nations.

The ability to source additional business will

in turn result in more revenues, and the ability

of the Group to utilise its current capacity

more efficiently. At the same time, the risk and

governance culture put in place over the last

years will safeguard the Bank from problematic

loans, especially when considering the advent

of IFRS9 and its consequences on the new

way to measure impairments. A stronger

capital, more diversification and enriched

risk frameworks will address not just the

accounting and regulatory changes but also to

sow the seeds of success in the coming years.

MBR: Do you anticipate any increase in

costs because of these regulatory changes

and how is FIMBank prepared to adapt?

RM: Changes, be they imposed externally

or mandated from within, invariably pose

an opportunity to renovate and excel. Such

a process might bring with it short-term

additional costs but in the longer term it

would generally result in strengthened

operational, business and risk processes.

One way how FIMBank is adapting to this is

through an enhanced digitalisation process

aimed at uplifting the current business

processes to a superior rank. Digitalisation

will focus on various areas of the business

– customer relationships and on-boarding

technologies, compliance, risk and regulatory

reporting to name just a few. An advanced

use of technology is objectively a more

efficient and result-driven way to manage our

business, with its short-term pains but longerterm


MBR: What are the key financial areas that

FIMBank plans to improve?

RM: Over the past 3 years FIMBank has

implemented a turnaround strategy firmed

in the way it operates in a number of key

matters mainly on business origination, risk,

governance, and cost efficiency. This process

has been pivotal in delivering profits coupled

with a decreasing level of non-performing

loans and culminating in the recent Rights

Issue. As the Bank continues on its path for

superior delivery and returns, we remain

committed to become more efficient in the

use of our existing resources and available

capacity, exploiting our global presence to

source and churn assets, and so generate

more revenues at a much higher rate than

additions to costs. Another area of focus is

the recovery process of delinquent loans, for

which we have set up a dedicated function

here in Malta. Looking ahead, the driver for

success lies in our spirit to achieve better

scale whilst remaining rooted to our business

fundamentals and expertise. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018





Malta Business Review



By Jacopo Barigazzi



Italy’s populist government may have let go of its plan to leave the euro for now,

but it has replaced it with a more immediately potent threat to abandon migrants

to their fate at sea. That had immediate effect Sunday and Monday as the country

closed its ports to a vessel, the Aquarius, carrying 629 migrants, including about

100 children, arguing that Malta should take the people instead.

Malta, are not pulling their weight when it

comes to migrant rescues, the new Italian

government contended. They point to EU

figures, which show that Italy had the EU’s

second-highest number of asylum applications

last year, and argue that the country has been

"abandoned" by its neighbours when it comes

to taking in asylum seekers rescued at sea.

Malta says that it is abiding by its international

obligations and that in refusing safe harbour to

people stranded at sea, Italy is violating its legal

and humanitarian obligations. Human rights

law and international refugee law requires

states not to refuse persons at their borders

and to treat them with respect for their human

dignity at every stage, Aditus director Neil

Falzon said. International maritime law, on

the other hand, is less cut-and-dry. The 1979

International Convention on Maritime Search

and Rescue, which both Italy and Malta are

bound by, says that people rescued at sea must

be taken to the “nearest place of safety”. Until

both countries agree on a way forward – or

until EU member states can work out a way

to help Mediterranean member states deal

with migrant inflows – it appears clear that the

maritime storm which captured the world’s

attention these past days will be repeated.

The move was a message to Brussels ahead

of the European Council summit later this

month that Italy is serious about changing

the terms on migration. It finally buries any

lingering hope there might have been of

leaders agreeing on reform to the bloc’s

migration policy. And it has the potential to

unravel the way that EU countries cooperate

in the Mediterranean to rescue migrants

making the trip by sea from Libya. It was

also useful politics from the new interior

minister, Matteo Salvini, who is also leader

of the far-right League party. He announced

the decision to close the ports Sunday just as

almost 7 million Italians were voting in local

elections in 761 municipalities. The election

results show the League made further gains,

with polls indicating that the move was

popular with Italians.

it means a redirection of

the arrivals and it’s easy to

imagine that there will soon

be other vessels stranded in

international waters

“Either other ports will be open, I think

of Marseille, Barcelona, Malta, or there’s

no way out,” Nicola Molteni, a League

official very close to Salvini, told Romebased

newspaper Il Messaggero Monday.

“We’ll continue until it will be clear that

the music in Italy has changed.” Although

mayors of port cities across southern Italy

vowed to defy Salvini and allow the ship in,

there was little they could do without the

cooperation of Italy’s coast guard. After a

standoff between Rome and the Maltese

authorities that lasted almost 24 hours,

Spain’s new government offered to allow

the ship to dock at the port of Valencia “to

avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.” Salvini

took to Facebook to claim victory, stressing

that “raising the tone works.”

If Italy keeps up its more aggressive policy

on migrant boats, “it means a redirection

of the arrivals and it’s easy to imagine that

there will soon be other vessels stranded in

international waters,” said Eugenio Ambrosi,

EU director at the International Organization

for Migration, the U.N. migration agency.

That will inevitably escalate to the EU level,

although for now, Italian diplomats in Brussels

have not yet been given instructions on what

approach to take.

The move also provides an indication of

where power now lies in Rome. Italian

media say that the prime minister, Giuseppe

Conte, was “informed” of the decision by

Salvini himself when he landed in Rome after

returning from the G7 summit in Canada. The

new premier is clearly a bystander when it

comes to Italy’s new migration policy. When

the Italian government took office last month,

the big fear in Brussels was that it would use a

threat to withdraw from the euro currency as

a way to get what it wanted in Brussels. One

EU diplomat said the Aquarius standoff shows

that Salvini is prepared to use migration as a

new “gun on the table” in talks.

“This time the gun is going to stay,” the

diplomat said. MBR



Your partners for HR outsourcing



Malta Business Review






Appeasement didn’t

work. It’s time to

fight back.

By Mark Leonard

It has taken a while to get here. Europe’s plan

A was denial: Trump is not America, European

policymakers insisted. He is constrained by

the adults in the room. When the adults in the

room got fired, or side-lined, they moved on

to plan B, appeasement. Trump has a point on

Iran’s regional behaviour and ballistic missiles,

and on European underinvestment in NATO

— these do need fixing.

But Trump’s recent actions — the decision to

impose tariffs on his biggest trading partners,

his disregard for international agreements

and his outburst at the G7 — make clear that

the U.S. president sees Europe’s eagerness

to smooth the waters as a weakness. As a

committed Atlanticist, it pains me to admit

that it’s time for Europe to turn to Plan C:

Fight back.

There will likely be at least three — and

maybe even seven — more years of Trump. If

European governments keep rolling over, the

U.S. president will carry on driving a wrecking

ball through the international system. By the

time he leaves office, there may not be much

of it left. It is true that America will remain

Europe’s closest partner in the world and

that talk of complete “strategic autonomy”

is empty. But in the long run, both sides will

benefit from a more balanced relationship.

The European Union urgently needs to find

and exploit whatever leverage it has to make

sure the administration takes its concerns

seriously. It has long been prepared to do this

on trade issues, but that approach now needs

to be extended to other policy areas.

One immediate challenge is to stop appeasing

the U.S. administration when it comes to the

Iran nuclear deal. If European powers can’t

protect an international agreement they

initiated and negotiated, they will become

completely subject to Washington’s political

mood swings. Trump’s decision to pull

out of the agreement is one thing, but his

It’s time for

Europe to stand up to

Donald Trump. The U.S.

president is a bully, and like

any other bully, he will keep

trying to push European

leaders around — unless

they find the courage to

push back.

determination to impose secondary sanctions

on European companies for respecting an

international agreement is grotesque. If it is

allowed to stand, Europeans will find it hard

to make sovereign decisions.

France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire,

has laid out a credible plan that involves legal

protection from U.S. sanctions for companies

doing business in Iran, compensation for

their losses through some sort of insurance

scheme, and financing investment in Iran via

central banks and the European Investment

Bank to avoid dollar transactions. Europeans

could also help develop a payment system

that allows Iran to sell its oil and gas in euros.

If push comes to shove and the U.S. refuses to

give exemptions and carve-outs for European

companies, the EU should consider taking

action against the many U.S. companies

operating in Europe.

If Trump wants to move to a

more transactional relationship,

the EU should also withdraw

its cooperation in areas that will

affect American interests directly

If Trump wants to move to a more

transactional relationship, the EU should

also withdraw its cooperation in areas that

will affect American interests directly. For

example, the U.S. has asked the British

government to send 400 more troops to

Afghanistan to support the fight there. It

would be perfectly reasonable for the Brits

to respond to that demand by making it

conditional on getting waivers for European

companies’ trade with the Islamic Republic.

U.S. President Donald Trump |

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Skeptics will say it’s highly unlikely the EU will

risk putting itself on a collision course with

Washington. Europeans still heavily depend

on the U.S. when it comes to security, and

many of the Continent’s leaders are attached

to a status quo that allows them to spend very

little on defense and avoid getting sucked

into intractable conflicts. Faced with a choice

between sovereignty and free-riding, they

prefer the path of less resistance. This was

an understandable choice when the EU and

U.S. were engaged in a joint Western project

to build a liberal world order. There may have

been bitter divisions — such as over the

invasion of Iraq — but they were essentially

tactical. Today, there is a major strategic clash

between an EU that has made a big bet on

multilateralism and a U.S. president who

believes the global liberal order was designed

to undermine America.

With Trump in charge of American foreign

policy, a blind, unconditional reliance on the

transatlantic alliance will only bring the jungle

closer. In order to have a strong transatlantic

alliance, the EU will need to develop the tools

to think for itself and stand up for its own

interests and the international order that

underpins them.

If we don’t act now, others will dictate our

interests for us — and they won’t even have

the courtesy to tell us before they blow

everything up.

Mark Leonard is the director of the European

Council on Foreign Relations and author of

“Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century”

(Fourth Estate, 2005). MBR



Malta Business Review



By George Carol

What questions do you ask a

remarkable businessman such

as Hugo Chetcuti in the span

of just 30 minutes? For me, the answer

was obvious; how does one become an

exceptional entrepreneur? And what are

his views on entrepreneurship and life as

a forerunner of so many different concepts

and ideals?

During an in-depth meeting with highflying

entrepreneur Hugo Chetcuti, MBR

readers get an exclusive take on his

meteoric career rise and how the

Hugo’s brand came into being. Hugo

Chetcuti is the founder and visionary

behind The Hugo’s Group, which has

immerged as a dominant leader within

the local hospitality and entertainment

industry. From an initial investment in a

floundering ‘water hole’ back in the ‘80’s,

he now owns and operates an array of

successful bars, restaurants, nightclubs

and hotels.

Hugo Chetcuti



Malta Business Review

Hugo’s Hotels Rocco's Whiskey Lounge

At just 20 years of age, Hugo’s father opened

a restaurant by the name of Clouds, which,

although no longer in operation, used to be

extremely popular at the time. Hugo then

started investing in property, such as renting,

buying and offering accommodation until

he eventually purchased and refurbished

a dilapidated bar, which emerged as a

phenomenal hit known as Footloose. At the

time, other than Axis discotheque, Easy Rider,

Mirage etc., which no longer exist, there were

very few bars or nightclubs in Paceville. But

not everything was easy, as Paceville was now

becoming more commercialised and Hugo

had to redress issues with local residents such

as noise pollution, which he now measures

and controls in a most responsible manner.

He then opened the discotheque Generatorthis

was over 25 years ago, following which he

went into buying more property and investing

in quality real estate. Nowadays though,

Hugo owns over 45 establishments and rents

most of them. “I travel abroad and observe

buildings, architecture, fashion, modern

technology and how HR is managed. When I

come across a new style on my travels, I tend

to recreate it in my mind and, according to the

concept I’m developing at the time, integrate

it accordingly. Today, I’ve built up a brand

and invented innovative product offerings,

augmented with the ultimate in service

and value for money. However, I’m nothing

without the dedicated and committed staff I

Hugo’s Hotels Elegant Balcony Room

employ; they are passionate about what they

do and unconditionally loyal to me,” reaffirms

the entrepreneur.

The Hugo’s Group and trademark was

launched in 2005 with the subsequent opening

of Hugo’s Lounge. This brand new concept

in Pan-Asian cuisine, is not only renowned

for its Eastern gastronomic experience, but

also for its exquisite cocktails and immersive

music. Hugely popular night clubs such as

Hugo’s Passion and Shadow Club, which

soon became an institution among the local

clubbing scene, followed, along with Hugo’s

Terrace & Rooftop (the brands flagship),

Bacco by Hugo’s, Hugo’s Pub, Hugo’s Burger

Bar, Hugo’s Pizza & Pasta, Food+ and Hugo’s

Middle East. This year will also see the

introduction of brand new eateries, such as

Hugo’s Seafood and Cocktail Bar, Avocado

and HSixty6.

Due to its longstanding recognition of customer

service and a diverse, but exceptional quality of

food at affordable prices, it was inevitable that

the Hugo’s Group intensified its commercial

reach by including facilities which offer highend

accommodation. Thus, June 2016 saw

the realization of one of Hugo’s biggest dreams

by venturing into the hospitality industry,

with the first instalment of the brands luxury

hotels. Hugo’s Boutique Hotel offers 40 guest

rooms, each with their own unique theme

and distinctive character, including 4 signature

suites, spread over 9 floors. This Summer,

The Hugo’s Group will inaugurate its second

Continued on pg 14



Malta Business Review


Continued from pg 13

Hugo’s Hotels Infinity Pool Deck & Lounge

instalment, with the launch of H Hotel,

which is comprised of 168 guest rooms and

lavish suites, with many of them enjoying

the stunning views of St. Georges Bay and its

surrounding skyline. Set atop H Hotel, is the

ultra-luxurious Infinity pool, cocktail lounge

& Dom Perignon Champagne Bar, which

officially opened to the public in 2017.

Hugo explains, “It’s absolutely essential

that you are certain about becoming an

entrepreneur because it’s a very hard thing

to do with an enormous amount of hard

work involved. You need to have the ability to

prolong your endurance and not give up on

what you believe in. It’s always good to keep

in mind that prior disappointment has been

behind so many success stories and many a

great man has had to endure failure before

reaching their goals. Countless individuals

have ideas but very few actually carry them

out. Only some of us can take the hard work

and sleepless nights required to achieve our

dreams.” He talks a lot about making decisions

and that it ultimately comes down to having

made more right decisions than wrong ones.

After more than 30 years of being in the

business, Hugo, who is still a hands-on

person, enjoys running and managing his

company with the vigour, dynamism and

attention he is well known for. There have

been many misconceptions and gossip

generated about Hugo’s past. Only a few

insiders, besides his family, know Hugo as

a fun-loving, down-to-earth, hard-working

and extremely generous person, who has

met every challenge life has thrown in his

way. “I had to think about something to

welcome the people here and I wanted to

offer something completely different to the

norm. The design, features and emphasis on

comfort and client satisfaction is clearly visible

to everyone. In fact the enormous amount of

positive comments, which you can also see

on platforms such as Trip Advisor etc., are

testimony to this,” says Hugo.

Hospitality and entertainment

life is special; it’s a way of life and

you either love it or hate it.

I asked Hugo how important is it to have

owners that focus on the long-term. With a

sharp, intense look, he replied, “It’s critical.

