Times of Malta

General, sporting, and business news for Malta and the surrounding region
  1. The MSE Equity Price Index advanced by 0.15% to a five-day high of 4,491.246 points, mostly driven by the gains in the share prices of BOV and GO whilst RS2, FIMBank and IHI trended lower. Trading volumes improved markedly from the previous two days as €0.29 million worth of shares changed hands. Bank of Valletta plc added 1.5% to regain the €1.35 level across 57,361 shares. Also among the large companies, GO plc moved back to the €4.00 level (+1%) after opening at a low of €3.88 (-2%). Only 2,623 shares traded. The company is scheduled to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting on 3 December 2018 related to the proposed sale of up to 49% of its shareholding in BMIT Technologies plc through an Initial Public Offering. In the property segment, MIDI plc added 2.9% to the €0.70 level on encouraging volumes totalling 190,000 shares. On the other hand, Malta Properties Company plc retained the €0.56 level albeit on trivial volumes. Two deals totalling 14,101 shares left the equity of HSBC Bank Malta plc at the €1.80 level. Meanwhile, RS2 Software plc retreated by 0.8% to €1.17 on 16,900 shares. FIMBank plc shed 1.3% to the USD0.79 level on a single deal of 28,750 shares International...
  2. A woman’s lifeless body was found off the coast of Għar Lapsi and lifted to shore by helicopter on Monday afternoon. The operation began at around 3.30pm after the body was spotted at sea. An Armed Forces of Malta helicopter was dispatched to the scene and used to hoist the body, which was then transferred to a hearse once on land. Magistrate Joe Mifsud is leading an inquiry into the incident. No further details about the woman were immediately available.
  3. From left: CI’s chairman and founder Adrian Sciberras and Directors Charlene Sciberras and William Van Buren.

    It’s never easy to know which companies to invest in or what direction the market is taking, but sometimes looking at performance trends can help. Servicing 500 clients in its first five years of operation is a good indicator that your money is in good hands and Business Concept International plc (BCI) has done just that. BCI is a boutique financial services company, spearheading a group which offers a selection of services ranging from corporate services to accounting and assurance, as well as administration and support services, to local and foreign clients. The group tailors its services to every client, even assisting with real estate investments. Just five years since being set up, BCI is already a mature business with over 500 clients from around the world, with 17 companies and brands to its name, including Fairwinds Management Ltd, Accounting Services Ltd, Assurance Services Ltd and Admin Genie Ltd. On the financial front, BCI is doing well too: the group’s revenues are expected to exceed €1.6m in 2018 and EBITDA is estimated at upwards of €294,000 BCI services clients from a variety of jurisdictions outside Malta, which operate in unrelated sectors, providing protection...
  4. The BOV Basketball Players of the Year for season 2017/2018 were announced during a ceremony held at MBA Basketball Complex in Ta’ Qali.  The awards were presented by Malta Basketball Association president Paul Sultana and Bank of Valletta Chief Officer Peter Perotti. The BOV Basketball Player of the Year award is the highest honor that an individual can receive for their on-the-court efforts as well as exemplary behavior and team-spirit in local basketball. Speaking during the awards presentation, Malta Basketball Association president Paul Sultana said: "This award only goes to one player and it is typically one who showed not only the ability to be an excellent player but one who worked for his team and helped his team-mates performance." "It is an honour to be in the presence of Malta’s top talent, from the younger categories to the top flight of Maltese Basketball’ said Peter Perotti. "As the major supporter of sporting initiatives in Malta, we are very proud to be associated with this initiative that awards performance excellence among our top players." The winners in each category... BOV Men 1st Division – Roderick Vella (Hibernians) BOV Men Amateur League – Keith Dimech...
