Women Leaders December 2013
FOCUS ON POLITICAL LEADERS
Oil & Gas Feature
A single focus on the Oil & Gas Industry â€“ Part 1
Reaching New Heights
A Sense of Character
Supporting Growth Policies
We interview Benjamin Grech, Chief Operating Officer and Semira Grech, Head of Group Administration with Engel & Volkers Sara Grech. p.04
Nelson Mandelasâ€™s life viewed through his daughter Zindzi Mandela. A poignant interview in an exclusive with The Economic Update p.10
The Economic Update interviews former Prime Minister and MEP Candidate Dr Alfred Sant in a rare and frank interview p. 26
Includes an interview with Medserv Group Chairman on the latest developments in the Oil & Gas Industry p.32
WOMEN LEADERS December 2013
FEATURE STORIES 04 Cover Story: Reaching New Heights FOCUS ON POLITICAL LEADERS
Reaching New Heights
A Sense of Character
Supporting Growth Policies
We interview Benjamin Grech, Chief Operating Officer and Semira Grech, Head of Group Administration with Engel & Volkers Sara Grech. p.04
Nelson Mandelas’s life viewed through his daughter Zindzi Mandela. A poignant interview in an exclusive with The Economic Update p.10
The Economic Update interviews former Prime Minister and MEP Candidate Dr Alfred Sant in a rare and frank interview p. 26
OIL & GAS FEATURE
A single focus on the Oil & Gas Industry – Part 1 Includes an interview with Medserv Group Chairman on the latest developments in the Oil & Gas Industry p.32
Publisher John Formosa
We interview up and coming budding entrepreneurs on the block Benjamin and Semira Grech of Engel & Volkers Sara Grech. 10 ICT Interview: Limiting the Scope Reduces the Complexity
Editor Martin Vella
We talk with Trevor Axiaq, Director at Kyte Consultanst Ltd, who updates us with the latest PCI Compliance requirements.
Journalist Lorna Diep
12 Finance News: Malta awarded “Most favoured domicile in Europe” in Hedge Fund Service Provider rankings 2013 by Hedge Funds Review
Sales & Publication Manager Margaret Brincat Graphic Designer Berthrand Pisani Cover photography Daniel Borg Printing PRINT IT
We cover Malta’s coveted award of Europe’s favoured domicile in theHedge Fund Service Provider rankings 2013. 14 MEP Elections: Supporting Growth Policies
The Economic Update welcomes former Prime Minister and MEP Candidate Dr Alfred Sant in a rare and frank interview.
Quote of the month: “To find the truth, get your own heart to poundwhile you write” - Robert McKee For magazine and website advertising enquiries please contact: email@example.com or call on (+356) 9940 6743 For editorial enquiries please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org The Economic Update is published by: Network Publications Ltd., Angelica Court, Giuseppi Cali Str., Ta’ Xbiex, XBX1425, Malta Tel: +356 2131 6326/7/8 Fax: +356 2132 3432 Contributors: Thomas Bickl; George Carol; Lorna Diep; Duncan Dimech; Karl-Hienz Florenz; Marina Gall; Gina Robers Grey; Tarek Hijazi; Werner Jung; Zofija Mazej Kukovic; Paul Magro; Malcolm J Naudi; Klaus Pederson; Adrian Spiteri. Special Thanks: Alberta Fire & Safety; BOV; BPC Ltd; Global College Malta; Emma Diacono; Exor Group; Finance Malta; HSBC; Edwards Lowell; Medserv; Newsmax; Ogilvy PR; Sara Grech; Ta’ Frenc Restaurant; The Interview People. Please feel free to email us with your viewpoint, whether you agree or disagree with the standpoint of the personalities we interview or the topics we focus on. Your opinion, contribution, concern and feedback on our articles and interviews are welcome. Please include full name, contact details
18 Talking Point: Wake Up Malta – There is hope left An honest thought and exceptional article about the “Individual Investors Program” (IIP) by Werner Jung. 23 Specail Feature: Women Leaders
WOMEN LEADERS December 2013
We feature part one of an exceptional feature dedicated to women in business and women leaders. PRESENTS
24 Exclusive Interview: A Sense of Character
A retrospection on Nelson Mandelas’s life and meaning from a very special standpoint – that his daughter Zindzi Mandela in an exclusive with The Economic Update courtesy of TIP. 32 EU Perspectives: Modernising Education and Encouraging Entrepreneurship for more Youth Employment Zofija Mazej Kukovic believes in people and she believes The Economic Update is the best business publication in circulation. We track her first installment as one of our new high profile pool of contributors.
www.maltaeconomicupdate.com All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without written permission. Opinions expressed in The Economic Update are not necessarily those of the editor or publishers. All reasonable care is taken to ensure truth and accuracy, but the editor and publishers cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions in articles, advertising, photographs or illustrations. The Economic Update is printed by Print IT and distributed free with The Business Weekly.
Here’s the truth. I have always been interested in UFOs, astronomy, science fiction and stories of the bizarre and supernatural. I think I developed this interest mainly due to my inquisitiveness of the various mysterious phenomena surrounding us. I can remember my first Christmas party. My late beloved Dad took me to the annual event at Police Headquarters in the mid-seventies, when I was a small child. The Commissioner of the Police hosting the party played the role of a gypsy king. Enoch Tonna had a sinister stare similar to a fortune teller looking into a crystal ball, as he told each one of us what the future would hold. When it was my turn for a present, he gazed… showed amazement and told me that I would be the first Maltese man to land on the moon. I can remember being thrilled – what a concept! Last Sunday, entering into the Christmas mood and keeping in tune with my interest in sci-fi movies I went to watch “Hunger Games” movie, “Catching Fire”, a considerable upgrade over the first sequel. In the adaptation of the second installation, Katniss Everdeen’s (Jennifer Lawrence) surreal beauty made it all seem so real. As I look back now, it was dreamlike. Naturally this movie does not fall in the mould of The Outer Limits, Close Encounters, Star Trek, Star Wars, The X-Files and my favourite – Lord of the Rings. Imagine my excitement when I decided to take up writing as a fulltime job, as I wanted to be part of the family of sci-fi writers, writing about the bizarre and the fantastic. I couldn’t wait to get there! But I am now focused on business writing and serving the business community, striving to present thoughts to a wide business audience of their contemporaries, who can put to use their ideas and philosophies for the betterment of the business community.
I am now rearing to go for my holidays – no I am not yet set out to visit The UFO Museum in Roswell, or stake out Area 51. I have planned my holidays in an extraordinary country, chosen appropriately for a serene Christmas holiday - Belgium. For 2014, the theme of Austerity is clearly exiting, with uncertainty still hanging on the European Union’s Southern countries, and the looming debt leviathan forcing austerity on the US. Our outlook this month features two emerging young entrepreneur - Benjamin and Semira Grech, who steal our front cover and more! We are proud to present you with a unique Christmas present – an exclusive interview with Zindzi Mandela, conducted just a couple of weeks before her great father Nelson Mandela passed away, giving our readers a retrospection on Nelson Mandelas’s life and meaning from a very special standpoint. Our award winning interviews bring us up close with former Prime Minister Dr Alfred Sant and Trevor Axiaq, Director of Kyte Consultants Ltd. Hope you enjoy the read. Wishing a Happy Christmas to all - health, prosperity and peace to all men of goodwill.
36 Oil & Gas Feature: A single focus on the Oil & Gas Industry – Part 1
Medserv Malta on Logistics – Support to the Oil & Gas Industry – Medserv Group Chairman is interviewed by The Economic Update on latest developments. 38 Internet & SMEs: The Internet and the Internationalisation of SMEs – That Sinking Feeling IIn the light of recent changes in the way Google ranks search results – known as the Venice Update, Klaus M Pederson evaluates the implications on how companies use the internet for international marketing purposes. 46 Tobacco Directive: Crucial Vote on Tobacco Products The EU Directive on Tobacco products has been redrafted. Thomas Bickl and Karl-Heinz Florenz, Shadow Rapporteur, EPP, give us their standpoint on this hot topic. 52 What is in a Risk Management Framework: Developing and Implementing a Risk Management Framework in the Fund Industry With the advent of stringent regulations, Dr. Paul Magro maintains that financial institutions must have a robust risk management framework (“RMF”).