Owners have to work with the operators, with

the hotel management team and all the staff

in order to reap the rewards. It’s a challenge

today for owners to see why they should

invest, when their return isn’t there. It’s also

really important for hotel managers to be

honest with owners about such challenges.

We are one team with the same goal at the

end of the day. Hospitality and entertainment

life is special; it’s a way of life and you either

love it or hate it. I certainly love it, even after

all these years in the industry.”

Discussing where the property is today and

if there are changes on the horizon, Hugo

rationalises, “We are privileged that we are

in a position to make changes. The hotel is in

great shape in terms of the product, but we

are already looking to ‘what’s next’. I’m willing

to invest in the product so it can be a top

competitor at all times. We want to be ahead

of the curve when it comes to the product, so

we are already discussing our direction and

strategy for the upcoming years. Like this we

can ensure that we have a clear direction of

what we need to accomplish in the future.

We are interrupted by a call that Hugo has to

take with one of his managers, probably on one

of the huge hotel project he has established.

We wish each other good luck and I leave

inspired by what this man has shared with me

and what he has accomplished.

Upon leaving, his Marketing and PR manager

takes me aside and assures me that there is

much more to come with a completely new

project on the horizon. Another of Hugo’s

dreams which is finally coming to fruition. MBR


Encompassing artfully modern luxury and

lifestyle hotel brands in Malta, Hugo’s

Group (www.hugosmalta.com) is a leader

in managed properties and entertainment.

Establishing foothold in 1987, the innovative

Paceville-based business mogul today owns

over 45 establishments and oversees the

management, development, and expansion

of Hugo’s Hotels and the Hugo proprietary

brands that include Hugo’s Boutique Hotel,

Hugo’s Pizza & Pasta, Hugo’s Lounge, Hugo’s

Passion, Hugo’s Terrace, The Rooftop,

Hugo’s Pub, Hugo’s Burger Bar, Hugo’s Bacco

and Hugo’s Energy Drink, as well as other

trusted marks from leading local hospitality

player. Hugo’s Hotels has incorporated new

construction and new concepts in sustainable

building practices and design.

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018


Malta Business Review


Stella Kammitsi is head of the international

corporate department at Cyprus law firm

Chryssafinis & Polyviou, and adds: “A lot of

activity in Cyprus comes from the citizenship

by investment programme, and we continue to

see a lot of wealthy clients from Eastern Europe

getting citizenship and buying property, with

some of them relocating their families here.

We also see people from Russia establishing

substance here – there are only a few more

months of the tax amnesty there, so those

families have to take decisions now about

changing their tax residencies or their corporate

structures.” With wealth management and

succession planning work for Russia clients

on the increase, Cyprus is stealing a march

on close rival Malta, which does not have the

same attractions to Russia clients, who have

historic, cultural ties to Cyprus.


Energy and crypto trends

Malta and Cyprus have much in common, as

two islands in the Mediterranean that are both

members of the European Union and were

once renowned for their popular citizenship

by investment programmes. Both countries

continue to attract a steady flow of the world’s

wealthiest families to their shores, and claim to

offer far more advantages than just visa-free

travel throughout the EU to investors.

Elias Neocleous is managing partner of the

law firm Elias Neocleous & Co, and says that

EU-specific regulatory changes are creating

a challenging market for advisers in Cyprus.

But while new rules require those moving

to Cyprus to demonstrate they are doing

so for genuine economic reasons, rather

than simply for tax advantages, that drive

towards creating substance is delivering

opportunities, he says. “We see a niche

developing for Cyprus in several areas and

sectors,” says Neocleous. “We see growth

in companies connected with shipping, for

example, because Cyprus has a very active

shipping business community. And we see a

growth in the number of trading companies

that are doing business in our geographic

neighbourhood, covering the Middle East,

North Africa and the Balkans.”

By Claire Coe Smith

Cyprus continues with Greek

shipping tradition and sees expansion

in energy markets

Other expanding markets for advisers include

a movement of wealthy individuals away

from higher-tax countries such as Greece, and

more businesses moving in to take advantage

of energy opportunities in the offshore waters

around Cyprus. Neocleous adds: “Cyprus is

also coming up nicely in financial services. We

We are an EU and Eurozone

jurisdiction, so our financial

services laws are fully in line

with EU laws, which makes

this place quite attractive to

companies from non-EU

countries that want to be

properly regulated and offer

financial services within the EU

are an EU and Eurozone jurisdiction, so our

financial services laws are fully in line with EU

laws, which makes this place quite attractive

to companies from non-EU countries that

want to be properly regulated and offer

financial services within the EU.”


Malta, however, is attracting a new generation

of high net worth individuals thanks to its

growing reputation as a cryptocurrency hub.

Two of the world’s largest cryptocurrency

exchanges plan to invest heavily on the island,

which has set out to become one of the

world’s friendliest jurisdictions for the sector.

Geraldine Noel is the managing partner of

Maltese law firm Acumum, and says: “We

are getting a lot of enquiries at the moment

regarding cryptocurrencies, virtual currencies

and initial coin offerings. This is obviously a

risky first-to-market sector that is very new,

so we are seeing a lot of entrepreneurs

investigating Malta to set up platforms and

exchanges. We are looking at much more

nubile, ground-breaking, IP, IT and digital

assets, and younger, more adventurous


At the same time, Malta remains attractive

to more traditional wealthy families, with

property prices increasing dramatically in

response to demand driven in part by the

hedge fund world. “Malta is a booming

jurisdiction,” says Noel. “We see clients from

the Middle East, the Nordics, and from both

EU and non-EU countries. There is a proportion

of persons taking up residency, but there’s

probably a higher proportion that structure

their investments through Malta without

taking up residence.” Both islands offer access

to the EU in a more cost-efficient manner than

Luxembourg, with the lifestyle attractions of

the Mediterranean that are not offer in other

competitor jurisdictions like Ireland. Both have

made efforts to attract wealthy individuals,

their families and their businesses, and those

efforts are reaping rewards. MBR

Creditline: Citywealth Weekly


Malta Business Review





By Martin Vella

Following are excerpts from a MBR exclusive interview

with Thierry Hebert, Managing Director, RCI Insurance

Ltd, who underlines the significance behind the

company’s new office launch in Malta in view customer

segments are changing, and RCI cannot ignore the

realities of what the customer is requesting in terms

of buying and servicing options, where growing

economies are fuelling demand for cover.

MBR: Tell us a bit about your background

and roles you have performed?

TH: I am French, married, have worked

my most of my career with the RCI Bank

Group, with over 37 years of service. The

most important position held as Director of

our Finance subsidiaries, mainly in Austria,

Belgium, UK, the Netherlands and lastly

here in Malta. I also spent five years in the

insurance business in France. My current

role is Managing Director of our Insurance

companies in Malta, which are RCI Insurance

Ltd and RCI Life Ltd.

MBR: How many employees do RCI employ?

TH: Globally RCI employ 3,400 across 26

countries. Locally, the companies have grown

from three employees when the company

was set up in 2008 to 29 employees, with

plans of further growth in the future. We have

a diversified workforce, with a cross section of

nationalities working with our companies, 15

of whom are Maltese and 14 are female. The

recent move to new and bigger offices at the

beginning of last year, was necessary to allow

for growth which we are projecting and to

prepare for future exciting developments.

MBR: Tell me about the activity of RCI

Insurance and RCI Life, and what is distinct

between the two?

TH: The characteristics between the two is the

nature of the product we launched following

the insurance regulations. Of course, with

RCI Life we sell death and invalidity products,

whereas with RCI Insurance Ltd we sell all

types of general insurance policies. Now,

which are the type of products we sell today,

mainly private payments insurances products,

which are intended for the benefit of the

customers who buy vehicles on loan, and

which cover any accidents they might have,

so we cover their monthly payments when

they take on a financial loan.

MBR: Can you define the RCI company

culture, especially where RCI is concerned?

TH: RCI is a customer-driven company,

which has at its core the wellbeing of its

employees to ensure they in turn are helpful

and proficient with their customers. We work

with car dealers, so we are vehicle-savvy and

understand what a great investment a car can

be for people. Therefore, we understand the

need for finance and also comprehend the

need to cover any risk our customer needs.

MBR: What motivated your organisation to

come to Malta?

TH: This decision was driven by two factors.

The first, following decades of experience

and knowledge within the insurance industry,

we decided it was the right time and the

right opportunity to have our own insurance

company here. Second, it was the time where

with all the developments of the environment

and finance in Malta, we found Malta to be

very attractive and business-oriented and

business-friendly on one side, and very well

organised for regulation. These were the

main driving forces that enabled us to come

to Malta.

MBR: What do you intend to offer to the

local Maltese market in terms of insurance

services and if this will also include the

Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance in all the


TH: Currently we have no plans to offer any

insurance services in the Maltese market. We

want to carry on doing what we do best and

we are working in four countries, so we first

must ensure this is consolidated. We think

that presently the local insurance companies

accomplish their role very well, and we do not

have ay pans to enter the market for now.

MBR: Can you tell us about the significance

behind the investment of these new

modern offices?

TH: It was key to us since it was very clear

that we doubled the services in comparison

to what we did in the past. Therefore, we

decided to choose the offices and location

which exactly represented the image and

the level of service we need. For this reason



Malta Business Review

Thierry Hebert, Managing Director, RCI Insurance Ltd

we decided we are quite happy to rent

our own offices in at Mercury Tower, in a

banking environment, which means a lot to

us in terms of safety, security and respect

of regulations. Secondly, we invested a lot

in the equipment of these offices and the

technology to ensure that both the people

who will come to visit us feel welcome in a

professional environment, as well as for our

staff where we tried creating an ambience

facilitating the teamwork on one side, and

enhancing the digital activities, which is one

of the objectives we are working on.

MBR: What about the company growth and

product development of RCI and Outlook


TH: We are experiencing constant growth

since we were established nine years ago. We

are well established in four major markets,

being France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

We are now starting a phase where we are

expanding in several European countries,

which will not be of the same importance in

terms of volumes, however more prominent

in terms of the services we want to offer to

these countries on one side, seeking to try

and expand our range of products in other

type of insurances, which mainly service retail

customers. Again, now we want to launch

new products for corporate customers and

we are looking at new insurance products

which represent new activities. We have here

up to fifty five workers in total and with new

customer service products in the pipeline, this

workforce will increase in the near future.

MBR: Can you describe the structure of the

HR element at RCI?

TH: In Malta we need the best people and

we are trying to have the best people to join

the company. We are happy to have sourced

insurance experts, which are fundamental

toward the structure of our work objectives.

We also want to hire talented people who

can speak several European languages. Today,

in our company we have eleven different

nationalities Half of our staff are Maltese,

and the rest from ten different European

nationalities. We need to have French and

German speaking staff, and also be able to

answer questions in the mother language to

our valued customers. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

About RCI Insurance Ltd

(RCI Insurance Ltd and RCI Life Ltd are two

Maltese insurance companies created in

December 2008 in Malta. Shareholders are

RCI Bank and Services, an ECB regulated

Bank, 100% owned by Renault SA, the French

car manufacturing company. The activity of

these two companies consists in selling and

managing mainly financial insurances for the

customers of the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi

Alliance, who buy their cars through

financing services. The insurance protects

the customers against any risk of death,

temporary invalidity or unemployment.

Using the European passport facilities, RCI

Insurance Ltd and RCI Life, trade in France,

Germany, Italy and Spain, with plans to

expand operations to other European

countries in the future. Total assets under

management reached 330M€ in 2017 and

make our insurance group one of the most

significant insurance groups in Malta.)



Malta Business Review



The business week comes to an end. You have worked hard. You have put in the hours to enjoy the finer things in life.

It’s time to step out of the office and step onto your very own chartered Sunseeker yacht. With the cool sea breeze on

your skin and an iced drink in hand, work is now a world away.

Welcome to Azure Ultra - your

gateway to bespoke luxury

yacht experiences. Whatever

the occasion, we can help you plan the

perfect boating getaway. Take a well-deserved

break and recharge on the soothing seas,

while an exceptional crew takes care of your

every need.

We understand that your leisure time is

precious. It should never be more work.

That’s why we handle all the time-consuming

admin that inevitably comes with chartering a

yacht. This frees you up to enjoy quality time

with family and friends on an unforgettable

adventure backdropped by the sapphire

Mediterranean Sea.

No Azure Ultra experience is ever the same

because we tailor the trip around your

personal needs. Select the food menus and

your preferred champagne. Roll out a map of

the Maltese archipelago and let the captain

know where you wish to anchor. Secluded

coves. Isolated beaches. It’s always your

choice. And if you really want to escape the

bustling island, you can even sail to scenic

southern Sicily.

Every step of the way Azure Ultra will be there

to deliver our award-winning service (MIBYA

winner Best Customer Service 2017 & 100%

5-star reviews on TripAdvisor).

Contact one of our Charter Specialists to

design your luxury yacht experience today.

For more information call +356 2778 2500,

email charters@azureultra.com, or visit

www.azureultra.com. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018


Shipping has has never been so so personal with with Attard Holdings. We We can can


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SĠW 2606 Ta' 2606

Ta' Kandja Kandja Limits Limits of of

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+356 +356 2144 2144 3031/2146 3031/2146 0427 0427






Malta Business Review









Dozens of newly found

marine caves and

reefs will be preserved

through eight marine

protected areas

During the closure event of the LIFE BaĦAR

for Natura 2000 project, Minister for the

Environment, Sustainable Development and

Climate Change José Herrera announced that

Malta has increasing the protected marine

areas from 3,487 km2 to 4,138 km2, reaching

over 35% of the Maltese waters through the

designation of an additional eight Marine

Protected Areas (MPAs) for Malta. These

areas are being afforded protection owing to

the presence of important seabed habitats,

specifically reefs and caves, in both coastal

and deep waters.

“This is a significant milestone in marine

conservation with which Malta is marking

World Environment Day”, stated Minister

Herrera, while confirming that Malta has

surpassed the Aichi target for 2020, with now

35% of our territorial waters declared Natura

2000 sites.

Three new inshore sites are an extension to

the area covered by existing coastal MPAs,

and these these include a variety of coastal

cave and reef habitats. A number of species

of conservation interest inhabit these areas,

including the star coral, Astroides calycularis,

the long-spined sea urchin, Centrostephanus

longispinus, and the Mediterranean slipper

lobster, Scyllarides latus.

The project also led to the designation of

two completely new areas. These include

offshore reefs hosting extensive and diverse

communities of cold-water corals and of

gorgonians, including many species of

conservation interest.

Photo DOI- Clifton Fenech

Photo DOI- Clifton Fenech

OCEANA / Carlos Minguell

© LIFE BaĦAR for N2K

OCEANA / Carlos Minguell

© LIFE BaĦAR for N2K


The LIFE BaĦAR for N2K project also

extended three offshore sites which had been

previously designated as MPAs and which are

important for the loggerhead turtle and the

bottlenose dolphin.

Data collected in the process will enhance

our marine knowledge. In this case, precious

info in relation to threats and weaknesses of

our seas were sought. “Now more than ever

we are recognising the need to preserve our

seas which is our asset to be passed on to our

future generations”, stated Minister Herrera

who highglighted that 80% of marine litter is

land-based and generated either by accident

due to weather or on purpose by illegal


The ministry has recently launched two

important public consultations aimed

at addressing littering challenges: the

amendments to the Littering Regulations and

the introduction of the Beverage Container

Refund Scheme.