  5. A company has filed a judicial protest against Satabank and the MFSA calling on them to release funds deposited at the bank and holding them responsible for damages if the funds continue to be blocked. All accounts at the bank were frozen on October 20 when the Malta Financial Services Authority told the bank to refrain, cease and desist from taking further deposits. Times of Malta had reported how the decision followed a joint inspection and audit by the MFSA and FIAU found shortcomings in the bank’s anti-money laundering procedures. Pasti e Pasta Ltd said in its judicial protest that it had an account at Satabank but was being denied access to its funds despite never having had any regulatory or legal issues. It did not know how long this situation was likely to last, although it could be weeks before regulatory issues involving the bank were settled. The company said that once it did not have any legal issues, the withholding of its funds was illegal and a breach of the right for private property. This action was causing it material damages, loss of earnings and the possibility of actions by creditors, the company said. It therefore called on the bank and the MFSA to release...
  6. You blink and all of sudden your baby is a teenager. Where has your little cherub gone? This is where babies’ albums come in. It is important to cherish the exciting moments of a baby’s first year, because they are incredibly special. There are many lovely baby albums to choose from but Merlin Publishers wanted to make a special one for Maltese parents. They have just launched their first baby album in Maltese for new parents to record their baby’s milestones. Beautifully illustrated in hardback with a side ribbon tie, L-album tal-ewwel sena tiegħi includes two envelopes inside to store the baby’s keepsakes, perhaps the baby’s birth tag or a curly lock. The album is the perfect place to stick the photos of that first smile, the first wave of the hand, the first crawl and the first step. It guides parents step-by-step through each significant moment: the coming home from hospital, baptism, meeting the grandparents and all the joys of the first year. To make it easier for parents recording the twinkling occasions, L-album tal-ewwel sena tiegħi gently guides with prompting questions so that it’s easier to log in the information. Moreover, the album comes in two separate editions:...
  7. The whistleblower who revealed alleged money laundering involving Danske Bank said on Monday that a major European lender helped process up to $150 billion in suspicious payments and two U.S. banks were also involved. Payments totalling 200 billion euros ($228.5 billion) made through Danske Bank's tiny Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015 have sparked inquiries in Denmark, Estonia, Britain and the United States in a growing global scandal. Howard Wilkinson, the head of Danske Bank's trading unit in the Baltics from 2007 to 2014, told a Danish parliamentary hearing that several other lenders were involved in the payments through its Estonian branch, adding that many involved two large U.S. banks and the U.S. subsidiary of a big European bank. "I would guess that $150 billion went through this particular bank (the large European bank) in the U.S.," the Briton said, without naming any of the banks in question. "No one really knows where this money went. All we know is that the last people to see it was these three large banks in the U.S. They were the last check, and when that failed, the money was into the global financial system." Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan and Bank of America all...
  8. The sister-in-law of an alleged Italian mafia boss is to be extradited to her homeland after being arrested in Malta. Mariella Franchini, 57, from Bari, was arrested in Msida on the strength of a European Arrest Warrant and did not contest her extradition when she was taken to court on Monday. The arrest was made in a joint operation by the Italian and Maltese authorities as part of a crackdown on a money laundering network that handled some €650 million for the mafia, police Inspector Mark Galea informed the court. Assisted by legal aid lawyer Marita Pace Dimech, the woman consented to her extradition to face proceedings in Italy. Magistrate Joe Mifsud remanded her in custody pending her extradition to Italy. Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported that the arrest came about after Italian authorities cracked down on a mafia-linked online gambling network that would allegedly launder its proceeds “through a series of companies based in tax havens (Malta, Curacao, Virgin Islands).” The main company involved was reported to be Centurionbet Ltd, tied to the Martiradonna family, which the Italian press said “operated a pyramidal structure and a series of computer platforms that...
  9. As Sigma 2018 kicks off in Malta next week, Wiraya continue to build their portfolio of Malta based operators focused on customer interactions to deliver long term loyalty from players. “Each year the gaming community comes to Malta for Sigma, and key themes become clear. Within two years 81 per cent of companies expect to be competing largely on CX. Therefore the value of a positive player experience, and in particular how we communicate with customers is getting serious attention,” said Sam Madden, iGaming director for Wiraya. “There’s a fundamental problem with how iGaming brands convert new players. In fact, up to 60 per cent of new registrations never make a deposit. And with growing competition and an increased focus on regulation, operators need to change they approach to customer communication.” Mr Madden added how: “Clearly traditional methods of communication are simply no longer effective, and it’s for this reason so many operators are using Wiraya, where we use AI driven technology to generate the optimum blend of voice, text and mobile messaging to inspire action from your customers, and ultimately increase the lifetime value of players.” For booking a one-to-one...