Reaching New Heights By Martin Vella
Benjamin Grech, Semira Grech, together with Sara Grech
Today I had the pleasure of interviewing the up and coming budding entrepreneurs on the block Benjamin Grech, Chief Operating Officer and Semira Grech, Head of Group Administration with Engel & Volkers Sara Grech to discuss the development and future of their business. Backdrop “A fundamental factor is that one must always remember what a company is, which is simple really; a company is a group of people and as a leader you have to be a great listener, a good motivator and always praise people whilst looking for the best in them. Having fun in what you do makes a difference to your performance.” Benjamin Grech TEU: What do you find most fulfilling about your new leadership role? BG: It has never been something I have discussed publicly but I have always had a certain drive inside myself, which I could never put into words. All I can remember is that whenever I faced a challenge, I gave it all I had and aspired to be the best at it. A good example would be during my final year at school; it is an old a tradition for the final 04 |
year boys to take part in a 50 mile walk, from the south coast of the UK up to the school in Godalming. I put together a small group of friends and we trained for months so that we could try and break the time record; the walk was not a race but I turned it into one. The first 30 miles passed easily but the last few were painful, I could barely walk the last 2 miles and not to give up I pretty much finished on all fours. We did not break the record but I was still proud to have finished within twelve hours. All this was for a tie (which I still wear today), and nothing can explain the emotions I felt the next day walking into the school chapel sporting my new tie. Looking back at what came natural to me I can understand how one would say that I have the certain qualities of an entrepreneur, but I am grateful for the experiences I have had from a young age. I believe that a enjoying what you do is part of the recipe of being great at what you do and to be really great at what you do
requires a combination of being surrounded by the right people professionally and personally a little luck and having the passion and ambition to continually learn. I believe that a enjoying what you do is part of the recipe of being great at what you do
TEU: With over 480 residential property shops and 40 commercial offices operating in 35 countries on five continents under the Engel & Völkers brand, Sara Grech has extended the brand partnership to offer the finest real estate and yachting one can possibly imagine. What’s your view of this marketplace? SG: In Malta, properties, like restaurants, are abundant. We aim to offer good properties at the right market price. This places the emphasis on ‘listing’ rather than simply selling – being selective as to the properties and
their prices that one lists within our property portfolio. We will manage the expectations of sellers/landlords and those of buyers/tenants – thus procuring a quicker sale/letting to the satisfaction of both parties. Giving the locals access to an international client network will of itself bring more buyers/tenants but on internationally competitive terms. This will give the local market a sounder and more sustainable footing. There is a clear need for a more competitive advantage in the industry and with our new Market Centre, we have power in the numbers of agent’s knowledge who share information efficiently and willingly. The team concept works phenomenally well whilst our Market Centre and lounges meets the needs of our clients, as well as improve the working conditions for our agents and staff. What better way to run a business with satisfied and happy internal staff? We look forward to starting the New Year and we welcome clients and contacts. All our lounges including the new exclusive shops are all strategically very well positioned making it simpler for our clients to access.
and are staffed by concierges who are in immediate contact with the agents, who are experts within their own personal choice of farming areas. Sara Grech celebrated the culmination of months of work to launch this Co-branded franchise partnership, for the whole of Malta and Gozo. Most of you will know the history of Sara Grech, a company my mother Sara launched in 1987. Since then we have built the Sara Grech brand to become a household name in the residential and commercial real estate sectors across the Maltese Islands. Success has not come easy, but I believe we have risen to
the challenges and we stand proudly behind what Sara Grech has become. The journey doesn’t stop here – not for me, not for my family, not for my team, and not for the many clients who have trusted us over the years. We believe in change – and we believe, it is a beautiful thing to consistently strive to reach new heights and achieve new dreams. Change is the law of life, and those who only look at the past or the present are certainly going to miss the future. There is something very special about Engel & Völkers – it is a globally recognised brand, with a reputation for representing the very best properties and
I believe we have risen to the challenges and we stand proudly behind what Sara Grech has become
We have changed our business model and are pioneering a new way of working within the real estate industry. Our Market concept brings us all together enabling the workforce to communicate effectively. We have also extended our opening hours from 8am – 8pm daily and from 9am – 6pm Saturday and Sunday to ensure that our clients have the time to enjoy their purchase or lease when it is most convenient for them. TEU: As Sara Grech grew into a corporate organisation, why is it important to maintain its entrepreneurial culture? BG: Our new operational model creates a dynamic atmosphere where agents use our Market Centre as a base which brings all the benefits of togetherness in terms of communication, operational synergies and overhead cost containment. As a result it provides the right economics for a more extensive coverage of Malta and Gozo through our property lounges, which nonetheless contain all of the look and feel of the brand in a uniform manner enabling us to maintain our E&V SG culture. The lounges are connected to the same property portfolio as the Market Centre and the entire Engel & Völkers international network
Engel & Volkers Sara Grech branch in Fgura December 2013 | THE ECONOMIC UPDATE
working for top clients. Moreover we share so many of our core brand values: expertise, dedicated customer care, the highest standards and total discretion. We are very proud to have secured the franchise licenses for residential, commercial and yachting. While property is something we have been dealing in for decades, yachting is a new line of work for us. However it is no less close to our hearts. We are thrilled to be able to offer yachting brokerage services across the world. TEU: Talent is always important. Your strategy is to focus on “A” players. Why is this so important? SG: Those that are of good quality and priced in line with the market, will be the focus of the Engel & Völkers brand with offerings from the mid- to high-end in both the residential, commercial and yachting sectors. This is the same concept as that of ‘false economy’ or ‘you get what you pay for’. We intend to market good quality properties at the right market price throughout. This is in the best interests of both sellers/landlords and buyers/tenants. The key will therefore become that whatever property fits one’s budget, it is a good buy/let. This will ensure a quicker, satisfactory deal for both parties. In this way the market will thrive and the concepts of price/quality and value for money should apply at whatever price one is paying. The business model, systems and training of agents is geared to passion, competence and exclusivity – the three pillars of the brand. The considerable Editor’s Note Born in Malta 1987, schooled at St Edwards College, at the age of eleven attended Edge Grove School in Hertfordshire, UK for one year, Benjamin Grech attended Charterhouse School, Godalming Surrey, UK for five years and his achievements are impressive - Head of House, Head of Combined Cadet Force (CCF), Head of 6th Form Club, Commodore of the Sailing Club, Head of the Debating Society, Secretary of the Pupil Council, 2nd XI Hockey Captain. Benjamin graduated with an MEng Hons. in Architecture and Environmental Design from the University of Nottingham, UK. He captained the 1st Sailing team, President of the Kitesurfing Club and representative of my peers in the Student Staff Feedback Board. Professional experience in London with Latis Group and in Berlin with Aukett + Heese.
and on-going investment in people, systems and the brand is aimed at focusing attention on quality offerings and quality clients. This focus is further strengthened by the family concept – all lounges are our own and are not given out to sub-franchisees who compete with each other. This makes a large difference to other franchises on the islands. Our talent is discipline with the desire to help people realise their dreams.
TEU: How do you maintain a family culture within the organisation? BG: We maintain a family culture in three simple ways: (a) Our dynamic operational set up allowing agents to conduct their business from 6 exclusive work spaces and all being part of one team
Change is the law of life, and those who only look at the past or the present are certainly going to miss the future
(b) A daily structure constantly emphasized and implemented ensuring that all members of the company are sharing the same vision
TEU: How has your SG product offerings evolved now that you have extended your brand with Engel & Völkers ?
(c) Our highly competent management and administration team ensure that our family culture and service standards are unparalleled.