During the project surveys, hundreds of

marine species were observed, including

some 75 different species of fish, 55

cnidarians (e.g. corals, sea pens, anemones),

35 crustaceans, 32 molluscs, 21 echinoderms

(starfish, brittle stars, sea cucumbers, sea

urchins, sea-lilies) and 15 sponges, as well

as various tunicates, bryozoans, brachiopods

and annelids.

The LIFE BaĦAR for Natura 2000 project will

pave the way for better management of these

important areas. The information collected,

including on the pressures observed, will

over the next few years be used to develop

and implement management measures to

conserve this rich biodiversity, concluded

Minister Herrera

This project’s aim was to to extend existing

marine Sites of Community Importance (SCIs)

and identify new SCIs for inclusion within the

Natura 2000 network, a network of protected

areas throughout the EU. LIFE BaĦAR for N2K

commenced in October 2013 and is ending

in June 2018; it had a budget of €2.6 million,

50% of which was co-financed by the EU LIFE

funding programme.

By protecting new sites and extending those

already protected, based on the results of this

project, an additional area of about 700 km2

is now being protected to conserve seabed

habitats and the species that live on them.

With these new sites, Malta is now protecting

over 4100 km2 of its waters. This area is

equivalent to more than 35% of Malta’s

Fisheries Management Zone. MBR

Courtesy: The ministry for the environment,

sustainable developlment and climate change


Malta Business Review


Varying costs of Dental Treatment!

The cost of treatment is a determining factor to most patients. Very few patients do not look at the figure at the bottom of the page. What are

the factors contributing towards this?

1. Number of appointments:

Fillings, extractions, cleanings and some

crowns and bridges may all be carried

out in one appointment. The majority

of fixed or removable prostheses may

require a couple of appointments. Other

lengthy dental work spanning months

or years include orthodontic and/or

implant treatment.

2. Materials used:

Simple materials used for routine dentistry

are not too expensive whilst other

treatment modalities like orthodontic

and restorative dentistry have a range of

materials to choose from. Braces come

in metal or ceramic brackets. Even the

arch wires; metal colour or tooth colour

crossing the braces play a part in the

total figure. Braces stuck on the inside

of your teeth are even more expensive

as are transparent aligners used to

straighten teeth. Crowns and bridges may

be produced from conventional metal

fused to ceramic or all-ceramic metal-free

ones. This changes the price considerably.

The same goes for these fixed types of

restorations placed on implants. The

metals used may be of high quality and

better finish than others. The implant

brand as well as the components used

can be originals or look alike drastically

affecting the overall cost. Dentures may

also be manufactured from different

materials; acrylic resin, acrylic resin with a

metal-framework and elastic acrylic resin.

3. Level of expertise:

Specialist work done by specialists always

comes with an added premium, both

in know-how and costs. This does not

mean that the same work done by a nonspecialist

is inferior in quality. It is simply a

fact that a higher level of education brings

a slightly higher price tag.

4. Guarantee:

Some practitioners offer a fixed guarantee

on the dentistry administered to

their patients. This may vary between

practitioners. Some of the brands used

like the type of implant may also carry

a different guarantee; lifetime or none

at all.

5. Laboratory work

Most of the prostheses, whether fixed

or removable involve the need of a

laboratory. Here technicians, at times

even more than one work to construct

the teeth. Both fixed or removable

prostheses constructed in the laboratory

employ methods using high tech

equipment carrying hefty costs both

in materials and maintenance. These

technicians and pieces of equipment

also play a part in the total cost.

6. Clinical equipment:

some clinical equipment is simply better

at what it does than other equipment

hence the difference in price.

Having touched on the above, and stressed on

why expenses could be high, there are other

factors, which are yet more important than

the price tag. This is the after sales service.

Putting it this way sounds very impersonal but

it basically refers to how well us dentists treat

our patients once they’ve paid their bill and

settled all. Not every treatment is a complete

success story and often after some time has

gone by, patients are not fully satisfied with

the wave of treatment they had recieved. Do

we keep trying to make them happy without

charging or do we discourage them by saying

nothing else can be done hoping they would

learn to live with it?

Addressing the needs of an unhappy patient

is more important than receiving thanks from

a hundred satisfied patients! Our professional

ethics is big deal, which we cannot put a price

tag on. Ask your dentist! MBR


Dental and Implant Surgeon


We We Move Your World Forward.

T T +356 22995110

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Malta Business Review


Cyber Europe 2018 -

get prepared for the

next cyber crisis

Malta participated in CE2018, an international

cybersecurity simulation exercise organised

by the EU Cybersecurity Agency ENISA on

6 and 7 June 2018. The simulation exercise

was locally coordinated by the Critical

Infrastructure Protection Directorate (CIPD)

within the Ministry for Home Affairs and

National Security (MHAS) and its cyber

monitoring arm CSIRTMalta, Malta’s National

Computer Security Incident Response Team.

50 local cyber security and media

professionals from 11 local organisations

participated in the most mature EU Cyber

Security Simulation Exercise known as

‘Cyber Europe 2018’ (CE2018) to date. The

simulation exercise was locally coordinated by

the CIPD within MHAS in collaboration with

EU ENISA, the EU Cyber Security Agency, and

the participation of other EU member states’

agencies responsible for the monitoring of

the cyber space in their respective regions.

Minister for Home Affairs and National Security

Michael Farrugia visited the coordinating team

during the exercise and said such exercises are

of utmost importance to test our capabilities

in dealing with cyber and hybrid attacks on

critical and other relevant infrastructure.

Malta is giving great importance to critical

infrastructure and on how to deal with cyber

and hybrid attacks. The Critical Infrastructure

Protection Directorate will be strengthened by

other professional personnel.

Malta’s participation was organised in multiple

crisis cells. A national coordinating crisis cell

incorporating a media crisis cell assembled

at the MHAS Coordinating Centre in Valletta.

A group operational crisis cell gathered at

the MITA Data Centre in St Venera and other

organisational crisis cells operated from their

normal place of work at various locations

in Malta. Malta’s principal moderator and

planner from CSIRTMalta within the CIPD,

MHAS travelled to ENISA headquarters in

Athens - Greece, to form part of the EU wide

coordination and exercise planning team.

The desktop exercise focused on cyber and

hybrid attacks on the aviation sector disrupting

their systems’ and flights’ operations.

Exercise scenario: It is a normal day at the

airport. Suddenly, the automated check-in

machines display a system failure. Travel

apps on smartphones stop functioning. The

agents at the check-in counters encountered

problems operating their computers.

Travellers can neither check in their luggage

nor pass through security checks. There

are huge lines everywhere. All flights are

shown as cancelled on the airport monitors.

For unknown reasons, baggage claim has

stopped working and more than half of the

flights must remain on the ground.

A radical group have reportedly taken control

of the airport’s critical systems by means of

digital and hybrid attacks. They have already

claimed responsibility for the incident and are

using their propaganda channels to spread

a call to action and attract more people to

adopt their radical ideology.

This was the intense scenario which over 900

European cybersecurity specialists incorporating

communications, local planners, moderators,

monitors, observers, and players from

30 countries coming from some 300

organisations had to face during the ‘Cyber

Europe 2018’ (CE2018) – the most mature

EU cybersecurity exercise to date. At the local

level, the exercise was customised to the

Malta context.

The two-day exercise was orchestrated by

ENISA at its headquarters in Athens, Greece,

while participants either stayed at their usual

workplace or gathered in crisis cells. ENISA

controlled the exercise via its Cyber Exercise

Platform (CEP) which provided a ‘virtual

universe’ (integrated environment) for the

simulated world, including incident material,

virtual news websites, social media channels,

company websites, and security blogs.

Organised by the EU cybersecurity agency

ENISA in collaboration with national and other

cybersecurity authorities and agencies from

all over Europe, the CE2018 was intended to

enable the European cybersecurity community

to further strengthen their capabilities in

identifying and tackling large-scale threats as

well as to provide a better understanding of

cross-border incident contagion.

CE2018 focused on helping organisations to

exercise and test their internal operational

continuity and crisis management plans

including media crisis communication while

also reinforcing cooperation between public

and private entities. MBR

Courtesy: The Ministry for home affairs and

national security


Beyond Ordinary Charter Experiences

00356 2778 2500 / charters@azureultra.com / www.azureultra.com

Malta Business Review



xpress Trailers is about to take third-party

logistics to the next level as work on its

new 2,800sqm warehouse is in its final

stages. Located centrally in Qormi, this new

warehouse centralizes all Express Trailers’

managed warehousing activity in one depot to

cater for the increased business in this sector.

“Express Trailers has always worked very closely

with Maltese retailers and few understand the

needs of these retailers as we do. We know

that to operate and to remain competitive, one

needs to be backed up with the right logistics

setup and a robust IT platform. This is where

Express Trailers can come in with its thirdparty

logistics and warehouse management

solutions,” explains Franco Azzopardi,

Chairman and CEO of Express Trailers.

“We ask businesses one simple question:

how much more efficient would you be if

you could focus on the core operations of

your business without the hassle of having to

manage inventories, storage and deliveries?

It is a fact that so many companies have a

lot of capital and human effort locked up in

inventory management. We are proposing

an innovative ‘pay-as-you-use’ system where

Express Trailers provides companies with a

fully-managed central warehousing facility and

distribution operations, supported by a very

robust IT system to handle all their imports,

exports, storage, deliveries and distribution


Express Trailers is currently finalizing an IT

platform that whatever the commercial

activity being operated, will be able to ‘talk’

to the retailer’s e-commerce software and

handle all the orders and deliveries in real

time. Through Express Trailers’ warehousing

and distribution services, businesses are

being offered a total solution where the

stock, stored at Express Trailers’ warehouse

is managed by a Warehouse Management

System that picks, packs and delivers on

behalf of the customer.

“Bottom line, what we are offering is a

scalable storage and distribution solution, a

‘pay-as-you-use’ system where merchants,

instead of owning and managing their

ancillary warehouses and being tied down

with idle space and human resources, can

avail themselves of the space they need thus

cutting significant costs, especially when

their stored stocks are at their lowest. All

companies enjoy expertise in their respective

lines of business. What we are saying is that

companies should concentrate on investing

in their people and their core operations

and leave the handling of imports, exports,

deliveries and distribution to a company like

us, who is the expert in transport and thirdparty


“This latest investment in our new 2,800sqm

warehouse in Qormi’s industrial estate is

our company’s next important move. We

are confident that this will be a concrete

step that will cement Express Trailers as the

leader in the local managed warehousing

sector,” concluded Franco Azzopardi. MBR

Courtesy: Express Trailers







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You You You Don’t You Don’t

Don’t Don’t Need Need

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Express Group Express Malta Group | Velbro Malta House, | Velbro Qormi House, Road, Qormi Luqa Road, LQA 9040, Luqa LQA Malta

9040, Malta

Express Group Group Malta Malta | Velbro Tel: | Velbro (+356) House, House, Tel: 2124 Qormi (+356) 2311 Qormi Road, | 2124 info@expressgroup.com

Road, 2311 Luqa Luqa | LQA info@expressgroup.com

LQA 9040, 9040, Malta Malta

Express Group Malta | Velbro | Tel: Tel: (+356) House, (+356) 2124 Qormi 2124 2311 2311 Road, | info@expressgroup.com

| Luqa LQA 9040, Malta

Tel: (+356) 2124 2311 | info@expressgroup.com


Malta Business Review


Geared for Growth

and Success

By Martin Vella

"Winning the awards has given the team an

extra boost of motivation, to keep working hard

and moving forward."

Everything is looking up for

the aptly named Yobetit.

CEO Nikolai Livori sits down

with Martin Vella to discuss

the company’s recent

unprecedented success

at MiGEA, and how the

Company is expanding and

successfully navigating into

new markets.

Nikolai Livori receiving the award for Malta’s Best Gaming Company of the Year Award 2018 from Mr Leandros Calleja,

Managing Director, Remedies Clinic



Malta Business Review

YoBetit team with Nikolai Livori

MBR: Do you want to go over what’s happened

since you established Yobetit and the role you

play in it?

NL: I am a founder of Yobetit and CEO, and I

couldn’t be happier. Yobetit started out as a

sports arbitrage bookmaker in 2012, heavily

based on mathematical market analysis.

The company was created to study market

movements to create sure bets in the market.

In 2016, we decided to pivot the business to

become a fully fledged sportsbook with our

MGA license, and we started using a gaming

framework that I had designed over the years.

Last year, we also took on another vertical;

Lotto when we introduced YoMillions.

MBR: Why Yobetit?

NL: Yobetit is all about providing the perfect

betting experience. We provide a fun

and easy-to-navigate platform to give our

players an enjoyable betting experience.

The company continues to stand above the

rest offering over 30 sports, competitive

football prices everyday, unbeatable odds and

generous promotions. We thrive to become

a one-stop shop offering multiple verticles on

our platform.

MBR: What is best about working in the field?

NL: iGaming is a very young and dynamic

industry, with every day being different. It’s

a fast-paced environment where technology

plays a big part in the evolution of the gaming

products. Having a technical background, I

can keep up to date with the latest applied

technologies, and being a veteran with over

ten years of experience in the industry, we

have made a lot of connections. I love the fastpace

and keeping on top of the trends.

MBR: What makes Yobetit stand out from

other gambling/iGaming enterprises?

NL: We are a company that cares, we not only

provide a service, we value our customers.

We provide our players with a generous

selection of promotions to keep giving them

the best we can possibly give. And, unlike a

lot of gaming companies, we own all software

and technology used. This allows us to grow

faster and be less dependent on third parties.

We have more control of the service we are

offering to our users, and we do everything

we can to keep our players happy.

MBR: How was your performance in 2017?

Did you have a combination of hits and

misses? What made you realise that it had

to take also change location and move into

bigger offices?

NL: From 2017-2018 we have seen a lot of

growth, not only in customers and turnover,

but also in brand recognition across our target

countries. Being the safest lotto provider on

the island, the brand also grew locally in

Malta. 2016, was the year we pivoted the

company because it became very difficult to

obtain trading liquidity. 2017, was the year we

focused on growth and getting our products

ready for the market. 2018, is proving to

be a year of more growth and success. We

continue to focus on improving and extending

our technology framework to keep growing

as a company. In order to do so, we had to

expand the team. Essentially Yobetit grew,

so the office needed to grow. We recently

welcomed new members and we continue

on with our recruiting spree.

MBR: You advertise a lot on radio, what

about mobile, which hasn’t been your biggest

platform? PC is traditionally the biggest, right?

NL: In Malta we spend a lot of time in our

cars, so we chose to advertise on XFM. You

may have heard our Yobetit.com powerplay,

it provides people with good music to sing

along during their journey. We also advertise

across other platforms but we feel we engage

more over the radio.

We use mobile marketing from time-to-time.

At least one-third of our customer base uses

our platform through mobile on a daily basis.

Our website is in fact built using mobile-first

technology. Therefore, mobile betting is a big

product for us. As for PC, it tends to be more

ideal for sports betting as we offer hundreds

of markets per game so it is more comfortable

for the user.

MBR: What has been the highlight of the

Yobetit journey for you so far?

NL: It would have to be personal growth.

Before Yobetit I was very mathematical,

and focused on tech. I love to create startup

projects and advise others on growth hacking

strategies. Yobetit has helped me to polish my

managerial skills and to understand the lifecycle

of a successful project.