  10. Former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne has been charged with committing sexual assault on board a train, police said on Monday. Gascoigne, 51, a former Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United player, widely known as Gazza, was arrested at Durham train station in northern England in August and released while police investigated the incident. "Paul Gascoigne, of Leicester, was charged via postal requisition with one count of sexual assault by touching," British Transport Police said in a statement. Gascoigne is due to appear in court on Dec. 11. His management company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Gascoigne, who has spent several spells in rehab battling alcohol and drug addiction, played 57 times for England between 1988 and 1998. He made international headlines during the 1990 World Cup in Italy, bursting into tears after receiving a yellow card in England's semi-final against West Germany which would have seen him suspended for the final if England had qualified.  
  11. With one in three people around the world not having access to a toilet, a restaurant in London has stopped every third person en route to the bathroom for a day to highlight the plight suffered by 2.3 billion people. Confused faces and angry responses continued from other customers, particularly when the actor posing as a staff member said there was another toilet a few miles away that was available. British toilet-cleaning products maker Harpic organised the stunt ahead of the United Nations-organised World Toilet Day on Monday. Nearly one million people are killed by water, sanitation and hygiene-related diseases each year, according to figures from the World Health Organization, UNICEF and International Telecommunications Union.
  12. As the Lifeline case resumed on Monday morning, the court had to resolve a translation hitch which reared its head on account of unavailability of court translators to translate documents received from the Dutch authorities. Lifeline captain Claus-Peter Reisch is charged with steering an unregistered boat in Maltese territorial waters, due to issues with the migrant rescue vessel's certification. His legal team has repeatedly objected to the delays in the case, which has dragged on since July.  When prosecuting Inspector Daryl Borg presented the documents, just received from the Dutch authorities on Friday in reply to a European Investigation Order from the Attorney General’s Office, the court immediately pointed out that the documents needed to be translated to Maltese. Upon being informed that the two experts indicated on the official list were unavailable, the court addressed the parties. “Who are we to appoint? This is an urgent matter.” Upon being informed that the assistance of a local translation agency could be sought, Magistrate Joseph Mifsud summoned the Criminal Court Registrar to obtain proper authorization for this outsourced task.  Once the green light had been...
  13. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday avoided an early election for now after a coalition partner backed away from toppling a government hanging on to power with a razor-thin parliamentary majority. Education Minister Naftali Bennett's U-turn surprised many pundits who had predicted the leader of the far-right Jewish Home party would quit in protest after Netanyahu rejected his demand to be named defence minister and assumed the post himself. Netanyahu, head of the right-wing Likud party, has been making last-ditch efforts to prevent the collapse of the government, which has a majority of just one seat in parliament since Avigdor Lieberman resigned as defence chief last week. Outflanking Netanyahu on the right, Lieberman, an ultranationalist, lashed out in his resignation announcement at the government's acceptance of a ceasefire with Gaza's dominant armed group, Hamas, amid a surge in cross-border violence "You win some, you lose some," Bennett said in a televised address, shrugging off Netanyahu's rejection of his bid for the defence post, long regarded in Israel as its second most important cabinet portfolio. Had Bennett pulled his party out of the weakened...
  14. A 25-minute documentary on Valletta’s regeneration into the European Capital of Culture will be broadcast by Euronews to millions of viewers over the next week.This documentary is part of the new Euronews programme Go! Europe, and will premiere on Monday at 4.30pm. It will be broadcast 10 times until November 28.“The documentary includes several stunning shots of Valletta, and features a number of art galleries, boutique hotels, restaurants and other places of entertainment which have changed Valletta’s landscape throughout the past few years, thanks to Valletta 2018’s drive towards the cultural, economic and social regeneration of the city,” the Valletta 2018 Foundation said.“These initiatives are all part of the European Capital of Culture’s legacy. They have given new life to the city, and have made Valletta a top cultural destination for both locals and tourists alike.”