EBG: Malta is a strategically important market for Engel & Völkers. The mild allyear-round Mediterranean climate, the stable political and economic situation, and the excellent flight connections all mean that international interest in premium properties on Malta is growing continuously. As a leading broker of residential and commercial real estate on Malta, Sara Grech is specialised in catering to the wishes of a sophisticated international clientele. I am very confident that we have found the perfect partner with her. Her experience and cross-sector expertise are of enormous value for our joint venture. The cooperation gives us the opportunity to offer the finest properties on Malta to our international clients. At the same time, Sara Grech can enjoy access to search clients and properties from our global network based in 37 countries. TEU: What made you come to your ultimate goal to improve people’s lives? SG: Our founder Sara Grech always believed in giving back. She was involved in a foundation for many years and this year she formed along with us a new foundation “Service Dogs Malta Foundation” We are committed to helping the visually impaired and disabled and our plan is to build a school so that we can train service dogs locally. We are committed to taking a percentage of our company’s sales and make a difference. All our agents and staff are involved and we also have a Friday dress down day and everyone donates € 2.00 each to the foundation. We hope that others companies also join us once they hear of the worthy cause.
The strength of this brand and our values will continue to sustain and grow our family culture. I believe that the company provides an exceptional service to our clients, and as the COO, I provide an exceptional service to my agents to help them achieve success by offering them the right corporate culture, knowledge and tools. Our industry sells a lifestyle and we create our business around our life. We provide the reasons “why” clients choose to work with us by constantly adding more value to the work we do. TEU
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Editor’s Note Semira Grech is born in Malta in 1991 and completed her second education in the UK. After having spent 11 years in London she was exposed to a variety of multicultural which have influenced her artistic talents and passion for painting which allowed her to continuously develop concepts, thought and business ventures. Semira gained professional experience working in Real Estate in London, Foxtons, Park Lane which was the key to kicking off her career in Real Estate. She carries out her passions for life through her every day work which influences the people in surrounding environments
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In Bad Santa’s Sock: Ransomware and Bitcoin By Duncan Dimech
In the film Bad Santa, Willie, a part played by Billy Bob Thornton, brings all sorts of problems to the Christmas spirit. No this will not be a film review; however Bad Santa can visit your company and will deliver some pretty nasty surprise right at your desk if you let it to. So what Bad Santa has in reserve for you? The first surprise is Ransonware: a new threat that is there to grab your data and your money. The idea is simple and uses technology that typically is used to protect us. This technology is the essence of all internet transactions and without such technology there would be no safe exchange of money therefore no safe e-commerce. In simple terms, we cannot use the internet safely without this technology. The main difference is that for security purposes we use a 1024 bit key to encrypt the data that will take ages to decrypt while the perpetrators are using a 2048 bit key which technically would take you double the ages to decrypt the data without the key. Now this is where the fun begins. What they encrypt is probably a set of sensitive files and they will give you 72 hours to pay for the decryption key otherwise your data will vanish through thin air. In November, the Massachusetts Swansea Police Department paid $750 in ransom to obtain the decryption key to obtain sensitive files back. What will they ask from you as ransom is still to be discovered as their prices are going up! No banks or clearing houses mean fewer charges and more profits
The second surprise is Bitcoin: a payment system which uses token instead of money. These tokens can be exchanged into real money in some exchanges without the need of a bank or clearing house. Now this may seem, for every business person, as manna from heaven. No banks or clearing houses mean fewer charges and more profits. This is exactly the weakness in such concept. Removing such institutions not only 08 |
eliminates the charges but also eliminates the controls they put in place to ensure that a transaction is legitimate and not of a fraudulent nature. Adding to this, Bitcoin exchanges are not the safest entities to deal with. One of these exchanges, Bitcoinica, was set up by a 17 year old and guess what? Yes! You guess right! Bitcoinica got hacked and at least €68,000 in people’s money have been stolen in Bitcoins. Now because the system is outside the financial system, there is no way of tracing the Bitcoins and can be exchanged in many other exchanges for real cash. BTW – the hacker will thank you for eternity that you left your money with a 17 year old kid and his technology, probably some computer with basic security. If you think that this is the only case, then you are wrong. Last case which I learned about was on November 17th when hackers stole about €731,368 ($ 1 million) from the Danish Bitcoin exchange BIPS or exactly 1,295 Bitcoins. It seems that for the time being using token systems like Bitcoin will remain out from my recommendation list to my clients. Ah! Was going to forget and I apologise. Incidentally, Bitcoins are the favourite currency of Ransonware and now hope you can see the circle closing. After all this, make sure that you have the following on your list as of today and not on your New Year’s list of promises. 1. Do NOT open emails from especially email attachments especially ZIP or RAR archive files from unknown sources; 2. Ensure you have the best anti-virus program; 3. Ensure your anti-virus program is active;
4. Ensure your anti-virus program is updating regularly; 5. Ensure your operating system updates are happening; 6. Ensure your software updates are happening; 7. Backup your data files at least once a day although real time backups are a better option; 8. If you have a doubt that the malware is still there after a cleaning process, then format your computer and restore the files back from your backup; 9. Seek professional advice if in doubt; 10. Get professional training for your employees; And remember, the best protection you can get is common sense. If it looks phishy than probable it is phishy. TEU
Editor’s Note Mr. Duncan Dimech, the Managing Director of EXOR Group Ltd, earned his Masters Degree with the University of Liverpool, home of 9 noble prize winners, and specialised in Information Security. Over the past 15 years, Mr. Dimech has been involved on a number of projects for local and international business entities and is leading a number of IT research projects funded by the European Union. Mr. Dimech is a Member of the British Computer Society and a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta.
CREDIT CARD SECURITY
Reduces the Complexity Limiting the scope By Martin Vella
Very often we find that companies are somewhat lost when they find out they have to comply with PCI. Compliance is by no means a trivial effort. Trevor Axiak, Director at Kyte Consultants Limited explains that experience shows us that usually all it takes is a little push in the right direction and someone to provide guidance through the process. In this interview Mr. Axiak maintains that customers know their business much better than we do, so in many cases our role is that of providing guidance more than anything else.
TEU: What is the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS)?
TEU: Why Comply with PCI Security Standards?
TA: PCI DSS is a standard which was formed through the collaboration of the major card brands (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB). The entire PCI program is managed and administered by the PCI Security Standard council. The objective of the standard was to ensure that all those entities, which in some way or another process or store credit card data, achieve a minimum level of security for protecting credit card data. The scope of PCI compliance is wide and includes every entity that could possibly come in contact with credit card data during the entire lifecycle of a transaction, from when the customer enters his card details, right up until the transaction is processed and stored on some entity’s servers. In other words, if any part of your business process, be it sales, accounting or some other function, handles full credit card data, you fall within the scope of PCI DSS and have to comply with it.