In the past, I have been involved in failed projects

and also unfinished ones, and although Yobetit

has had its ups and downs, I enjoyed the

challenges and have helped the company push

forward during tough times. It was worth it, and

would do it all over again if I had the opportunity.

MBR: You have recently carried four

unprecedented and prestigious accredited

awards at Malta’s Gaming Excellence

Awards 2018, Best iGaming Online Lotto

Product of the Year Award, Best Online

Betting Platform, Best Gaming Ambassador

and Malta’s Best Gaming Company of the

Year Award- did you expect this and what

was your feelings on being called to receive

these accolades four times on stage?

NL: We were so thrilled to win so many

awards, and hearing the company called out

so many times on the night was phenomenal.

I am so proud of the progress we have made

to be where we are today. Winning the

awards has given the team an extra boost

of motivation, to keep working hard and

moving forward. It’s great to have won such

prestigious accredited awards. We are all so

happy of our progress and look forward to the

future ahead.

MBR: How significant are these awards for

your company and what do they mean to

you, and how was the overall organisation

of this event?

NL: Winning four iGaming Excellence awards

was a great achievement for Yobetit. The

team are so happy with the results, and we

thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the event.

The planning was exceptional, and it was great

to meet up with fellow iGaming veterans. It

gave us an opportunity to have fun and do

business at the same time, it was great.

MBR: What about future aspirations of Yobetit

and Yomillions, anything you can reveal?

NL: At the moment, we are uniting our brands

under one. YoMillions will still exist as a subproduct

of Yobetit. However, Yobetit will

continue to be the main umbrella brand.

What I can reveal here for the first time is that

we will be adding another platform to the

Yobetit brand. We will be offering Sportsbook,

Lotto and very soon we will be launching our

very own online Casino!

Casino will be a big step up for the company

and we are very close to launching it. At the

moment we are focusing our efforts on The

World Cup, but once it is over we will be able

to launch the new vertical. Casino will help

strengthened the Yobetit brand as we will

compete with the giants of the industry.

We are also currently on-boarding affiliate

partners, and are very keen to have the first

50 signed up before winter. We have an

exciting year ahead of us! MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018



Malta Business Review


Vision for

the Future

By M Vella

Interview with Frederik

Niehusen (CCO), at Booming

Games, who explains why the

Company is always looking

to the next technological

advancements that will

enable them to push the

boundaries of their titles and

introduce new experiences to

their customers.

Frederik Niehusen recieving the award from Mark Brincat

MBR: You have recently won Malta’s Best

Online Casino Supplier of the Year Award

during MiGEA 2018. What does this mean to

you and how significant is this achievement

to Booming Games?

FN: Winning Malta’s Best Online Casino

Supplier of the Year Award was an outstanding

achievement for Booming Games. Over the

past year our team has focused our efforts

on delivering a winning experience to our

customers and gaming patrons. The award

gives us positive feedback as we continue to

grow as an influential player in the industry.

MBR: Were you expecting to win this award

and has winning such an award been a long

time in the making?

FN: We were delighted to be considered for

this award and excited to win it. Our teams

goal is to deliver a unique gaming experiences;

awards and accolades are the result of our


We are certain that this is just one of many

more such awards that Booming Games

will undoubtedly receive. We are delighted

that the new and unique developments we

introduced this year have not gone unnoticed.

MBR: How critical is entrepreneurship and

information technology, and how have you

become part of the culture of how iGaming


FN: Established and founded through

entrepreneurship, Booming Games utilises

the experience of expert industry veterans

who have a proven track record of success in

the business.

Over the past year our

team has focused our efforts

on delivering a winning

experience to our customers

and gaming patrons. The

award gives us positive

feedback as we continue to

grow as an influential player in

the industry.

It is imperative that we can quickly integrate

technological advancements into our games

to keep ahead of the competition. The

challenge is ensuring these are still cutting

edge when the titles come to market. By

keeping abreast of the latest developments

and employing the use of flexible software

we can quickly introduce new tech, enabling

us to set trends and maintain the modernity

that our slots are known for.

MBR: How has your career evolved with

Booming Games and which area do you

lead today?

FN: The Company was established four years

ago with a few people and a will to succeed.

My career has been more of a revolution than

an evolution. We were a start-up company

that has quickly grown into a real player in the

industry over the past few years. The online

gaming world creates a quick learning curve that

forces revolutionary thinking and unique growth

opportunities. While I lead the company, our

goals are a shared vision for our future.

MBR: What sets you apart from the

competition as Malta’s Best Online Casino

Supplier of the Year Award?

FN: Developments introduced this year

included a bonus spins tool, allowing operators

to enable regulatable bonus spins to clients;

new game mechanics, facilitating greater



Malta Business Review

player interaction and engagement; and the

introduction of inventive new features, ranging

from unique symbol combos, to shapeshifting

game boards. Furthermore, using company

know-how and a deep understanding of the

markets, our setups in Europe, North America

and Asia offer faster loading times than any of

our competitors.

Our goal is to bring a new

breed of gaming product that

expands the players’ experience

and gives more ways to win

We have built a diverse portfolio possessing

different volatilities, features and themes

that cater to the varied taste and preferences

present in the player market. Our goal is to

bring a new breed of gaming product that

expands the players’ experience and gives

more ways to win. Success will come from

our core value of presenting unique gaming

methods that players enjoy. We focus on

delivering a winning experience. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

Frederik Niehusen






Malta Business Review







MBR: Please share a little about yourself

and Wazdan

LD: I’m actually from the manufacturing

industry in South Africa with general

management experience. I joined Wazdan

at the beginning of the year and it has been

an amazing experience so far. The passion

of my colleagues for what we do, the buzz

and energy of the industry and the absolute

excitement in now being involved in the

heart of the industry has been a very positive

experience. It is fantastic to be part of the

Wazdan team and to have the same goals and

vision as my colleagues and my bosses.

MBR: How has your career evolved with

WAZDAN and which area do you lead today?

LD: Wazdan has given me a greater exposure

to the gaming industry and ignited my Passion

for Games. I am very fortunate that Wazdan

encourages and supports attending industry

events, conferences and exhibitions. With a

lot of hard work we are winning awards and

partnering with very successful operators.

The industry is taking note of us and I am very

confident that we will continue to get stronger.

MBR: What opportunities do you look into

to grow as a brand?

LD: As Wazdan our primary goal is to become

one of the world's leading games suppliers,

we strive to participate in expos all over the

world. We are going to exhibit at iGB Live!

2018 in Amsterdam with a willingness to

present our product to a broader audience

and to reach global partners. We had fantastic

feedback from operators and aggregators

after ICE 2018 in London. Then our new 9

Lions slot won the Hot Hit Award at G2E Asia

and we signed-up our first Asian operators

Twelve40 and EvenBet. Now we are preparing

for iGB Live!, to feel the business environment

We are working on more

Unique Wazdan Features

which will make our

trademark in the slot games!

by ourselves and listen to market needs and

expectations. If we listen and react adequately

and if we add our Passion for Games on top of

that, the benefits will undoubtedly come. We

have 10 brand new games ready for release,

and we will do it very soon! We have just

released some great games, Football Mania

Deluxe for the World Cup, Great Book of

Magic Deluxe, Tetri Mania Deluxe and Fruit

Mania Deluxe. Games being released ahead

of iGB Live! include the intriguing Corrida

Romance Deluxe debuting for the San Fermin

festival, Hot Party Deluxe, Highway to Hell

Deluxe, Fruits Go Bananas and smash slot

Spectrum, amongst others.

MBR: How does your company stand out

from its competitors?

LD: Wazdan is a technology pioneer. We are a

company whose brand is synonymous with reshaping

the slots industry through innovative

technology, the Unique Wazdan Features,

a set of special hallmark properties that

includes the world's first Volatility Levels,

Energy Saving Mode, Double Screen Mode

and Unique Gamble Feature. We are working

on more Unique Wazdan Features which

will make our trademark in the slot games!

What we know for sure is that players and

operators love this new technology, which is

re-invigorating the category and bringing new

players and revenue. We've had a doubledigit

rise in revenue since the introduction

in Q4 2017 of that initial suite of added

value tools, Unique Wazdan Features, which

provide operators with the ability to activate

multiple features designed to enhance

customer experience and engagement,

improve retention, encourage extended play

and produce higher yield. The results speak

for themselves, Wazdan has signed several



Malta Business Review


By M Vella

partnership deals already this year with

companies such as EveryMatrix, Videoslots,

SlotMillions, Iforium, iSoftbet, Evenbets,

Globalplay, and more. We are putting a lot of

effort to make players’ game sessions longer

and to deliver to our customers some tools

which will allow them to attract players with

our games. Wazdan also aspires to give them

"The Freedom of Choice”, so operators and

players can expect some features which will

bring this feeling. Wazdan is licensed in the

UK, Malta and Curacao which means that

we undergo regular auditing and provide

the security of being tested at the highest

levels. Wazdan is a well-known name across

the industry and our games can be found in

many casinos today. With our speed of game

and technology development we are able to

add exciting new content quickly and simply.

Our aim has always been to deliver marketshaping

products and services.

MBR: You recently have been awarded

Malta’s Gaming Best Start-Up Company of

the Year Award during MiGEA 2018. How do

you reflect on the achievement?

LD: We were shortlisted by the industryacclaimed

EGR B2B Awards and then won

Hot Product Award at G2E Asia, and this is

what continues to give us confidence that we

are moving in the right direction. The MiGEA

Best Start-Up Company of the Year Award

reinforced that further.

MBR: How do you constantly re-invent to

deliver the most intui ve and innova ve be

ng applica on in the market?

LD: Our company mission is 'Passion for

Games' which aims to deliver a richer

slots game experience to improve player

psychological, emotional and intellectual

engagement. Wazdan developed a set of

innovative Unique Wazdan Features that

enhance player experience and provide

operators with opportunities to attract new

players to their casinos. With Wazdan’s

world’s first Volatility Levels, players can

customise the variance of each round by

setting the game to a low volatility level where

the game has frequent but smaller wins, or

to a high level where the game has fewer

but bigger wins. The player may also decide

not to alter the Volatility Levels, leaving the

setting at ‘Standard’ where the game reverts

to its normal volatility. Double Screen Mode

allows players to see the pay table and win

values of all game symbols in portrait during

gameplay and be in control of their wins

at All time. This new technology provides

players with a quality of entertainment that

matches the standards that they have come

to expect in other environments. Energy

Saving Mode is another mobile-friendly

feature that maximises players’ enjoyment

and is great for operators seeking to reach

players on-the-go. Energy Saving Mode

gives players up to 40% additional mobile

play time without recharging, thereby

extending revenue generation possibilities for

operators. Wazdan’s Unique Gamble Feature

is a mini-game styled to meet the theme of

each new game. It can be activated after

every win, and gives players a 50/50 chance

to double their win in an instant. The Unique

Gamble Feature is available on all winnings

in every new game released by Wazdan.

These are the technology developments that

underpin world-class games. Optimisation

for handheld devices has been one of the

pillars for Wazdan's dramatic organic growth.

The real breakthrough for Wazdan has been

the quality of slots experience the company

now offers on mobile. As the regulatory

landscape continues to change and the

company extends its range of licences, this

spells new opportunities for Wazdan to grow

our business and put those games in front of

additional players.

With our speed of game and

technology development we

are able to add exciting new

content quickly and simply

MBR: It has been well reported in the

international media that Wazdan has signed

a spate of deals with operators. Wazdan is

going places, quickly. What's behind that?

LD: Wazdan’s portfolio of over 100 HTML5

slots is growing rapidly following a further 8

game releases in Q1 2018. Recent releases

include Fruit Mania Deluxe, Magic of the

Ring Deluxe, Football Mania Deluxe, Tetri

Mania Deluxe, Great Book of Magic Deluxe

and Magic Stars 3; these are the kinds of

products that partners value and we aim to

keep delivering exciting games like this for all

our operators and players.

MBR: Were you expecting to win this award

and have such award been long time in the


LD: We don't expect anything. If it was easy,

everyone would be doing it! We are judged by

the people who choose our games, whether

operators or players, for us that is our greatest

measure of success. Being the technology

and game partner of choice.

MBR: As a closing question, we would like

to ask about your future projects. Could you

fill us in on some upcoming launches and

potential incoming partnerships?

LD: We have a game coming for Halloween

called Los Muertos. All I can say is don't play it

with the lights switched off! Other upcoming

titles include beautifully animated video slots

packed with entertaining special features,

such as Captain Flynt, Fruits Go Bananas,

Slot Jam, Relic Hunters and Mayan Ritual, as

well as two Asian themed slots: 9 Lions and

Double Tigers. Come and visit our stand at

iGB Live! to talk about our passion for games

and play our newset titles. We look forward

to seeing you! MBR


Wazdan is a popular game producer, developing

innovative casino games that deliver original, fun

and truly omni-channel player experience. Offering

an extensive game library of over 100 HTML5 slots,

table games and video pokers, Wazdan is gaining

popularity on the iGaming market thanks to the

great quality of their games, interesting themes

and engaging gameplay. Wazdan’s game portfolio

consists of such popular titles as Great Book

of Magic Deluxe, Magic Target Deluxe, Valhalla

and Wild Guns and soon will extended with new

amazing slot games, including Los Muertos TM ,

Mayan Ritual TM and Captain Flynt TM , among others.

Wazdan releases new, exciting titles on a regular

basis and equips them with Unique Wazdan

Features: innovative Volatility Level TM , exciting

Unique Gamble Feature and mobile-friendly

Energy Saving and Double Screen Modes. Wazdan

holds a number of European trademarks including

for their world's-first Volatility Level TM . Their

extensive portfolio of clients includes some of the

top gaming operations in the industry.

For more information on this press

please contact Ogilvy Malta on

00356 99207677 or edwin@


All rights reserved -

Copyright 2018



Malta Business Review




Lighting design plays a key role in the

functionality of sporting facilities. As well

as providing illumination for players,

officials and spectators, sports lighting

must also fulfil various characteristics to

optimise the quality of indoor and outdoor

sports and recreation spaces.

Altern limited (www.altern.com.mt) have

been working on INNOVLED, a project

whose aim is to develop an LED floodlight

for sports applications. The project is funded

through FUSION, a research and innovation

programm launched by MCST. Altern brings

in extensive expertise and experience within

the sustainability and lighting industry, today

offering a range of locally built LED lights.

In order to better understand the required

characteristics of the product, the project

team have been working with a number of

local sports facilities to gain an insight into the

lighting needs of different sites, as well as the

current challenges faced.

Following in depth research into the lighting

requirements for different sports, the design

team visited multiple facilities and conducted

site surveys and interviews with Facilities

Managers. The surveys revealed that there are

lighting installations of widely varying quality

in the sports facilities, with some falling below

recommended guidelines for lighting levels

and lighting uniformity. Further, through

interviews it became apparent that sports

facilities face various challenges relating to

their lighting. While some installations may

meet the lighting output requirements,

most are hard to access, difficult to maintain,

and are relatively high energy consumers.

Further, control of these lighting installations

was highlighted as an issue, with most of the

on-site staff having issues switching on only

those luminaires which were required, and

not being able to dim or vary the light output

from the current installations.