  15. Malta Enterprise has announced a new scheme to support small businesses that trade or do business with the UK in preparing for the challenges Brexit may pose.Economy minister Chris Cardona, addressing a business breakfast on Brexit on Monday, said the ‘Get Ready’ scheme would provide advisory support for businesses to prepare for the various possible future trade relationships between the EU and Britain after March 29, 2019.Dr Cardona said the ministry was doing its utmost to help Maltese businesses make the transition with the least possible impact, and that the launching of the Get Ready scheme was a significant foundation block.The minister also welcomed the agreement reached between EU and UK negotiators and stated that this deal gives Maltese citizens residing in the UK peace of mind about their status.“This was always our main priority as we have always said that people should not become bargaining chips,” he said, adding that the two-year transition period would provide peace of mind for businesses, allowing them some breathing space to continue operating largely as they had before Brexit.Malta Enterprise CEO Mario Galea and Dan O’Brien, chief economist at the Institute...
  16. A young man sent anonymous messages and letter to his own partner as part of a ploy to get her to move in with him, a court heard on Monday. Shaun Ray Belli, a 27-year old from Fgura, was remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to stalking and harassing the woman. Mr Belli faces charges of stalking, harassment, making a false statement and misuse of electronic communication equipment. Prosecuting Inspector Jonathan Ransley explained that the man’s partner, whose name was banned from publication under court order, had been receiving anonymous letters and messages in her mail box, which prompted her to file a police report. Mr Belli accompanied her to the police station on that occasion, a court heard, but it later turned out that he himself had sent the mail. Defence counsel David Gatt made a request for bail, arguing that his client had been living with the alleged victim up to the very day of his arrest, adding that there had been no use of physical violence. “This was simply a love trick,” Dr Gatt went on, explaining that his client had allegedly invented a ploy to lure the woman to take up residence at his home, using a different SIM card to send her messages. There was...
  17. After Duminku Mintoff, Eddie Fenech Adami, Herbert Ganado, Mgr Victor Grech and Fr Hilary Tagliaferro, it is now Mabel Striockland’s turn. Horizons’ volume Mabel Strickland bejn storja u miti: Ġabra ta’ kitbiet, edited by Sergio Grech, focuses on Lord Strickland’s daughter and a force behind this newspaper. The book gives detailed attention to that part of her life during which she was politicaly active. It puts some questions about her role in the colonial and post-colonial life of Malta. Her sister, Cecilia de Trafford, is also brought into the picture. Maltese women’s role in the political sphere is also raised in the publication.
  18. Ryanair is offering customers eight days of sales on its website and app as part of Cyber Week.  The airline said offers would start with a Summer Sale, with up to €30 off return flights across its European network, for travel between April and September, which must be booked by midnight on Monday.  Customers should keep an eye on Ryanair.com for the latest daily offers. Ryanair also announced a bag sale with 10% off check-in bags on all bookings made this week.
  19. With a third more women in poverty by retirement age and longer life expectancy, the consequences of the gender pay gap could have long-lasting impacts, Ruth Farrugia is warning. But waiting 217 years until this gap closed was unacceptable, according to the Director General of the President’s Foundation for the Well-being of Society (PFWS). With an 11 per cent pay gap average, today marks Malta’s Equal Pay Day – from today until the end of the year, women will symbolically be working for free. The gender pay gap is the difference between the average gross hourly earnings of men and women, which includes overtime, bonuses and other perks, all expressed as a percentage of the average gross of the yearly earnings of men. It is not the same issue as equal pay. The PFWS has launched a video shedding light on this national disparity, after growing aware of misconceptions, such as the myth that the pay gap came about solely as a result of women’s choices. “Over a lifetime, the effects of the gender pay gap start to add up. According to the World Economic Forum, by retirement age, a third more women are in poverty when compared to men. “Given that women also tend to spend more years in...
  20. The Cat Empire hail from Melbourne and have been performing their unique brand of ska-jazz fusion since 1999.
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