if any part of your business process, be it sales, accounting or some other function, handles full credit card data, you fall within the scope of PCI DSS and have to comply with it
TA: Since the PCI standard is backed by the card brands, it is mandatory for all entities that fall within scope of PCI to achieve compliance. Entities who do not comply could potentially be exposing the credit card data they process to significant security risks and could face large financial penalties, especially if the entity suffers a security breach. Worse still, entities who do not comply could end up being forbidden from accepting online payments completely, resulting in significant financial losses. Although the PCI Standard contains a number of requirements that can seem daunting, it is important to understand that most requirements are consistent to industry best practices. In other words, companies that have information security
at heart should already have many of the requirements in place. PCI adds the extra dimension of credit card security. TEU: What are the PCI compliance deadlines, what are the PCI compliance ‘levels’ and how are they determined? TA: A distinction has to be made between PCI compliance and validation. All companies that fall within the scope of PCI, need to achieve compliance to the PCI DSS standard. There is only one PCI standard and the requirements do not discriminate by size or industry. Validating your compliance is a different story. This relates to your obligation to report your compliance status on an annual basis. Reporting is made to the acquiring bank or to the card brands directly. The type of validation you are obliged to follow depends on whether you are a merchant, or service provider and on your classification level. It is the acquiring bank’s responsibility to classify entities based on risk as well as nature and volume of credit card processing. As an example, a merchant
CREDIT CARD SECURITY
processing more than six million credit card transactions in a year is considered as a level 1 merchant. All level 1 entities are requested to validate their compliance by engaging a QSA (Qualified Security Assessor) to conduct an annual onsite assessment. Level 2 entities are required to validate their compliance by filling in, and signing for, a selfassessment questionnaire. There are different questionnaires depending on the nature of credit card data processed. It is important to note that although the type of validation may vary, the compliance requirements are the same. The first step towards achieving compliance is to take inventory of your systems and processes which process or store credit card data
TEU: In security terms, how does a business adhere to the PCI DSS requirements for security management, policies, procedures, network architecture, software design and other critical protective measures? TA: The PCI DSS standard is comprehensive in nature and includes all the necessary requirements to ensure that all aspects of the business that could be involved in the transmission, processing and storing of card data is protected. For this reason, for an entity to be considered PCI compliant, it has to meet all the twelve requirements of PCI. The requirements have the following objectives: Building a secure network, protecting stored and transmitted card data, maintaining a vulnerability management program, implementing strong access controls, regular network monitoring and maintaining information security policies. Merchants should first discuss their merchant level with their acquiring bank. The bank should be able to indicate the level as well as the type of validation they require. In the majority of cases, service providers are treated as level 1 entities. The first step towards achieving compliance is to take inventory of your systems and processes which process or store credit card data. This would define the scope of PCI, meaning that all the requirements of PCI would have to be applied to all the systems, servers and processes which are defined in the scope. It therefore follows that one should strive to reduce the scope as much as possible.
Very often, companies are not even aware that they are storing credit card data, let alone protecting it. In many of these cases, it transpires that there is no valid reason as to why full credit card data is retained. Deleting this data and ensuring that it is no longer collected or sent across the network will reduce the obligations considerably, if not entirely. An important consideration is that by keeping only a maximum of the first six and the last four digits of a credit card number, and deleting the remaining middle digits, renders that data out of scope of PCI and does not need to be protected. Utilising this sanitised data is usually sufficient to carry out most business processes including accounting, reconciliations, fraud control, charge-back investigations and so on. The applicable requirements of the PCI standard would then need to be applied only to the PCI scope. We suggest prioritising tasks and focusing on those controls which matter the most. The PCI council has published a worksheet to help merchants and service providers meet the requirements using a risk based prioritised approach. This can be obtained from www. pcisecuritystandards.org
the card brands regularly. TEU: Is Kyte Consultants a validated Qualified Security Assessor company (QSA) and and how can you offer your services to merchants and service providers? TA: Kyte Consultants is a validated Qualified Security Assessor and this gives us the ability to certify merchants as well as service providers for PCI compliance. This means that we are the ones issuing the certificate of compliance on behalf of the card brands. Our qualifications, as well as our knowledge of the industry, permits us to conduct audits for the purposes of certification, as well as assist clients in achieving compliance. One of the most important tasks in any PCI project is reducing the scope of PCI. This entails reducing the number of systems, processes and personnel that have visibility into credit card data. Limiting the scope reduces the complexity, cost as well as the time required to achieve compliance. We have helped many merchants, service providers as well as banks in this respect. We are also in a position to assist entities with penetration testing, vulnerability scanning as well as application scanning services. TEU: What are the upcoming changes to PCI DSS?
TEU: What about conducting Attack and Penetration Testing? TA: Attack and Penetration Testing is the process of testing your network and systems for potential vulnerabilities in the same manner as a hacker would. This exercise involves a mix of automated as well as manual tests in an attempt to breach the system. This type of test is a requirement of PCI for all those entities processing credit card data through their own public facing applications. TEU: Does the PCI Security Standards council enforce compliance? TA: It is the responsibility of the acquiring banks to enforce compliance on all entities connected to it, be it merchants, payment gateways or other banks. Acquiring banks are required to report the status of compliance to
TA: In 2014 v3.0 of the PCI DSS will become active. Entities have the choice of complying with v2.0 or v3.0 until December of 2014, after which v3.0 will become the only acceptable version of the standard. TEU
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Editorâ€™s Note Trevor graduated from the University of Malta in 1999 with a degree in Information Technology. As he developed his technical background, he was first employed as a network administrator before joining Deloitte in 2001 to work as an IT auditor. At the age of 29, Trevor set up Kyte Consultants Ltd with his business partner Alan, before co-launching Contact Advisory Services in 2009. He is a very hands-on, experienced individual and a point of reference for many of his clients. Trevor is a certified information systems auditor, a qualified security assessor for PCI DSS and holds numerous information security qualifications.
December 2013 | THE ECONOMIC UPDATE
Malta awarded “Most favoured domicile in Europe” in Hedge Fund Service Provider rankings 2013 by Hedge Funds Review For the first time, Malta has won the coveted award of Europe’s favoured domicile in the Hedge Fund Service Provider rankings 2013, a significant change to the old guard in this category. The choice of most favoured domicile was selected as the biggest change over 2012 results by Hedge Funds Review, the leading publication for the alternative investment industry. Malta rose from third position in 2012 to first place this year. As an EU Member State, Malta is a highly regarded onshore jurisdiction remaining up to date with all the legislative and regulatory changes being enacted by the EU
Voting in the survey was conducted online between August 27 and October 14. Eligible to vote were individuals from single-manager hedge funds or FoHF organisations and investors, such as family offices, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies and asset allocators, underlining Malta’s popularity with a broad range of hedge fund formats and professionals.
promotional initiatives aimed at showcasing the funds sector and its critical success factors. As a result of these initiatives, which included the use of various media channels, Malta is today renowned as highly competitive European Fund Domicile as this Award clearly confirms. Despite this laudable Award, sustaining our competitiveness is in my view a journey and going forward this can only be achieved by continuously measuring our responsiveness to the needs and wants of our clients, and more so measuring the quality of service that is being delivered to Malta’s various international client base through stakeholder surveys. This will ensure that the sector constantly remains client centric avoiding the common pitfall of successful jurisdictions in becoming victims of their own success”.
Within this context, over these past years, FinanceMalta, through its management team and its member base, has been pivotal in the organisation of various international 12 |
At the same time, some non-EU managers who rely substantially on the EU investment market for distribution of their funds may ultimately decide either to relocate to or establish a management operation in an EU domicile. In both cases, given its selection as “Most favoured domicile in Europe” in Hedge fund service provider rankings 2013, Malta will certainly figure as a front-line candidate and EU domicile of choice, given the excellent value proposition, as well as the acquired reputation of having robust, flexible regulation exercised by an approachable, yet robust regulator.
Financial services already accounts for at least 12% of Malta’s GDP and is worth well in excess of €1 billion to the Maltese Islands in direct and indirect revenue, employing some 10,000 people and the selection of Malta as Europe’s favoured domicile will undoubtedly spur all stakeholders to consolidate their activities for further growth beneath the FinanceMalta brand. FinanceMalta’s Chairman Kenneth Farrugia was in London to receive this distinguished award on behalf of Malta’s international financial services centre. Mr. Farrugia said, “I am highly pleased that Malta’s value proposition as a European Fund Domicile has been recognised through this Award as conferred by Hedge Funds Review. Malta’s ranking as the most favourite European Fund Domicile is in essence a reflection of the critical success factors that have underpinned our value proposition over the past years primarily driven by the presence of a steadfast legal and regulatory framework, an accessible and pro business regulatory body, a highly developed operational infrastructure and above all the presence of a “can-do” mindset in the industry.
their management services and to market their EU funds throughout the EU through a pan-EU passport, without requiring another authorisation in the host State/s in addition to that obtained in their home Member State. The EU passport will allow managers to choose more freely where to establish themselves and the funds they manage, enabling them to concentrate their fund management and marketing activities reaching across or involving various European jurisdictions within one EU State. This is expected to entice crossborder managers to establish their funds in an EU fund domicile.