Using the findings from interviews and

surveys, together with research carried out,

the project team at Altern have been designing

a high-power LED floodlight which will satisfy

lighting requirements and provide additional

functionality. LEDs are ideal for sports

applications as they have high light output to

power ratios, have long lifetimes, require low

maintenance and provide lighting instantly.

They can also be closely controlled and

programmed to vary light output depending

on the particular use of the space, making

them suitable for multi-use spaces such as

sports halls used for conferences or events.

Over the past months, Altern has built and

installed prototypes in selected sports facilities,

and carrying out in-depth monitoring, the

findings from which have been used to further

develop the luminaire and control system

design. This shall ensure that INNOVLED

luminaires meet all required characteristics

and provide high quality sports and leisure

facilities which can be enjoyed by participants,

officials, spectators and building managers.

Altern is a company based in Malta which

specialises in sustainable energy services

and solutions. Altern can offer complete

custom design and manufacturing of LED

luminaires for different applications, with

in-house expertise on digital lighting design

and light manufacturing. MBR

For Further Information:

www.altern.com.mt | info@altern.com.m

|+356 2099 6465

Credit: Altern



Malta Business Review



Malta Business Review


Improving our response

Inspector Sylvana Gafa

has what it takes.

Seven years ago, she joined the Police Force,

eventually serving as a police inspector at the

district and then moving on to the Vice Squad,

investigating sexual abuse cases, human

trafficking, and prostitution. Currently, she is

heading the Victim Support Unit, which provides

assistance and support to all victims in Malta.

Over her seven year career, Inspector Gafa has

been involved in sensitive investigations, media

campaigns, ongoing training abroad, lecturing to

police officers and has completed her Masters in

Counselling, in her quest to protect people from

inhumane conduct.

Inspector Sylvana Gafa

MBR: Can you briefly describe your work

and the role you play, highlighting your

early life career motivations?

SG: As a matter of fact, I began my studies ,

and successfully obtaining my BA Honours in

Criminology, always with the aim of joining

the Police Force. When I started working in

the Police Force I continued my studies and

this year I completed my Masters Degree in


I joined the Force in 2011, and following two

years hands-on experience in local district, I

was assigned with the Vice Squad, where we

used to investigate sexual abuse cases, human

trafficking, and prostitution, where we came

in close contact with emarginated and

defenceless persons. Following which I spent

a year in Education practicing Counselling. I

have now been integrated successfully for the

past year and a half with the Victims Support

Unit, practically a new section.

I always had a predisposition to work within

the Force and climb up the ladder. Today,

having established the Victims Support Unit,

something which I had an inclination to

start here, besides the personal satisfaction

of creating something useful, I thank my

superiors for granting the opportunity

to allow me and my colleagues work on

something new, and which I studied for,

becoming my main line of work and expertise

close to my heart.

MBR: The Police Force is male dominated

organisation. What were your challenges

and motivational force upon embarking on

this career, bearing in mind that to succeed

it was not going to be so easy?

SG: True, with most, if not all, high ranking

positions, these are male dominated as you

confirm. This is not only found within the

Police Force, but also unfortunately in many

other business sectors. In the beginning,

coming from University background, at 24

years I used to experience this, even though

I joined up as an Inspector with my Degree.

The males within the Force, seeing a senior

career ranking officer in a managerial post

initially used to feel different and withdrawn

that a woman was going to be their superior.

That culture was a sort of taboo, but with the

passage of time, as a police woman facing

various criminal cases, I learnt a lot and I

matured considerably. These experiences also

allowed me to deal with different characters

and individuals, some are informal, some

more demanding. In the end it is all about

respect, understanding, being determined

and being assertive, since we have to work

together as a team.

MBR: Are police today trusted and

appreciated for the sacrifices they do?

SG: Not everyone is the same. There are a

lot of people who show respect to police

and their roles. I work with a lot of victims

of crime, and what I can confirm is that a lot

of individuals who are suffering have great

respect for us police officers. Of course,

you will also meet those who criticise and

condemn or slam the police. When this is the

case we teach the victims to tell us why and

how has the police failed them. We follow

up by taking measure and control from that

point onwards, trying to change the victim’s

perception from a negative to a positive one.

MBR: You have become a woman leader,

and your position and a role carries some

form of status with it. How do you find your

work within the structure of the PF, do you

encounter gender eaulity discrimination,

and if so what do you do?

SG: Having worked on sensitive cases in the

Vice Squad, I got into contact with persons

who needed help and I found myself asking

how can I help these people better, by

respecting the boundaries and without

compromising my role. Through counselling

I was able to assist more victims. Therefore,

if a victim has been abused or discriminated,

victims should be made aware that there are

existing services and available help for them,

and to convince them to take up that help. If

you file a report and stops there, In reality you

are still stuck. So you need to move forward.

And policing is not all about investigation

or prosecuting only. And if we go to court

we wish that any case is tackled and solved

from start to finish. If we do not take care of

the victim and that victim is not finding any



to domestic abuse

Malta Business Review

By Martin Vella

help from us, then the case will

not find its way in court and all

that work done would have been

in vain. That is why we make an

emphasises that the victim has

to be treated in the same way

and with the same rights as those

enjoyed by the offenders. Even

victims have their rights and we

must safeguard those rights to be

able to proceed in court.

MBR: When our religion is based

on the importance of forgiveness

in order to move forward, doesn’t

it bother you that you are caught

in the middle, between the victim

and the perpetrator?

SG: Working with victims is

something that I do with a passion

and I stick my neck if need be

to help them feel comfortable.

There is a huge difference how

you speak with them and in the

manner you need to make them

not feel intimidated anymore.

Most victims of abuse are woman

and many times they find a male

investigator in front of them, so

they find it very difficult to speak

or trust, since this is not the most ideal

position for a victim to be in. There are many

factors that also compromises their position,

including fear and anger. Indeed, I get caught

up not only between victims and offenders,

but also between media and NGO agencies,

between the court and the investigators, or

prosecutors, but I believe that these persons

need a lot of help from many other people,

and if they do not find it, they will collapse and

break down.

MBR: You made a lot of public campaigns

regarding sexual abuse, gay discrimination

and battering, Don’t you think that there

has not been enough education on this

subject in Malta, and what element do you

think is missing from our society?

SG: In my personal opinion, I do not think

it is right that there is an ongoing court case

and this is being published in the media, with

different interpretations and connotations.

By expressing personal instead of factual

opinions, this creates a lot of damage to

victims and families, who do to wish to be

made public or have their personal matters

made public. This may also apply to the

accused. Bordering on the sensationalism

may only breakdown the victims. We do not

have any control over the media or what the

people say, and I do not agree with anyone

making any public comments, especially

when the case is still sub-judice.

The element of indifference, detachment,

things taken for granted, drug abuse,

alcohol, living beyond one’s means and

the permissiveness that anything goes are

symptomatic of our society today. There is

less morality and religion has been brushed

aside. This has led to a neglect of pride in our

culture, history and also lack of respect for

one another, giving rise to crime. Punishment

is a deterrent and leaving repeat offenders or

serial abusers on bail will not help, as this send

out the wrong message. We need to stop

them. Rehabilitation serves its purpose with

those who really want to be re-integrated

within our society. Today, we have Probation

on Parole, Community Services, which can

enable offenders to get back into society.

today, controlling a rampant drug problem

has become one of our main challenges.

This is where we need to

concentrate our efforts, with

other agencies using their

expertise to provide advice,

counselling, help with drawing

up safety plans or progressing

housing applications.

Domestic violence is the third most reported

crime to the police, following theft and

damage. The number of such cases reported

to the police in 2016 reached 1,379, while the

total stood at 1,378 reports in 2017. domestic

violence is very complex. t is difficult for some

to leave an abusive relationship, especially if

they were brought up in an abusive household.

But we provide support and guidance on

how to start coping independently. We have

seen women whose lives were transformed

in months, after they took the first step and

reported the abuse.

MBR: A recent report highlighted that

lack of sustainable funding is one of the

obstacles to support victims appropriately.

How crucial is state funding to combat and

prevent violence?

SG: Most people want violence against

women to stop. Whilst appropriate funding is

absolutely necessary in supporting victims of

crime, I believe that more effective support to

such victims could be achieved through better

coordination of available services offered

by multitude stakeholders. A one-stop-shop

for victims of crime, involving police services

and other professionals working together

could be the best forward. Gender budgeting

has raised awareness of the significance

of the gender dimension of finance in the

implementation since most of this violence

is not reported to the authorities. For this

reason, most experts recommend surveys of

the population to generate more accurate

estimates which are robust in reporting on

changes over time and differences between

countries. There is as yet no completed

survey that provides comparisons between

countries of the different forms of violence,

let alone comparisons of changes over time in

different countries. However, there is a survey

is in this field – an important development

from the European Union Fundamental

Rights Agency – though with limitations

on the information being gathered, and a

second one is proposed by the European

Commission. Ideally a survey would be

carried out in all the EU Member States that

generates identical data on key indicators

(harmonised by Eurostat) of different forms

of gender-based violence against women and

which is repeated on a regular basis so as to

produce data on changes over time. This will

require policy coordination at the EU level.

MBR: How can you improve your response

to domestic abuse?

SG: We are doing a lot to raise awareness

of domestic abuse as well as introducing

new schemes that give the police additional

powers to protect victims. We still have much

to do in ensuring every police officer who

responds to an incident understands the

nature of abuse – the many forms it can take

and how it can isolate the victim – and knows

what to look for. We need every officer to

use this knowledge to determine how to best

protect the victim and progress a thorough

investigation and prosecution without

increasing their fear. This is where we need to

concentrate our efforts, with other agencies

using their expertise to provide advice,

counselling, help with drawing up safety plans

or progressing housing applications.

The service victims of domestic abuse receive

has greatly improved due to police investment

in specialist officers, training call handlers

to better assess risks and building working

partnerships at local and national level with

charities representing and supporting victims,

and social care, health and probation services.

The conviction rate for domestic violence has

increased the recent past and the number of

recorded domestic abuse incidents has also

increased in recent years, which may be due

to police forces improving their recording

and increased public confidence in the police

response. But many people still suffer in silence,

and my I am determined to work harder to

reach this segment as best possible. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018



Malta Business Review


MCA Consumer Perceptions Survey –

Fixed Telephony

A brief overview of findings for a

perception survey carried out in the

period of December 2017

The MCA is hereby publishing the findings of a

survey gauging consumer perceptions based

on their experience in using fixed telephony

services offered in Malta.

The survey, which was limited to residential

users, was carried out by Grant Thornton via

telephone interviews. A total of 824 randomly

selected respondents participated in this survey.


• The level of satisfaction with

the products and services being


• The sensitivities to price changes

and switching,

• The overall experience with

customer care related to faults.

In this survey new questions were added,

focusing on the features sought when

purchasing a fixed telephony service, as well

as the preference to use over-the-top (OTT)

services to make a call instead of traditional

fixed telephony.

Almost all households have a fixed telephony

connection; the bundling of this service was

popular with respondents.

Survey results show that a total of 99.8%

of household respondents claim to have a

fixed telephony subscription at their place

of residence. 72% of households with a fixed

telephony connection opted to purchase

this service as a post-paid plan bundled in

a two year contract with other electronic

communication services.

4% of all respondents reported being

subscribed to more than 1 fixed telephony

connection. 39% of respondents with

more than 1 connection had an alternative

connection due to availing themselves of

another bundle offer.

High levels of satisfaction reported amongst

consumers; of those dissatisfied, few would

switch service providers.

Respondents reported having similar levels

of satisfaction to what was observed in

previous fixed telephony surveys carried out

by the MCA. Indeed, satisfaction levels were

very high with 42% of respondents reporting

being satisfied with their current service

whilst 48% reported being very satisfied with

their fixed telephony.

Only 1 in 10 respondents reported being

dissatisfied with the current service

being provided by their operator. Despite

their dissatisfaction, almost half of the

aforementioned were unlikely to switch

service providers. 32% of those dissatisfied

with their service would not switch as they

believed that alternative operators would

provide the same level of service whilst 29%

could not switch as their service forms part of

a bundle. The remaining 26% did not switch

providers as they deemed the switch to be


Some fixed telephony faults were reported

throughout 2017; However, respondents

were satisfied with corrective measures taken

by operators.

Most respondents reported having a fault-free

experience with their fixed telephony service

in 2017. In fact, 69% of respondents said that

they had no faults in the last 12 months. On

the other hand, 18% of respondents reported

have one fault throughout the year whilst

13% reported having between 2 to 5 during

the same period. Only 1% of respondents said

that they had more than 5 faults in 2017.

Despite these faults, 79% of respondents

were satisfied with the remedial response

given by their operators when faults were





78% of respondents with a fixed telephony

service were unable to identify their monthly

expenditure on their fixed telephony service.

This is an increase of 8 percentage points

when compared to the same survey which

took place in 2015. 64% of those unaware

of their monthly expenditure said that they

purchased their fixed telephony service in a

bundle, thus were unable to identify the cost

of the individual service.

Two-thirds of respondents knowing their

monthly payments identified their expenditure

to be less than €20.00 a month on this service

whilst the remaining third of respondents

identified their expenditure to be between

€20.00 and €50.00 monthly.



Survey data suggests that lack of knowledge on

per-minute calls from 2015 to 2017 has risen.

Indeed, respondents were generally unaware

of the costs of their calls on a per-minute

basis from their fixed telephony service to any

other device. At 25% respondents were most

knowledgeable on the cost of a 1-minute call

taking place on their same network from one

fixed line to another. A possible reason for

users’ lack of awareness could be due to the

fact that several plans offered by operators

provide allowances or unlimited calls which

end-users may deem sufficient for their use.




80% Household respondents reported that a

mobile telephony service was substitutable

with a standard fixed telephony connection.

This is in an increase of 3 percentage points

when compared to previous surveys carried

out by the MCA. Conversely, only 46%

respondents reported OTT applications such

as WhatsApp, Skype or Messenger to be

an effective substitute to a standard fixed

telephony connection.





Malta Business Review

The MCA has been carrying out the Consumer

Perception Surveys on a two-yearly interval

since 2008. The main purpose behind this

exercise is to gather information on the level

of satisfaction of local consumers with the

products and services offered by electronic

communication service providers and the

extent to which these providers are able to

address the demands of their clients. Given

that these surveys have been carried out

regularly for a number of years, survey results

are indicative of how the needs of end-users

have developed over time and how local

service providers are dealing with changing

demand over the years.

Moreover, the interviews were distributed among

Malta’s six official geographic regions and carried

out across different socio economic categories of

the Maltese population. MBR

Creditline: Malta Communications Authority

The results of these surveys also serve as

an additional source of information for

the MCA’s regulatory decisions, in order to

ensure an environment that is conducive to

sustainable competition and investment in

view of the growing demands of the future.


The methodology used in the latest round of

consumer surveys, including the sampling,

questionnaire design, fieldwork and weighting

processes followed similar approaches to

previous surveys. The research methodology

involved the use of Telephone Computerassisted

interviewing (CATI).

Consumers sampled were stratified according to

the age composition of the Maltese population.



Malta Business Review


Media Opportunity:

IHOb Goes Viral and Those Who Hopped Up to

the Opportunity Cashed In

By Ken Wisnefski

With so many incredibly important headlines hitting the

newswire lately, IHOP changing their name to IHOb – the

“B” now stands for burgers – was a welcome source of levity

that took social media by storm. As the number one trending story on

Twitter, brands and comedians showed how much free advertising can

be ascertained by jumping on the viral bandwagon.

The Wendy’s Twitter account, which has

2.64 million followers in large part due to its

consistent source of humour, won the day

when they replied to a user asking them

about IHOb entering their turf saying, “Not

really afraid of the burgers from a place that

decided pancakes were too hard.” The tweet

generated 93,000 retweets and 264,000

favorites. These are astronomical numbers

that didn’t cost them a penny.

Burger King was quick to join in on the party

as well. They went viral thanks to a quick logo

and cover photo switch. They changed their

official Twitter name to Pancake King and

were quickly being mentioned by hundreds

of thousands of Twitter users and having

reporters mention their brand all over.

As you can see in the examples above when

you combine creativity and timeliness, big

things can happen. Social Media Marketing

expert and owner of the digital marketing

agency WebiMax, Ken Wisnefski, explains

what the IHOb phenomenon can teach

businesses and marketers alike.

“In the age of social, it’s all about what’s

trending. Finding a unique slant and taking

advantage of an emerging story can help

a brand reap all of the benefits with very

little work.”

Wisnefski continued, “With Facebook

making it more and more difficult to pay

for engagement from a targeted audience,

especially on a budget, it’s never been more

important to work smarter not harder on

social media.”

According to Wisnefski:

• All public figures should utilize Twitter

and other platforms to engage with their

audience to build their brand.

• Marketers and businesses need to

constantly be monitoring the news in

order to capitalize on the latest trending


• Wendy’s and others prove that you can’t

just be promotional on social media. You

need to have a sense of humor or inform

your audience in a way that keeps them

engaged and coming back for more.

Ken Wisnefski is available to discuss the IHOb

marketing strategy, what businesses and

marketers alike can learn from this viral story

and how other brands can emulate Wendy’s,

Burger King and others who successfully took

advantage of this opportunity. If you would

like to book Wisnefski for an article, interview

or appearance, please contact Andrew

Schetter at aschetter@webimax.com or


Creditline: Ken Wisnefski




Malta Business Review

New scheme for start-ups launched at government’s first B2B Expo

Minister Chris Cardona launched Malta

Enterprise’s new scheme aimed at startups,

‘Start-Up Advance’, as part of the

government’s commitment to drive

innovation and encourage growth, during

the first B2B Malta Expo. Qualifying

start-ups can be granted up to a gamechanging


Malta Enterprise offers a large number of

grants and support catering from the ground

up and to nurture it along the way with

financial help and advice.

“Our economy has reached new highs but

we know that our country boasts so much

potential. This grant will bring us one step closer

to tapping into prospective entrepreneurs’

talent. We want to empower and attract

bright, innovative, diverse, educated, and

globally-minded people and make Malta an

exciting place to be”, said the Minister.

The Minister encouraged the 900 delegates

and exhibitors to approach the B2B Expo with

a spirit of generosity and not only operate

with the thought of reciprocity in mind.

“Your business will grow faster when you help

others grow theirs. Though it might sound

counter-intuitive, it works time and time again.

Business is about building a relationship with

your customer and fundamentally trust. And

in a B2B context, we’re talking relationships

that are usually long-lasting and produce big

numbers - bigger investments and greater

revenue generation”, Minister Cardona said.

The B2B Expo programme included

international key speakers with inspiring

addresses on team leadership, innovation,

entrepreneurship, and innovation. Keynote

speakers included Sir Clive Woodward, the

Head Coach who led England’s rugby players

to win the World Cup in 2003, Sahar Hashemi,

OBE and entrepreneur best known for

building two famous brands Coffee Republic

and Skinny Candy, and Chris Moss, founder of

the Orange Brand, creator of Virgin Atlantic’s

‘Magic Moments’, and Former 118 118 Chief

Executive. Jason Miller, Head of Content and

Social Media Marketing at LinkedIn, also gave

a masterclass on marketing.

The Ministry organised the event for local

businesses to create and develop professional

collaborations, and at the same time, grow

their business and learn of new trends or

tendencies in their domain. An opportunity

for learning was also the Expo’s priority, with

talks on modern businesses challenges such

as data, marketing, digital transformation,

and blockchain. Admittance was free. MBR

Creditline/Photo: The Ministry For The

Economy, Investment And Small Businesses

DOI- Anthony Sultana

DOI- Anthony Sultana



Triq Tal-Balal, San Gwann, SGN 9016

Phone: (+356) 2138 1666

Fax: (356) 21371677


47, Bisazza Street, Sliema, SLM 1640

Phone: (+356) 2133 4466




Malta Business Review





• Common safety level across EU

• Legal certainty to help boost market


• Modernised safety aviation rules to

meet new challenges

MEPs backed new EU-wide rules to ensure

the safe use of drones and to update

aviation safety rules.

This month, MEPs approved an agreement

reached between Council and Parliament

negotiators in November 2017 on EU-wide

principles for drones and drone operators

to ensure a common level of safety and

give operators and manufacturers the

predictability to develop products and

services. Currently most drones fall under

differing national rules, which can hamper

market development.

Under new rules, drones would need to

be designed so that they can be operated

without putting people at risk. Based on risk

related to, for example, the weight of the

drone or area of operation, the drone would

need additional features, such as automated

landing in case the operator loses contact

with the drone or collision avoidance systems.

Drone operators need to be aware of all the

rules that apply to them and must be able

to operate a drone safely, without putting

people or other airspace users at risk. This

means that some drone operators would be

required to go through training before they

can operate a drone.

To help identify the drone operators if there is

an incident, operators of drones would need

to be on national registers and their drones

marked for identification. This would not

apply to operators of the smallest drones.

Based on the key principles, the EU Commission

is tasked with developing more detailed EUwide

rules, such as maximum altitude and

distance limits for drone flight, and which

drone operations and drones would need to

be certified based on the risk they pose. The

rules would also determine which operators

need additional training and to be registered

and which drones would need to have

additional safety features.

Modernising aviation safety rules

In addition to laying down EU wide rules for

drones, the changes update the EU safety

legislation for the aviation sector to maintain

EU-wide rules for drones to provide a common level of safety and legal

certainty for producers and operators© AP Images/European Union-EP

the EU’s high level of aviation safety, while

ensuring that the rules are more fit for

purpose, more proportionate and risk-based

to handle the expected increase in air traffic

in the coming decades.

Further changes boost cooperation between

the EU’s aviation safety agency and national

authorities when assessing risks in regard to

flights over conflict zones. They also mandate

the Commission to develop standards for

downloading data from flight recorders in real

time when an aircraft is in distress, to speed

up emergency response.

Next steps

The provisional agreement was approved

with 558 votes in favour, 71 against and

48 abstentions. The rules now need to be

approved by the EU ministers.


Currently, drones lighter than 150kg fall

under the jurisdiction of national authorities

and therefore manufacturers and operators

are subject to different design and safety


Civil drone technology could account for an

estimated 10% of the EU aviation market

within the next 10 years (i.e. about €15 billion

per year). According to the Commission, the

drone industry could create some 150,000

jobs in the EU by 2050. MBR

Credit: EP-EU/EP-Valletta


Malta Business Review


Spar continues european expansion

with entry into Malta

World’s largest voluntary food retail chain

enters Malta with established Maltese partner

the Azzopardi Group

SPAR International has announced its entry

into the Maltese retail market. Partnering with

Malta’s leading FMCG company the Azzopardi

Group, SPAR Malta will be part of SPAR

International, the world’s largest food retail

chain with over 12,777 stores in 48 countries

and overall sales of up to €34.5 billion.

The first store in Malta, a SPAR Supermarket,

opened on 12 June in Marsaxlokk in the

south-east of the country. The launch was

marked with a ceremony where the store’s

opening was warmly welcomed by the

town’s Mayor, residents of Marsaxlokk and

the media. The newly refurbished 340 m²

store offers customers the new SPAR Bakery

Concept, a delicatessen, a large range of fresh

produce, a coffee offering, freshly packed fish

and meats, as well as a large selection of SPAR

Own Brand products.

The second SPAR Malta store, Tigne, is set

to open at the end of June in the town of

Sliema, in the centre of the island. Plans are

in place to open three subsequent stores

before the end of 2018, with the aim of

opening a total of 23 stores by 2025, including

two INTERSPAR Hypermarkets, four largeformat

SPAR Supermarkets, and 17 SPAR

neighbourhood stores. Beyond the consistent

tourist population, Malta is home to a wellestablished

international resident population.

The different SPAR Malta store formats

will cater to the diverse needs of both the

resident and tourist populations throughout

the country.

SPAR International will support the Azzopardi

Group with store design and layout plans,

employee training and development, sourcing

own brand products from international and

regional partners.

Entry into Malta demonstrates SPAR’s

ongoing expansion in the Southern European

region. Neighbouring the strong SPAR

presence in Italy, with over 1,210 stores,

and the burgeoning markets of Greece and

Cyprus, SPAR Malta will consistently deliver

high-quality SPAR Own Brand products along

with fresh local produce to the new Maltese

retail market.

Tobias Wasmuht, Managing Director, SPAR

International said: “I am delighted SPAR is

partnering with the Azzopardi Group in Malta. In

addition to having strong retail and distribution

expertise and deep knowledge of the market,

the Azzopardi Group also shares our SPAR values

with a dedication to fresh produce, value and

excellent customer service.”

Wasmuht also noted “With a significant

international and tourist population which is

already familiar with SPAR, Malta is a great

market for SPAR to develop. This launch

marks another significant milestone for SPAR

strengthening our operations in Southern

Europe and in the Eurozone aligned with our

expansion strategy.”

Speaking about the launch, Joseph Azzopardi,

Managing Director of the Azzopardi Group said

“We are proud and excited to be partnering

with such a well-known and respected

organisation as SPAR International. SPAR’s

global presence and high standards in retail

best practice will complement the Azzopardi

Group’s local expertise in the Maltese retail

market. Together we will offer customers

high-quality produce and a superior retail

experience, as well as job opportunities and

growth of the local retail market.”

The Azzopardi Group was founded by two

brothers in 1980. The Group works across

a number of sectors in Malta including

food import and distribution, food retail,

aquaculture and property development.

The company currently operates 25 stores

on the Maltese Islands with a turnover of

€25 million. Its strong local knowledge in

infrastructure, warehousing, logistics and

retail capabilities will help it effectively

develop SPAR in the Maltese market. The

Azzopardi Group is also a corporate leader in

local social responsibility activities, involved

in charitable partnerships and community

initiatives throughout the country. MBR

About SPAR International

SPAR International is the world’s largest food

retail voluntary chain with over 12,700 stores

worldwide and global retail sales of €34.5 billion

in 2017. SPAR International unites and operates

in partnership with independent retailers by

working together to share global scale and

expertise to enhance the competitiveness of

its retail partners worldwide and build the SPAR

brand internationally.

Creditline: SPAR International



Malta Business Review









In all, 316 Certified

Public Accountant (CPA)

warrants and Practising

Certificates in Auditing

(PCA) were presented by

the Minister for Finance

Edward Scicluna, during a

ceremony held at Hastings

Gardens, Valletta.

DOI - Jason Borg

During his address, the Minister underlined

the importance of the professional training

that the accountants and auditors received as

part of their formation.

Minister Scicluna explained that the recipients of

the warrant now had great responsibilities. The

public shall be trusting them to carry out work

with professionalism, integrity and good faith.

Minister for Finance, explained how the

accountancy profession acts as the backbone

of the skill-set provided by the Maltese

workforce. He proceeded by emphasizing

that such a profession also contributes to the

attractiveness of the local financial sector for

foreign investment.

A total of 316 Certified Public Accountant

(CPA) warrants and Practising Certificates in

Auditing (PCA) were handed out during the

ceremony. 216 accountants received the CPA

warrant, 22 auditors received the PCA and 78

received both the CPA warrant and the PCA.

He congratulated all the accountants and

auditors who received their warrants or

certificates for their achievement, and wished

them well for all their future endeavours.

The ceremony was presided over by the Minister

for Finance Edward Scicluna and Accountancy

Board Chairman, Peter Baldacchino, and Board

Secretary, Martin Spiteri. MBR

Courtesy: The Ministry For Finance



Malta Business Review


From Moonshot to Reality: AI in Action


• What is vision, and what is reality for AI

applications in corporate banking?

• What are examples of AI in action?

• What are the building blocks for

successful AI implementation?

AI is increasingly moving from experiments to

reality in the corporate bank

The concept of a cognitive corporate bank is

no longer moonshot. AI is increasingly

moving from experiments to reality in

the corporate bank. Recently Celent's

Alenka Grealish published a report

titled From Moonshot to Reality: AI in


This report showcases five exemplars

of AI in action: Citibank, Standard

Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, a

global bank, and mBank.

This report looks at the following


What is a vision and what is a reality for

AI applications in corporate banking

What are examples of AI in action

What are the building blocks for

successful AI implementation

"A key success factor is a transformationdriven

leadership willing to embrace

new paradigms and business models

based on assumptions about the future

rather than the facts of the past," says

Alenka Grealish, Senior Analyst with

Celent's Banking practice.


The concept of a cognitive corporate

bank was considered a moonshot a

decade ago. Banks and tech providers have

taken on the challenge. Today, AI is solving

major challenges and enabling banks to

boldly reimagine customer engagement and


AI is increasingly moving from experiments

to reality in the corporate bank. Celent

showcases five exemplars of AI in action:

Citibank, Standard Bank, Bank of America

Merrill Lynch, a global bank, and mBank.

The exemplars of AI in action share three

traits:farsightedness, boldness, and focus.

They are farsighted in their motivation and

planning. They are bold in that their initiatives

require breaking from traditional paradigms

and constraints. Whether the initiative is

enterprisewide or specific, they are focused

on clear and measurable goals. MBR

Creditline: Celent PR & Digital



Malta Business Review


everything will make

perfect sense”

Edward Debono

Born on 19th May 1933, there are few people

who have lived as many lives as Edward

de Bono. Following his completion of a

medical degree at the University of Malta,

his continued thirst for excellence led him to

pursue a Masters degree in Psychology and

Physiology at the University of Oxford where

he also set two canoeing records and was

part of the Oxford polo team. He later read

for a PhD in medicine at Trinity College in

Cambridge and has written over fifty books,

his most acclaimed being the ‘Six Thinking

Caps’. Much like the planet named after him,

he carries his own gravity!

As someone who is an internationally

recognised symbol of Maltese excellence who

has reached iconic status both in his field and

off, Edwards Lowell felt a particular resonance

with de Bono’s vision for all encompassing

excellence and it is for this reason that he was

chosen to be the first in their series of achievers

of excellence. The “Someday…everything will

make perfect sense” campaign will see Edwards

Lowell collaborating with people who have

reached the peak of their careers and set a

benchmark for future generations.

Having himself coined the widely used term

‘lateral thinking’ to explain thinking outside

of the box with imagination, Edward de Bono

is nothing if not an innovator. Always striving

to refine his thoughts and ideas and present

them in a new way, his recent conference

which took place at Verdala Palace under

the patronage of H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro

Preca on 19th May 2018 saw de Bono use the

palace as the setting for his first ever ‘Palace

of New Thinking’ conference. Believing that

a new idea and approach is able to better

solve problems of conflict, the ‘Palace of

New Thinking’ conference is to be held once

every year and is focused on discussing

creative ideas about different world issues.