The Minister for Finance, the Hon Prof Edward Scicluna said that “This Award is testimony to the robust fundamentals of the financial services sector which has over the years been gaining significant growth traction and consonant with Malta featuring in the top tier of the World Economic Forum Competitiveness Index in this area. Equally this Award strengthens the Government’s resolve to further enhance the competitiveness of the Maltese financial sector”. FinanceMalta Chairman Kenneth Farrugia receives the coveted award of Europe’s favoured domicile in the Hedge Fund Service Provider rankings 2013 by Hedge Funds Review, the leading magazine for the alternative investment industry.
As an EU Member State, Malta is a highly regarded onshore jurisdiction remaining up to date with all the legislative and regulatory changes being enacted by the EU, the latest of which was the AIFMD. Malta’s improved reputation as a financial services hub on a level playing field with other EU jurisdictions such as Luxembourg and Ireland. The AIFMD now provides EU managers managing EU funds with the right to provide
On his part, Dr Chris Cardona, Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business said that “Over the years Malta has gained a reputation as a robust regime with a highly approachable regulatory authority, and this latest industry award putting Malta at the forefront of an important segment in the financial services industry is proof positive that Government’s focus on growth in this area will lead to additional employment and specialisation on the Maltese Islands. I congratulate Mr. Farrugia and his team at FinanceMalta for bringing this level of recognition to Malta in such a competitive field.” TEU
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Focus on Political Leaders
Supporting Growth Policies By Martin Vella
Former Prime Minister and MEP Alfred Sant is priming himself as an EP candidate with an unabashed commitment to defend Malta’s interests in Europe. With a knowledge of European affairs over the long and short term, a certain expertise in coming to grips with complex technical briefs and awareness of outstanding political, economic, social and diplomatic issues, you might consider the possibility of voting his way.
Greeting Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
TEU: Can you describe, briefly, what you think the European Union stands for and does EU membership benefit Malta? AS: The European Union is an international construct that seeks to unify European nations politically and economically on the basis of their shared continental space and traditions. Initially set up to avoid the possibility of new wars between European powers, once this objective was attained, it developed into a project to make Europe a unified entity with global reach. Rather than discuss whether membership carries more benefits than disbenefits for Malta, our aim should be to maximise the benefits, get them on stream in time and ensure that their effects are distributed fairly among the population. TEU: As a former Prime Minister and witness ‘par excellence’ at public forums, if elected as an MEP, what area of EU policy would you wish to influence? 14 |
AS: Rather than one area of policy – for I’m equally attracted to sectors related to economic and social management plus foreign affairs – I would stand with those who try to ensure that the EU does not make the mistake of adopting one size fits all policies. This goes against the very foundations of the European identity, based on national – call it tribal if you will – affiliations. I would stand with those who try to ensure that the EU does not make the mistake of adopting one size fits all policies
TEU: How would you fulfil the role of an MEP? AS: My first and primary concern would be the interest of Malta and the Maltese. My second would be to support policies that go for growth, triggered mainly by private enterprise initiatives, and tempered by viable and sustainable governmental measures that ensure distributive justice within European nations and Europe as a whole.
TEU: What policy proposals would you support on: AS: A - The financial crisis? Those policies with less emphasis on the fetichist targets that have been adopted to guide economic management (like the three percent of GDP rule for public deficits) and greater stress on policies that while financially prudent, emphasise the need for productivity enhancing investment as of now. B - Energy policy?
A greater attention to energy saving measures plus flexible approaches in setting targets at European levels in order to take particular national circumstances into account. C - Global warming?
Balanced approaches to contain the global warming phenomenon, that do not serve to inhibit growth or European competitiveness, while ensuring that the burdens of implementation are fairly distributed.
Focus on Political Leaders D - Consumer protection?
Less bureaucracy and swifter, more effective implementation of standards at citizen level. E - Globalisation, trade, development aid:
“Blind” globalisation should make way to a “managed” free trade framework which recognises the need for territories to retain certain economic activities, traditional or not, around which the national economy has developed. Development aid should be articulated in tandem with trade policy while allowing full margins for developing countries to promote their own infrastructures and economic profiles, not least by attracting foreign direct investment in non-extractive projects. F - Agricultural, environmental, and health and safety policies?
While controlling and reducing waste, European agriculture needs to be supported, especially at SME level. Environmental, health and safety policies should continue to be actively developed on a European platform, with the proviso that this should not happen according to onesize-fits-all models. G - Regional, cohesion and solidarity policies with respect to disadvantaged regions in the EU?
A more business like, less bureaucratic approach is needed to ensure that voted funds are spent wisely and swiftly. A special reference to Gozo is essential here. TEU: Whatever about politicians breaking their promises, how do you hold people to account afterwards if they have promised wildly conflicting things? AS: In a functioning, mature democracy it is the people by their vote who must hold such people to account. TEU: What is your outlook for the 20132014 term from the point of view of the institutions, and from the point of view of upcoming EU Directive, eg SEPA? Is there a topic on which you would introduce an own-initiative report for approval by the plenary? AS: In the coming five/six years the big debate in Europe will be among the
centralisers/unifiers/federalists – call them what you will – and those who would like Europe to assert itself as a union of nation states which retain their sovereignty. An added concern will be that the more stringent decision-making structures being introduced by the eurozone are likely to create fissures within the single market between euro club members and those outside (viz the proposed referendum in the UK about the latter’s membership of the Union). SEPA does not really enter in this framework, in my view; having a uniform payments system right across the European space is a good idea, which in no way impinges on sovereignty or what have you, and I’m puzzled that we’re among the laggards in its implementation. Regarding an own initiative report, I believe it’s not useful to have a preconceived project in such an area as of now. Environmental, health and safety policies should continue to be actively developed on a European platform, with the proviso that this should not happen according to one-size-fits-all models
TEU: The biggest challenge faced by the European project this year has been the banking crisis. What is your assessment of the measures put in place by the so-called ‘troika’ to deal with this and what lessons have been learnt should similar crises arise in comparable eurodenominated economies? AS: You must be referring to the banking supervision and resolution projects which are still ongoing as measures intended to reinforce the EU’s ability to handle problems among its members. Over the past five years, the eurozone has developed policies to contain the crises sparked by the financial crashes of 2007/2008 and the absence within the eurozone of the institutions that are usually needed by a common monetary area, namely a central Treasury and a central bank with wide ranging powers, as in the US with the Federal Reserve. By trial and error, the eurozone has been developing institutions of financial support and control that try to compensate for its organisational deficiencies, among which the bank projects of 2013 I have just mentioned, and which still are work in progress. Up