Commenting about his choice of venue, de

Bono was quick to point out that in order for

people to be able to discuss stubborn issues

of international concern, one must have a

place of dignity and importance which has

a very clear function. The setting plays a big

part in the formulation of a higher and more

innovative way of thinking.

A name synonymous with setting new,

high standards both here as well as abroad,

Edwards Lowell have long been considered to

be pioneers in their own field when it comes

to both luxury goods as well as service and,

like Edward de Bono who is defined by his

work and passion, they have succeeded in

constantly coming up with innovative, stateof-the-art

concepts executed to the highest

of standards. Established in 1925 by Charles

E. Lowell, the company has always strived

for quality and excellence within the luxury

goods field and has not only succeeded in

holding onto the sterling reputation that its

founding father forged, but it has gone from

strength to strength since its conception

and today, the company is still the exclusive

Maltese distributor for all the luxury brands

it represents, paying great attention to detail

and perfecting every facet of the impeccable

service they offer.

Edwards Lowell felt that the “Someday…

everything will make perfect sense” slogan

would be an ideal title for their campaign

to illustrate the importance of patience,

resilience and a willingness to grow and

achieve. Success like that of Edward de Bono,

who has been nominated as one of the 150

people who have contributed the most to the

whole history of humanity, is not achieved

overnight; however, if one is willing to put

time and effort into their work, everything

will, naturally, make perfect sense.

Synonymous with luxury since 1925, Edwards

Lowell is launching its new promotional

campaign named: “Someday...everything will

make perfect sense.” Featuring local achievers

and their often times creative approaches

to their work and unwavering passion, the

campaign’s subjects have all broken the mould

in their own respective fields, succeeding both

in Malta as well as internationally by building

unique as well as thought-provoking legacies.

Like Edwards Lowell, these remarkable

individuals have set the benchmark for the

next generation and without their input, many

things we all know and enjoy would not be

possible. They are not just leaders, but they are

innovators who have gone above and beyond

that which is expected of them. In short, they

are living legends.

The choice of each high achiever is down to

their values and successes and reflects Edwards

Lowell’s ninety-three year pursuit of quality

and excellence within the field of luxury goods.

Celebrating the special few who have worked

their will on history and whose passion and

love for what they do has lit the torch to show

the way to countless others, the campaign

reflects Edwards Lowell’s own approach to

achieving excellence: while getting to the top

of your game is never easy, if you are willing to

dream and invest energy and consistency, it will

all be worth it in the end. MBR


Courtesy: Edwards Lowell



Malta Business Review


Optimising traffic in real time:

SMIGHT and PTV have teamed up

to develop a joint solution for cities

and municipalities

CeBIT 2018 / SMIGHT Traffic keeps

traffic flowing / Intelligent street

lighting supplies traffic data

The smart city of tomorrow is benefiting

from the increasing intelligence of our

infrastructure. The EnBW brand SMIGHT

(Smart City Light) and PTV Group have

teamed up in a joint devel-opment initiative

to optimise urban traffic in real time. SMIGHT

Traffic unites the advantages of intelligent

traffic recording with the leading software for

real-time optimisation of traffic flows. Cities

and municipalities can use the new solution

to analyse traffic flows and plan ahead proactively,

thereby strategically reducing the

traffic load.

More and more people are moving into large

cities where they work, live, and play. As

the number of inhabitants grows, so do the

demands placed on the infrastructure of a

smart city. EnBW is developing solutions to

this problem through SMIGHT. The brand’s

intelligent street lighting and multifunctional

base towers can be equipped with features

such as public WiFi, charging technology for

electric cars, or sensors for recording traffic

data and environmental information. This is

where PTV’s traffic planning and management

software comes in. SMIGHT Traffic records

the various road users and transmits the data

to the smart city plat-form SMIGHT IQ. There

the data is mapped as a real-time simulation

and enables forward-looking analysis of

potential traffic events.

The cooperation combines intelligent

infrastructure solutions from SMIGHT with

planning and optimisation software from

PTV Group. Thanks to the broader database

provided by this solution, urban and transport

planners can not only evaluate road transport,

but also better actively manage it. Historic

data collected in the past, for example, can

be processed in PTV Visum software to assist

in strategic transport planning and modelling.

Additionally, dynamic traffic information

collected in real time via intelligent street

lighting can be fed into the operative traffic

management system PTV Optima.

“This reduces the traffic load and enhances

quality of life,” explains Oliver Deuschle,

Director of SMIGHT. No matter whether

car, bus, or bike – the sheer number and

variety of mobility options are posing new

challenges for transport planners in cities

and municipalities. “The inter-play of PTV

and SMIGHT solutions can identify traffic

disruptions before they even occur. Smart

sensor technology, secure data processing,

and real-time simulation enable cities and

municipalities to optimise their traffic flow

early on,” says Peter Möhl of PTV, explaining

the synergies created by the cooperation.

Cities of the future: mobile, networked, secure

SMIGHT regards the intelligent city of

tomorrow as more than just an unbroken

flow of traffic. It is more environmentally

friendly, more liveable, and more connected.

In addition to hardware, SMIGHT offers

products such as intelligent charging stations,

multifunctional base towers, and software for

data and equipment management. SMIGHT

also provides extensive services for system

operation. This portfolio encompasses all the

components necessary for holistic design of

smart city projects.

From 11 to 15 June, SMIGHT offered a

glimpse of its smart solutions for the future at

CEBIT (Hall 14, Stand J64).

With its solutions, PTV Group is helping cities,

companies, and people around the entire

world save time and money, make streets safer,

and minimise impact on the environment. PTV

is present in the Future Mobility section of

CEBIT 2018 as a Volkswagen sub-exhibitor (Hall

25, Stand A23).

The German company PTV Planung Transport

Verkehr AG is a member of PTV Group. www.

ptvgroup.com. MBR

Background Information

SMIGHT. A brand of EnBW Energie Baden-

Württemberg AG (EnBW)

SMIGHT is a term made up from the words

smart city light. In 2014, EnBW pooled its knowhow

gained over more than100 years in energy

supply and street lighting and launched an

innovation project for the development of the

street lamp of the future. After only two years,

SMIGHT has become a success, being used

throughout Germany, Switzerland, Norway

and Australia. SMIGHT has thus developed

from intelligent street lighting to a unique

system that combines lighting, environmental

sensors, e-mobility, public WLAN and much

more. www.smight.com

Creditline: PTV Group



Malta Business Review




Keeping pace with the games in real time

2018 means the FIFA World CupTM! For its 3rd

participation as a Branded Licensee, Hublot

has created the watch that all football fans and

Hublot fans have been waiting for! A smart

watch that will instantly connect you to every

decisive second of the matches being played at

the 2018 FIFA World Cup. A much-anticipated

innovation that could not have been imagined

by any other watch brand, given the extent to

which Hublot and Football are as one. Not only

is the footballing world going to march to the

beat of the watchmaker, but now the pulse of

the matches will reach its peak on your wrist!

“The Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup

RussiaTM offers all the usual features of a

smart watch of course, but that’s not where

Hublot has applied its innovation and audacity.

It brings together everything that inspires the

passion of football lovers! The FIFA World

Cup is the Holy Grail of emotions for football

fans, so just imagine what an object such as a

watch that captures each and every one of its

moments, its turning points, its stakes could

suddenly represent? The football aficionados

from among the brand’s friends have been

waiting for this watch for a long time!”

Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot

It was a specific need expressed by FIFA,

and Hublot brought it to life! Wanting a

customised watch for the referees, FIFA

asked Hublot to conceive the perfect watch

to accompany them on the pitches during

the matches.Hublot designed this connected

watch, its first, for the footballing universe:

the Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup

RussiaTM. It is a unique edition that is limited

to 2018 pieces. It has all the attributes of the

iconic Big Bang. Its emblematic architecture

cut out of the lightness of titanium, its bezel

decorated with 6 H-shaped screws, its Kevlar

insert. Even the display on its analogue mode

dial could pass for the same aesthetic as

that of the automatic models. In terms of

size, its 49-mm case is what makes the first

difference, then its motor, which, for the first

time, is driven by technology connected to

digitalintelligence. It is certainly a connected

watch, but it is first and foremost a Hublot


Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup


Beating to the rhythm of the football, the Big

Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTM

immediately shows its distinctive spirit as the

personification of an application specially

developed for the competition and a series of

“fan” dials in the colours of each participating

nation. Featuring several notifications, the Big

Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTM

announces matches 15 minutes before their

kick-off, as well as yellow and red cards, player

changes and goals. The Big Bang Referee 2018

FIFA World Cup RussiaTM vibrates, displaying

the word GOAL instantly every time a goal is

scored. During the match, the dial shows the

match statistics including the score, number

of cards, names of goal-scorers, player

substitutions and match time.

The digital world provides the Big Bang with

even greater flexibility and versatility. A watch

which—having emblematically borne the first

Hublot manufacture movement, the most

unusual and audacious materials, the most

assertive colours—has been reinvented for

the digital era by offering 32 dials inspired by

the flags of the participating countries, and

two neutral dials. It is available in analogue

or digital versions. Thanks to its patented

interchangeable “One Click” strap, the watch

can easily be matched to one of its two straps.

Two are provided with the watch, a cuff strap in

sponge sporting the 2018 FIFA World CupTM

emblem and that of Hublot, a black lined

natural rubber strap. So as to perfect each fan’s

kit, Hublot has also anticipated an additional

strap for them in the colours of their country.

In a turn of the dial, with the swipe of a finger,

select your team or closely follow a competitor.

The Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup

RussiaTM has already been tested discreetly

on the wrist of the referees many times during

the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017TM and the

FIFA Club World Cup 2017TM.

Benefiting from the Wear OS ecosystem,

the Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup

RussiaTM has thousands of downloadable

applications in addition to its competition

functions. In terms of synchronisation, the

Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup

RussiaTM is compatible with all telephones

using Android 4.4 and above or iOS 9 and

above. For charging, the watch just needs to

be placed on a contact charger. MBR

Courtesy: Edwards Lowell



Malta Business Review


NIKE releases iconic #Brasileirgagem World Cup Advert and pays tribute to Ronaldo

NIKE releases iconic

#Brasileirgagem World

Cup Advert and pays

tribute to Ronaldo

Ahead of the FIFA World Cup this

summer and 20 years since NIKE

set the standard in pre-tournament

promotion, the super brand has once again

released an iconic commercial featuring

Brazil, one of the ten teams it will be kitting

this year.

This time around, the advert draws reference

to social media and video games and presents

Brazil’s golden generation carrying the hopes

of a football-crazy nation in the run-up to this

summer’s World Cup in Russia, particularly

after its tragic 7-1 defeat to Germany four

years ago. The advert also recreates the 1998

Brazil World Cup advert starring Ronaldo,

Romario as well as the rest of that year’s

national team. Ronaldo is seen re-enacting

his infamous ‘penalty’ miss, yet this time, he

is slightly more rotund.

The advert flash-backs to the classical scene

of a boy dribbling a ball within the Rio Favelas,

and this is juxtaposed with the Selecao

dressing room… a clear nod to the Brazilian

Football dream, or perhaps any young boy’s

dream growing up, wherever he is in the

world. The 2018 advert also has a strong

female presence, proving that football knows

no gender.

The childhood dream is further portrayed

in the closing of the advert with a young

boy delivering a rousing team talk, as he

exclaims: “This is Brazil. No fear! This jersey

has history!”. The NIKE advert can be viewed

here: www.bit.ly/braziladvert2018

Brazil will start among the favourites in

Russia as they aim to win the World Cup for

the sixth time.

NIKE will be kitting 10 countries during the

upcoming World Cup, including Brazil, France

and England. NIKE also expects 60 percent of

all the players heading to Russia to wear their

Football boots.

Time international Sport Ltd, subsidiary of

Hudson Holdings Ltd, is the official NIKE

representative and distributor in Malta. The

company sold its first pair of NIKE in Malta

in 1987. Since then, it has slowly taken over

or managed NIKE’s distribution in most of

Africa. For more information visit www.

hudson.com.mt or like the ‘Hudson Group

Malta’ page on Facebook. MBR

Courtesy: Hudson Holdings



Malta Business Review

Introducing MICAS (Malta International Contemporary Art Space)

Photo: DOI - Pierre Sammut

“As Malta’s first national space dedicated

exclusively to contemporary art, MICAS

aims to positively energise Malta’s cultural

ecology. It will play a pivotal role in Malta’s

cultural development as an active player on

the world stage, connecting communities

and audiences whilst also promoting

internationalism and cultural diplomacy”,

stated Minister for Justice, Culture and Local

Government Owen Bonnici.

MICAS will serve as a platform to showcase

world-class contemporary art and visual

culture through exhibitions, collection

displays and installations, as well as a range of

cultural activities and educational events.

“As clearly set out in our programme and

strategy for culture and the arts, we want

to invest further in our growing cultural

and creative sector, a sector that has been

increasingly strengthened and is performing to

high expectation”, Minister Bonnici continued.

Located in the former Ospizio site and the

adjacent Ritirata in Floriana, currently

undergoing restoration works led by the

Restoration Directorate, MICAS is scheduled

to open in 2021. IPO Studio, a Florencebased

architectural firm specialising in

civic architecture, are designing the space,

and will add another layer to the site’s rich

history. The central concept is to bring

together two key elements: the historic

fabric and landscape of the fortifications with

the functions of a contemporary art space.

Giovanni Barbara’s iconic skew arch, known

as the Arco Barbara, will be incorporated

into the project, which overlooks the Msida

part of Marsamxett Harbour.

Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer

Protection and Valletta 2018 Deo Debattista

said that this new space will keep pushing local

artists to promote their talent and dedication,

and that as such Malta will continue to stand

out on the global cultural stage.

MICAS is about inspiring

creativity, raising public

awareness of the significance of

the visual arts in contemporary

life and how visual art and

artists help mediate and

interpret the world.

Phyllis Muscat, Chairperson of the Coordinating

Board for Culture Projects which is managing

this project, said that “MICAS is about inspiring

creativity, raising public awareness of the

significance of the visual arts in contemporary

life and how visual art and artists help

mediate and interpret the world. It’s about

the showcasing of Maltese contemporary art.”

MICAS will not only become a showcase

for local contemporary artists, but it will

also engage with international artists and

institutions to present groundbreaking

works by acclaimed names from all over the

world. Swiss-born, New York-based artist Ugo

Photo: DOI - Pierre Sammut

Rondinone will be the first internationally

renowned artist to collaborate with MICAS

and is currently working on a series of

installations created specifically for the site.

In October 2018, MICAS will be launched

officially through a series of events, which

will include the unveiling of Ugo Rondinone’s

project, talks about contemporary art with

leading international and local experts in

the field, and an audio-visual exhibition that

will explain the history of the Ospizio and its

transformation into MICAS.

MICAS is a Government of Malta infrastructural

legacy project for the culture and the arts

sector. With a footprint of over 1300 square

meters, MICAS will be realised through statefunded

restoration of historical fortifications

and an EU co-funded project that will deliver the

MICAS internal galleries through the European

Regional Development Fund in 2021. MBR

Courtesy: The Ministry For Justice, Culture

And Local Goverment



Malta Business Review


Repairing spalling concrete with mirco fibre

reinforced cement


our Churches

By Antoine Bonello

This product is mainly dark coloured, made

from bitumen and covered with gravel.