to now this has kept things going but the arrangements do look makeshift. TEU: Are the EU’s institutions capable of tackling and resolving the economic crisis in Europe? AS: They might get through with containing at eurozone level, the financial repercussions of the systemic distrust with which the eurozone was considered in recent years. No wonder that Mr Draghi the head of the European Central Bank has been “allowed” to make statements that go well beyond his brief; the question is what would happen if he is held by the markets to deliver on his promise to support the euro at all costs. As for economic management, what is worrying is the continuing assessment that even as Europe shakes off the recessionary conditions of recent years and some growth is generated, this will have a minimal impact on employment, especially among the young. TEU: What reforms or alternatives for reducing and regulating the use of carbon emissions would you support? AS: Those which take realistic cognizance of the problem of global warming, which seek to retain and enhance economic competitiveness over the medium term, which do not inhibit investment and most importantly, which take care not to penalise small islands like Malta. TEU: Although the current Maltese MEPs have managed to win the respect of many of their colleagues, what will be your footprint in the EU Parliament as a Maltese MEP and how will you facilitate dialogue between Brussels and our national parliament? AS: If elected, my footprint would be that of a representative who votes with those who believe in a Europe of the nations, while making sure that where pan-European initiatives make sense, they are deployed and implemented with as least red tape as possible and with vigour. In this context, I would support those who seek to ensure that national parliaments do not become rubber stamps for Brussels. It’s an issue which in the U.S., is called states’ rights. I’m for them. TEU: At a time of great partisanship in and controversy surrounding the Individual
December 2013 | THE ECONOMIC UPDATE
Focus on Political Leaders
With Yasser Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy in Castille, 1997
Investor Programme, what is your standpoint and are you optimistic that both sides will be able to work together to address this issue considering a staggering majority is against this scheme? AS: Both sides to the controversy share a similar position: they accept the idea that a state can trade citizenship against a pecuniary return of some sort. That should provide the basis for agreement between them on a compromise arrangement. TEU: Illegal immigration has got to end and any form of citizenship amnesty is troublesome. Do you agree? AS: I fail to understand your linkage between ending illegal immigration and citizenship “amnesty”. Illegal immigration has got to end, but it is not a factor that can be legislated or implemented by one state alone, or by the EU alone for that matter. Illegal immigration results from profound imbalances within countries where poverty, injustice and war have become explosively endemic, partly due to the interference by Western powers in the affairs of Africa and the Middle East over the centuries. Some form of Marshall Pact for Africa would need to be set on the agenda; but the Marshall arrangements post-World War II were underpinned by the establishment of NATO. 16 |
TEU: Many business leaders talk about the value of your experience in politics since you understand the needs of business and the key role that the private sector plays in Malta’s success. Does it concern you that the MEPs may not have this business background and experience? AS: Any parliament needs to have members who come from diverse walks of life. Business is obviously an important contributor to the society we live in, but so are education, health care, public administration, legal affairs, science etc. So the wider the spread of knowhow and experience in the European Parliament, the better. TEU: Why should I vote for you in the forthcoming MEP elections? AS: If you would like the MEP who represents you to have an unabashed commitment to defend Malta’s interests in Europe, a knowledge of European affairs over the long and short term, a certain expertise in coming to grips with complex technical briefs, and awareness of outstanding political, economic, social and diplomatic issues, you might consider the possibility of voting my way. TEU
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Editor’s Note Alfred Sant’s involvement in politics started in 1982, as chairman of the Malta Labour Party’s information department. Subsequently, he was elected President of the Party and entered Parliament in 1987. He was elected Labour leader (1992-2008) and Leader of the Opposition. Between 1996 and 1998, he served as Prime Minister of Malta. Mr. Sant obtained an M.B.A. with high honors from Boston University in 1976, and a D.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1979. He also graduated B.Sc and M.Sc in Physics from the University of Malta in 1968. He studied public administration and diplomacy at the Institut International d’Administration Publique (I.I.A.P.) in Paris (now part of E.N.A., the Ecole Nationale d’Administration) and was awarded the I.I.A.P.’s diploma. Over the years, Sant was extensively involved in journalism, literature and the theatre. He edited Ferment magazine in the sixties; Tomorrow, a monthly (1982-1984); the quarterly magazine Society (1989-1992); and was a contributing editor to the Maltese language literary quarterly NEO (1989-1991). Between 1978 and 1992, Sant was the Economist Intelligence Unit’s correspondent for Malta, and between 1986 and 1992 acted as a correspondent for The European Review. Besides contributing papers and articles to a number of periodicals, he wrote a regular weekly column in the now defunct Malta News, It-Torca, and again, and in The (Malta) Times.
Did you know... Mr. Sant was a founding member of the experimental drama group Xsenuru (1967-1968), having in 1966, won first prize in Malta’s first-ever TV play writing competition and a year later, first prize in a national radio play competition. He has published seven Maltese language novels, as well as books of plays, short stories and essays.
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Individual Investors Program
Wake up MALTA - there is hope left! By Werner Jung
“The transaction is that simple, you give me the money and I give you citizenship….” Joseph Muscat said in an interview in the Times of Malta Nov. 10th 2013.. The only thing missing was the famous phrase: “L’etat cest moi” from Louis XIV. This way it sounded like the street dealer in Tijuana: “Hey man, want US passport – only 200 bucks for you! I honestly thought the program was called “Individual Investors Program” (IIP).
My mentors taught me that you should not beat a dead horse. However if Malta’s opposition, in the case of IIP has nothing more to offer than working on a consensus and if the Maltese people are not out in the streets, then there is a deep rooted problem within the society. If the Maltese decide it is ok to sell their citizenship on the supermarket shelf that is their own prerogative. And if the Prime Minister wants to be on par with the Caribbean Islands, then this is within his own aspirations, as he states in the same interview. This just leaves the question where the banana and sugar cane plantations are going to be – maybe one should start with turning the botanical garden in Floriana into a banana plantation? To get things straight right from the beginning, I am a proud German and I am an even prouder European. But if the “honourable businessman” from Moscow and the “successful Farmer” from Mexico or Colombia suddenly become a “European – first class” then I do get “slightly annoyed” – using printable vocabulary. It is hard for me to understand why there wasn’t a huge popular uprising about something as humiliating and demeaning for a “proud citizen”? Imagine what would happen in France, Italy etc., just to name a few. Not even a Mr. Berlusconi would dare come up with such a “grandiose idea”. Where the hell are the real Maltese, the ones with pride, self esteem and identity? Would the Greeks, who are really suffering from the austerity measures, sell their honour, pride and identity to balance the budget? No way! Are the fifty young people who openly protested 18 |
against this atrocity in the streets of Valletta, the only ones left with pride and self esteem? Add to them MEP Ms Roberta Metsola, who immediately challenged the legality under EU law and Ms Therese Comodini Cachia, who made a really heart-warming plea on “What it means being Maltese “. This makes 52 out of approx. 400.000 Maltese or 0.013 percent! A tiny bunch; but sometimes it only takes one brave soul to start real change. Nelson Mandela has shown us all. Are all the other Maltese in hibernation? Or maybe they are immune to slaps in the face? This just leaves the question where the banana and sugar cane plantations are going to be – maybe one should start with turning the botanical garden in Floriana into a banana plantation?