Soon after its application this material starts

to harden, loose cohesion and harm the

environment due to the evaporation of oils

caused by direct sunlight. What makes things

worse is the excessive heat it absorbs and

transmits to the concrete forcing it in turn to

expand, thus opening the carpet membrane

from the seams and makes it easier for

water to infiltrate and difficult to perceive.

The radiated heat inside the building creates

structural damages and elevates considerably

the inside temperature and creating a hot and

humid environment.

A clear sign of water infiltration is spalling

concrete, this happens when metal is subjected

to water for a very long period of time. In

today’s world technology moves at a very

rapid pace with materials being continuously

developed and modified to meet today’s

exigencies. We now have the ability to properly

protect and stop water and heat with liquid

resin membranes. They are designed to meet

our harsh hot summer and sudden climate

change. Their application is simply by roller,

brush or sprayed and can be applied easily in

corners and obstructed areas. The final result

is completely seamless, elastic, resistant to

heavy traffic, can withstand direct bonding

of tiles. It is guaranteed to last for many years

due to its resistance to UV rays. They are light

in weight compared to other materials and can

become stronger when they are reinforced

with fibreglass net type 225 matt.

The new generation of liquid resin has ability

to reflect natural and UV radiation and have

low heat absorption properties. A new

thermal resin liquid membrane has now been

launched in the market with elevated thermal

and reflective properties able to increase

solar panels efficiency and intake. A leading

producer of these products is NAICI. These

materials can even be applied on existing

bitumen membranes given they are well

adhered to the ground, the perfect answer

for flat roofs. Besides its strong waterproofing

Implementation of Thermal Waterproofing with Fibreglass reinforcement

properties, this new resin liquid

membrane has thermal properties,

making it unique and hence reduces

by far structural heat intake in summer

by as much as 90%. Thus reducing the

usage of air-conditioning to cool our

houses or workplace.

DIY is very popular here in Malta and to

facilitate its application, a thermal resin

membrane with micro fibres is now

available thanks to NAICI. Always avoid

plastics, acrylics, latex and cement based

materials as they lack UV resistance and

become brittle, most of them do not last

a whole winter.

A good advice if you hire an individual/s or

firm to do your waterproofing works is to make

sure that they are affiliated and in possession

of the Malta Professional Waterproofing and

Resin Flooring Association roofers card. This

will save you the hassle of improper works by

Immaculate Conception church in

hamrun waterproofed with NAICI

thermal resin membrane

unaccountable or unethical persons which can

give way to a serious of unwanted damages.

The result could be an endless court case that

will take years and could prove fruitless. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018



Malta Business Review

Our churches are a gift from our ancestors to us and it is our duty to make

sure they are well preserved for future generations so that they may admire

them in all their splendour. Like with everything churches differ from each

other due to the contemporary architectural designs of the time. The art of

church building in Malta spans for more than a 1000 years. The most recent

ones date back to 1960’s and are built with stone, concrete and metal. Their

shape is relatively very basic compered to their predecessors, having plain

walls and a flat concrete roof instead of the traditional decorations and a dome

made of limestone. Many of these churches are now experiencing concrete

spalling due to water intake which is the result of inadequate waterproofing.

Unfortunately back then these big concrete roof surfaces were waterproofed

using the bitumen carpet membrane. This solution created more problems

than it could possibly solve.

Waterproofing of stairs after concrete

spalling repairs

Waterproofing of bridge after

concrete spalling repairs

The Malta Waterproofing and Resin

Flooring Association provide technical

knowledge and professional formation to

all Maltese installers who wish to improve

their workmanship or start a carrier in the

waterproofing business. The Association

also assists its members by providing the

services of a profession advisor when facing

challenging situations or other difficulties

during their works. The Association also

provides its qualified members the Certified

Installers Card. This is done to reassure the

general public that the person is able to carry

out the requested job at its best. All this is

being made possible thanks to Resin and

Membrane Centre and NAICI International

Academy. For further information with

regards the Malta Professional Waterproofing

and Resin Flooring Association visit our

website on www.maltawaterproofing.com or

call on 27477647



Malta Business Review



demand an end to

migrant deaths across the

Mediterranean Sea

MEPs called on EU leaders to come to an agreement on the Dublin system© European Union 2018

MEPs call on EU leaders to agree on a position

on the Dublin system. Next EU summit in

Brussels on 28-29 June will be crucial European

reception centres in transit countries to assist

migrants. They discussed with Commissioner

Dimitris Avramopoulos and the Council how

to deal with humanitarian emergencies in the

Mediterranean, following the decision by the

Italian and Maltese governments not to allow

the MV Aquarius, a ship operated by French

NGOs SOS Mediterranée and Medecins sans

Frontières, to land more than 629 people after

rescuing them in the open sea. The migrants and

asylum-seekers will be brought to Spain, after

the Spanish Government announced it would

welcome them on humanitarian grounds.

Ahead of the next EU summit on 28-29 June,

MEPs urge EU leaders to show real political

will and draw up genuine solutions to finally

end the migration crises.

In a debate with European Commission

First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and

Deputy Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency

of the Council of the EU, Monika Panayotova,

on Tuesday morning, MEPs laid out their

priorities for the next crucial EU summit in

Brussels on 28-29 June.

Some of the political groups urged EU leaders

at the summit to put an end to formal

discussions on migration and start working

towards an agreement on the so-called

“Dublin system”. They referred to the new

Italian government’s recent decision to refuse

a boat carrying migrants, the MS Aquarius, to

dock in the country over the weekend as a

“disgrace” and “a scandal”.

EP President Antonio Tajani also called on EU

leaders at the summit to press ahead with

overhauling the Dublin rules, whilst pointing

out that the European Parliament has

adopted a clear position on the matter, based

on solidarity.

Some groups further stressed the need to

build new European reception centres to

assist migrants arriving in transit countries.

Others highlighted that a solution to solve

the migration crises, based on quotas and

mandatory reallocation of refugees, simply

cannot work, as demonstrated so far, and that

other options need to be put on the table.

MEPs also discussed US trade barriers and

reforming the Eurozone, calling on the

European Council to take further action with

revamping the EMU. MBR

Credit: EU Press Office


The 4.4 per cent growth of the Maltese

economy during the first quarter of

this year translated into a €78 million

increase in workers’ wages and a €70 million

increase in gross profits of enterprises. These

increases boosted private consumption which

recorded a healthy increase of €34 million or

3.1 per cent.


Malta Business Review



Minister For Finance Edward Scicluna

This increase in economic wealth was

experienced in both the primary and

secondary sectors, which include the

construction, manufacturing, agriculture,

and fishing sectors. Notable growth was

recorded in the real estate activities sector,

the arts, entertainment and recreation

sector which includes gaming, the wholesale

and retail trade, transportation and storage,

the accommodation and food services

sectors as well as in professional, scientific,

and technical activities and administrative

and support service activities.

“The sound growth figures in the first quarter

augur well for this year and show that our

country continues to generate wealth for all”,

stated Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna.

According to Eurostat, the 4.4 per cent

growth figure for the Maltese economy is

nearly double the average economic growth

rate recorded in the EU. MBR

Courtesy: The Ministry For Finance


— Mid-year conference organised by the Permanent Secretary of the

Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects

Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and

Capital Projects Ian Borg addressed a

conference on ‘Improving through Change’,

held by the Office of the Permanent Secretary

of the Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure

and Capital Projects Christopher Cutajar.

Ian Borg referred to the theme of the

conference, and said that while the concept of

change is an important one, it is also important

to look back at what has been achieved and

how this was implemented. He expressed his

satisfaction at the achievements of the Ministry

throughout this past year and mentioned the

added relevance which the Ministry achieved

in its duration. He said that this brought with

it certain challenges, but he commended and

thanked the Ministry’s employees for their

good work.

Minister Borg stressed the importance of the

country’s economic wealth, but reminded

those present that this also means that

we need to work harder to maintain and

further improve the momentum gained. The

Minister said that a lot more remains to be

done and referred to the forthcoming setting

up of Infrastructure Malta, which will be

implementing the unprecedented investment

of €700 million in road infrastructure. He

spoke about the need to continue seeking

to further improve upon the achievements

by Transport Malta. The Minister went on to

refer to the work done by his predecessor the

Joe Mizzi in the area of public transport, which

has now gained a level of popularity which

necessitates more work so that efficiency

is improved. Ian Borg also reminded those

present of the importance of the aviation and

maritime sectors.

From his end, Parliamentary Secretary for

Planning and the Property Market Chris Agius

thanked the Permanent Secretary for this

initiative which is to lead to better knowledge

and consolidation between the diverse

departments which fall within the Ministry’s

remit. He spoke about the importance of

reflecting on what we have done and of

focusing on how to improve this in the future.

Chris Agius stressed the importance of having

a positive relationship between management

and staff and said that when one works within a

team, results are always bound to be better. He

said that his experience throughout this year has

taught him a lot in a sector which was initially

new to him, and expressed his confidence in the

achievements that are yet to be made.

Permanent Secretary Christopher Cutajar

gave a presentation about the Ministry’s

work. Mr Cutajar spoke about the importance

of such a conference, where one can learn

about good practices in other entities, and

said that discussions such as this one lead to

more change and more initiatives with the

aim of implementing the necessary changes

for a strengthened public service.

The Ministry is also planning larger projects,

such as the regeneration of Sally Port in

Vittoriosa, in the area between Kalkara and

Vittoriosa, which is already at the stage where

specific studies and inspections are being

carried out, which will help put together a

design concept for the project. The Permanent

Secretary also spoke about the commitment

towards coastal zone management, which

is seeing collaboration between several

interested entities, while work is also being

done together with the University of Malta to

ensure the best quality models. This project

is aimed at reducing hazards in the three

identified zones of Żonqor in Marsascala, St

Peter’s Pool in Delimara, and Ġnejna Bay. This

is being done along with the work carried out

during this past week towards safety at Għar

Lapsi Bay. MBR

Credit: DOI/MTIP

DOI/ MTIP- Minister Ian Borg



Malta Business Review


“SME Initiative will help over 600 SMEs” -

Parliamentary Secretary Aaron Farrugia

Addressing the conference ‘Leveraging EU

Funds: A Development Bank Perspective’,

Parliamentary Secretary Aaron Farrugia said the

SME Initiative is already achieving significant

success in Malta, “so far, EUR 50 million have

been committed in loans to 460 SMEs”.

Dr Farrugia added that for Malta to get more

value, more ‘bang for our buck’, in the next

MFF post 2020, leverage is crucial. “Across

the EU it is likely that the traditional mix

of ESIF and government- owned funds to

finance projects will not be enough to sustain

the growth momentum, especially as most

governments remain fiscally constrained.

Even though my government’s position is that

financial instruments should complement

grants, we recognise that the use of financial

instruments will assume greater importance

in the next EU budget”.

On the future role of the Malta Development

Bank, Dr Farrugia said, “I am pleased that

the Government of Malta is now working

to address the market failure and funding

gap through the establishment of the Malta

Development Bank. National development

bank models have long been used across

Europe - Germany, France, and the UK are

the obvious examples - but also successfully

in smaller member states, particularly

Hungary. There can be no sustainable growth

if infrastructure development is slowed down

or paused. EU cohesion funds have and will

continue to play an important role in this.

However, leveraging of scarce resources

through better finance blending from the

Malta Development Bank and private sector

will play an important part in keeping our

growth momentum”. MBR

Source: The Parliamentary Secretariat For

European Funds And Social Dialogue

Photo: DOI - Kevin Abela

Photo: DOI - Kevin Abela

Bitbay, one of Europe’s largest cryptocurrency

exchanges, to relocate in Malta

Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services,

Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri

welcomes the decision by Bitbay—one of

Europe’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges—

to domicile in Malta.

“Bitbay’s announcement follows similar

decisions other companies such as Binance,

Okex, and ANX International took in the past

weeks soon after our vision ‘Malta – A leader

in DLT Regulation’ was launched. The three

bills—the Malta Digital Innovation Authority

Bill, the Virtual Financial Asset Bill, and the

Innovation Technological Arrangements Services

Bill—are now in the second reading stage in

Parliament and will be enacted into law in

the coming days. This will eventually kickstart

the application process for licensing that will

provide legal certainty that operators within

this space are looking for”, said Schembri,

while adding that Malta, the Blockchain

Island, is clearly establishing itself as the go-to

place within this sphere of operations.

Bitbay’s decision came after conducting an

analysis regarding the ideal jurisdiction that

provides services related to cryptocurrencies

in the European Union. After productive

discussions with Parliamentary Secretary Silvio

Schembri, the Maltese jurisdiction was seen as

a natural choice by Bitbay’s management.

Bitbay is one of the biggest cryptocurrency

exchanges in Europe. It was established in

2014, provides access to 29 digital currencies,

has over 800,000 active users, and processes

125 transactions per minute with more

than 200 employees, making it the biggest

cryptocurrency business in Poland. MBR

Source: The Parliamentar secretariat For

Financial Services, Digital Economy And


Seven new companies and entities achieve

NCPE’s Equality Mark

During the 14th Annual Conference of the

National Commission for the Promotion of

Equality, Minister for European Affairs and

Equality Helena Dalli thanked the National

Commission for the Promotion of Equality

(NCPE) for its work on the gender pay gap last

year, and said that consultations have been

carried out with Iceland and Australia on

this issue in order to find the best model for

Malta. She explained that one of the ways in

which the government is tangibly addressing

this issue is through setting up an appropriate

structure in the Department for Industrial and

Employment Relations to compile necessary

information in order to investigate complaints

of unequal pay.

“The Gender Pay Gap is a multifaceted

reality. When you look at a woman’s career

longitudinally and compare it to a man’s—who

has the same experience and qualifications—

it is most likely that the woman has earned

less throughout her career because of career

breaks, at times missing out on promotions,

or has worked reduced hours due to family

responsibilities”. The Minister explained

that this affects both pay and pensions.

There could also be outright discrimination

in salaries and also mentioned the fact

that more women entering in low paying

employment compounds the situation.

Minister Dalli said that the Government is

committed to continue promoting a feminist

agenda that addresses work-life responsibilities

through legislation and fiscal incentives.

She also referred to the launch of the

consultative council on women’s rights,

which is facilitating dialogue between the

government and civil society to improve

policies and laws that further promote

women’s rights.

While listing the various initiatives that the

NCPE undertook in 2017, Minister Dalli noted

that the Commission’s work is very much in

line with the Government’s commitment

to continue safeguarding equality, not only

by developing or by strengthening legal and

policy frameworks, but also by ensuring

that these rights are translated into reality

for everyone. She also said that the Equality

Act and the Human Rights and Equality

Commission Act which are being finalised,

will set up a fully independent human rights

institution in line with the Paris Principles

and will fall under the remit of Parliament. In

light of this, the NCPE will become a National

Human Rights and Equality Commission,

strengthening its remit.

During the annual conference, seven new

companies an-d entities were awarded the

NCPE’s Equality Mark and 14 were re-certified.

This award is given to companies that enable

work-life balance for workers with caring

responsibilities, making gender equality one

of their values, and whose management is

based on the recognition and promotion of

the potential of all women and men. To date,

there are 85 certified organisations. MBR

Courtesy: The Ministry For European Affairs

And Equality

Photo: DOI -

Clodagh Farrugia O'Neill

Photo: DOI -

Clodagh Farrugia O'Neill


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