The statements from the Maltese PM are hard to top and need no further explanation. These words ruined Malta’s international reputation just when Malta had the big opportunity to come into the limelight thanks to their geostrategic position. The reaction of the international community, accordingly, ranged from utter disbelief to just plain ridicule. What exactly did he mean with “Setting High Standards”? This September Malta Today proudly wrote “Malta climbs six places in Global Competitiveness Index Report”. This yearly report ranks Malta 41st out of 148 countries; up six places from previous year. Malta scores an excellent 8th on education, an achievement to be proud of. When looking at some of the other scores however, one wonders if schools in Malta predominantly spew out accountants, civil servants and lawyers. How else can one explain that Malta
with a population of only 400.000, ranks # 126 on the number of procedures required starting a business, just ahead of Costa Rica? Malta ranks #124 in the time required to start a business, right after Guatemala. In terms of government regulation Malta ranks #86, right before Trinidad & Tobago. Maybe there does seem a certain affiliation to and with the Caribbean after all? Malta ranks 60th in irregular payments and bribes; behind Costa Rica; the same goes for favouritism in decisions of government officials. This data reflects the development over the years and is not linked to any political party. So, there is obviously a lot of upward potential to get Malta into a top rank, thus making her really attractive for direct investment. Has anyone ever considered getting rid of nepotism and undue bureaucracy instead of peddling passports? Now, with just one bill, the verdict is like in Monopoly: “Go back to start – Do not collect €€€”. In plain English: “You screwed it up royally”! As far as the government advisors are concerned, it helps look up Henley & Partners in Google to read about their reputation for offering “discrete services” for wealthy individuals to obtain the desired citizenship. Now that the secrecy clause has been abolished just hours after rushing to sign the bill, probably a large part of the business model of Henley fell to pieces. Is it really “reputable practice” to advertise the IIP in the special promotional conference in Hong Kong on Nov. 11th, even before it was steamrolled into law in on the 13th? The agenda point read: “Announcing the first European Citizenship-by-Investment Programs for the wealthy……”Is it naive to think that there might just be a conflict of
Individual Investors Program
interest between governance and business? Why Mr. Muscat was a keynote speaker at a sales promotion event for the IIP in Miami USA several days later does leave some questions Being void of natural resources, Malta has made some good decisions in the past: They have been successful building up a financial services industry; unfortunately they can start picking up the pieces and start over again. Why would anyone deliberately discredit such an important part of the economy? This potentially puts Malta back in line with the other “discrete (money laundering) tax havens. Many countries / institutions went through a lot of effort to clean up their act to get off this list; seems that Malta cannot wait to get back on that list. One cannot really feel sorry for the financial service sector; except for some whimsy statements and comments, they didn’t have the guts to stand up and shout until pure hell brakes lose. Malta put priority on IT development but somehow they did get sidetracked: Online gambling might bring a lot of €€€ in the coffers but it surely does not exactly add to a state of the art “high tech” reputation, to say the least. Potentially this business sector might get a complimentary business niche once Malta starts selling passports via Ebay. Efforts have been made to develop Malta into a shipping and supply chain distribution hub. The geostrategic location of Malta is a big asset. It is truly hard to understand that Malta is not able to take advantage of its strategic position at the doorstep of the MENA region in a big way? However, you cannot expect to be successful in the fast moving logistics business when rules, regulations and bureaucracy burden you down.. Lufthansa Technik certainly seems to have seen the strategic benefits of establishing a service base in Malta to have a hub for servicing the booming airline business in the MENA region. Other companies might see the obvious benefits also, but the balk at the overwhelming amount of red tape, and the high cost compared with it. With all the political and social uncertainty in the region Malta has every opportunity of becoming a hub along the supply chain between the EU and MENA. However this does take a lot more entrepreneurship, inventiveness, brainpower, perseverance and effort than selling passports in the supermarket. The
opposition obviously has not idea either – they had over two decades to work at it – emphasis is on the word “work”! How else can one explain that Malta with a population of only 400.000, ranks # 126 on the number of procedures required to start a business, just before Costa Rica?
The Prime Minister did a good job when he appealed to the EU for more solidarity and help with the migration problem. He earned the respect of many Europeans at the time, because the burden on Malta is too high and should receive all possible help from Europe. Only Sweden takes more migrants on a per capita basis. But now, that the “real Europeans” have been downgraded to second class, many of us are of the strong opinion that the first class citizens should pay for this first before asking for our tax money. This is a real pity and hurts the wrong people. According to the Mr. Muscat the program was conceived to attract talent. The likes of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs would have never made it to the shores of Malta, because they started to develop their ideas out of their parents’ garage and hardly had € 650.000. On the other hand, there might be a lot to learn from the successful farmers from Columbia and Mexico as far as profitable agriculture is concerned. Apparently there are many people around who still believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. In the interview the Prime Minister is quite derogative about foreigners who marry Maltese citizens to supposedly just to get free education, free healthcare and social benefits. The daughter of a former colleague at Mercedes married a Maltese. She is a marketing manger, he a commercial pilot. Now, did she marry him because of the free healthcare or did he marry her because of the better social benefits in Germany? Or maybe it was love after all? It did take some time for the rest of the world to wake up on the subject. Had this scheme not impeded on some fundamental European rights and the self esteem of a “normal European” c, probably nobody would have taken much notice. It most likely would have been laughed off as a crazy idea and a last straw attempt for a bankrupt government of a small archipelago to get their finances in line. And, as mentioned, it is absolutely pathetic to read about the
opposition wanting to find consensus on modification to this absolutely senseless bill. There is only one answer: “Stuff it down the drain”! Blame the whole thing on “Murphy”, get your behind off the sofa and start working on damage control. As a Maltese you might just have to put up with those pitying looks from other people when they see your passport at the airport security checks at least for some time. Remember the words of Abraham Lincoln: “You can fool some people some of the time, but you cannot fool all people all of the time”. Hopefully people wake up before the whole island has been sold to Putin. (This is more efficient than selling individual passports) As long as he at least leaves Comino to those fifty-two brave souls, there is still some hope left, Malta! TEU
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Editor’s Note Werner E. Jung is a modern nomad; born in Germany, grown up in Venezuela, Spain, and Switzerland, he studied Industrial Engineering in Zurich, Switzerland and Management in Boston, USA. Mr Jung worked for several large international corporations in many countries, like Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Egypt, Turkey, Netherlands etc. He lived in Seattle, USA for many years and his children are active in environmental protection and high tech in the San Francisco area. Mr. Jung is a consultant and lecturer in the area of management and manufacturing. In 1999 he founded his own consulting company, with clients all over the globe. Over the years Mr. Jung has assisted a wide spectrum of manufacturing and distribution companies all over the world to become more competitive in a global environment. Since coming to Malta for the first time two years ago, he has taken a special interest in the migration problem and the role of Malta. He believes that one key answer (not the only one) to the migration problem is to provide for jobs in their own countries and that education is a key to this. He is interested in developing trade and technical exchange between Europe and the MENA region, especially for SMEs. Malta has a great potential to take a leading role in this. Mr. Jung is currently dividing his time between Germany, where he founded the Flexible Factory Institute and Malta. He is working to create a base in Malta to make a sustainable contribution to the easing of the migration problem by helping to create jobs in the MENA region. Werner Jung can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
December 2013 | THE ECONOMIC UPDATE
Management & Leadership
Selling your business By Adrian Spiteri
Deciding whether to sell your business is probably one of the most difficult and emotionally engaging decisions for a businessman, both for the original founders who would have spent a lifetime dedicated to building a profitable business and perhaps more so for second or third generation family businesses. Yet there often comes a time when due to succession planning issues or other family matters, selling a business appears to be in the best interest of preserving the long term wealth of the family. The decision to sell your company is a very bold step but it is only the beginning of a journey. In many owner-managed and familyrun businesses the value of the company is intrinsically tied to the owner, so the first step is to create a viable business which can run smoothly with minimal owner intervention. Creating a viable business that can thrive independently is about creating the appropriate systems and processes, as well as the right management incentives and governance structures. For some companies this is much harder to achieve than in others. In general, service oriented companies find the transition more difficult than for product companies, and in fact more and more service companies are productising their services to make this transition easier, the difficult part of course is doing this without losing the personal touch. The owners of companies that undergo this transition successfully sometimes find out they do not need to sell their company after all as their company can run very well without their continuous intervention and that their own family wealth is best preserved within the business they understand most. However for other companies, perhaps for different reasons, the best course of action might still be to go ahead with the sale of the business. If after the transition period the decision is still to sell the company, then the next steps would be to estimate the value that potential buyers would be willing to pay for acquiring 20 |
your company. Business valuation is a very specialist area and in this regard it is important to engage an experienced corporate finance adviser to make sure that you develop realistic expectations about the value of your company and to be able to defend your position with potential buyers. The next step is testing the market. Maintaining confidentiality is critical in these situations, particularly in a small market like Malta where everybody knows everybody. In these situations your corporate finance adviser can help you test potential buyers on anonymous basis, possibly through an anonymised teaser document. Once there is concrete interest, the interested party would then be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement, following which they would be introduced with the current business owner. If there is the potential for moving forward, they would then be given a confidential information memorandum comprising a detailed financial and operational review of the business, providing them with enough information to be able to place an offer for acquiring the shares in the company.
deal will progress through the financial and legal due diligence stage. Once again this is a stage where experienced buyers will try to find reasons to chip away at the deal price. The role of your adviser here would be to support you throughout this process and the on-going negotiations leading up to deal closure, including making sure that the legal drafting accurately reflects the commercial substance of the deal. Last but not least you should plan your life after exiting the business. Too many business owners reluctantly decide to sell, begin the process but then abort as a deal comes to the table. Often this is because the CEO/owner has nothing to look forward to and equates selling the business with retirement. Having the next chapter of your life clarified and in front of you will keep you rational and motivated as the deal progresses. TEU
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Creating a viable business that can thrive independently is about creating the appropriate systems and processes
The next decision is whether to entertain competing offers or whether to work exclusively with one bidder. In a small market like Malta, where confidentiality is paramount, working with one bidder for a limited exclusivity period often makes sense to be able to keep the potential transaction under wraps, albeit this could be at the expense of extracting the maximum value from the deal. With the help of a professional corporate finance adviser it is also feasible to run a tightly knit process with a limited number of competing interested parties. The steps that follow include a detailed evaluation of the offers received, particularly in terms of the value, structure, timing and deliverability. Deal structuring in particular, is an area where a number of deals fall through unless there is professional support on both sides of the table. Obviously the simplest and most attractive deal structure would be a cash offer payable in full on deal completion, however it is very common to receive offers for deferred payment and earn-outs based on future performance of the company. Your adviser will assist you in these situations, as in most cases the devil is in the detail. Once the deal is approved in principle, the
Editorâ€™s Note Adrian Spiteri is a director of RG Capital Advisors Ltd, a boutique corporate finance firm with a particular focus on mergers & acquisitions, finance raising, debt restructuring and public private partnerships. Adrian has 20 years professional experience, including 7 years in international business development and 13 years in local and international corporate finance advisory, including 3 years in London with a specialised corporate finance unit. Adrian holds a BSc and MSc from the University of Malta and an MBA with a specialisation in corporate finance from the University of Strathclyde Graduate Business School. Adrian is a visiting lecturer in corporate finance at the University of Malta.
European Parliament Committee adopts recommendations against discrimination and homophobia “Report sends a strong message” - MEP Roberta Metsola
Member of the European Parliament for Malta, Roberta Metsola this morning welcomed the strong vote in the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) in favour of a recommendation for a future EU roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. MEP Roberta Metsola is the spokesperson of the Group of the European People’s Party on the dossier and piloted the important negotiations on behalf of the Group throughout the last months. The vote in Committee passed with only two votes against. Commenting on the report, Dr Metsola said that “the report is the result of months of negotiations with different political groups and comes following important discussions with NGOs and stakeholders from different viewpoints in Malta and the EU. We have achieved a text that strikes the right balance between safeguarding the rights of all our citizens and respecting the competence
of Member States to legislate in this area themselves.” MEP Metsola said that “the problems LGBTI people are facing are serious: discrimination, violence and harassment are persistent phenomena that must be addressed, in Malta and throughout the European Union. The vote this morning sent a strong message to our societies and showed a broad consensus across the political spectrum to tackle these issues.” The report builds on previous requests by the Parliament for the European Commission to work on an EU equality roadmap for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons. The report adopted today calls on the European Commission to make proposals to ensure non-discrimination for LGBTI people in a number of fields and calls for action on hate crimes to be better tackled across the EU. “Importantly, the proposals respect the principle of subsidiarity, whereby the
European Union and Member States must stick to their respective competences. This is a first step and the report must still be passed by the European Parliament’s plenary before it is final” said MEP Metsola. In a statement, MEP Ulrike Lunacek, author of the report and Co-President of the European Parliament’s LGBT Intergroup, added: “This report should encourage the Commission to—at last!—present a coherent approach to protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people across policy areas it’s responsible for. I am very pleased the Committee adopted this report with such a large cross-group majority. The report adopts a balanced approach, and I will be working with all political groups to ensure any doubts are addressed before the text goes to plenary.” The report is expected to be voted in plenary prior to the European Parliament elections next year. TEU
December 2013 | THE ECONOMIC UPDATE
Successful . Ta’ FrenC gourmet event
Ta’ Frenċ Head Chef Mario Schembri (first from R) and Maitre d’ Joseph Tabone (first from L) with the Sicilian guest chefs Rita Russotto and her partner, Manuel Distefano
By Malcolm J. Naudi Although Rita Russotto speaks English with an American accent (she was born in Brooklyn and spent the first seven years of her life in New York), she thinks in Italian and feels intimately linked with the territory around Scicli in the Ragusa province of Sicily where she runs her establishment, Ristorante Satra. Rita, along with her business partner and fellow chef, Manuel Distefano, were in Gozo earlier this month to team up with Ta’ Frenċ Restaurant’s head chef Mario Schembri and the kitchen brigade at Ta’ Frenċ for a dinner, themed A Taste of Sicily. “I discovered an unexplored place – Gozo, that is still virgin, with people who are warm, sincere, clever, efficient and happy to please,” she observed following the highly successful event. She was very happy to have teamed up with Mr Schembri and is passionate about sharing Sicilian traditions through her cuisine. She is largely self-taught but, having spent 27 years in Ragusa Ibla, she recently moved to Scicli, a Baroque town that is different, with many ancient traditions. Rita combines tradition with innovation and a deep respect of the identity of her immediate surroundings. She has teamed up with Enrico Russino, who has been providing fresh herbs to Ta’ Frenċ for more than a decade, for all her aromatic herbs and this is what makes her cuisine stand out. Service for the six-course Ta’ Frenċ dinner was five star, with a constant flow of food and wine at regular intervals throughout the highly pleasant evening. The wines and a grappa were kindly supplied by N.M. Arrigo Ltd. The four wines that went with the meal all came from the same Sicilian winery, Cantine Settesoli, based in Menfi, Agrigento, and its range-topping Mandrarossa brand. The dessert wine was a Marco de Bartoli Marsala Superiore Riserva and the grappa was a Lucano Nero d’Avola. 22 |
Enrico Russino during the tasting session of olive oil, dry and fresh herbs. Rita Russotto and Manuel Distefano are in the background
The zucchini blossom provided a splash of colour, hiding a blob of Sicilian ricotta quenelle in the centre of a delicious fava bean soup with fried baby calamari, seasoned with wild fennel. This first course was accompanied by a Mandrarossa Fiano, a fresh, fragrant white with strong citrus notes and a fresh, savoury taste. A pasta dish followed with a cocoa bean and langoustine sauce, seasoned with lentils – certainly an unusual combination but truly satisfying and visually stunning. This was washed down with a Mandrarossa Grecanico Costadune (single vineyard), an easy drinking white with ancient roots, delicate fragrances with a zest of citrus and long, full, savoury flavours. Next came a delicate fillet of Red Mullet on sweet and sour onions, pine nuts and capers, seasoned with perennial basil. Another white, an Urra di Mare Sauvignon Blanc, whose vines grow close to the sea, accompanied this nicely presented plate. The main course followed a toasted almond milk sorbet that was creamy and velvety. This consisted of delicately cooked lamb served with mashed Jerusalem artichoke, mustard green and caramelised pastinaca. The reddish meat contrasted with the earthy tones of the other ingredients, which were washed down with a Timperosse Petit Verdot. This is a full-bodied red with rich, intense fragrances of red fruits, ripe apples and fresh prunes. The flavour is freshly acidic with very soft, rounded tannins. The dessert consisted of fresh prickly pear ice-cream made on the day that accompanied an
The beautiful display of olive oil and herbs that are available from Ta’ Frenċ in Gozo
almond and jasmine pudding with candied fig and a sprinkle of almonds. This was washed down with a splendid Marsala with Grillo grapes that are picked and selected by hand, soft pressed, naturally decanted and traditionally fermented at room temperature in oak and chestnut barrels. Part of the must is enriched with acquavite for the making of the mistella, added later to the wine, which is aged for 10 years. The splendid gourmet experience was rounded off with petit fours, coffee and a grappa with ethereal scents of underbrush and a warm, silky and harmonious taste obtained after the steam distillation of the Nero d’Avola grapes. The following day, Dr Russino, owner of Gli Aromi di Russino in Scicli, led an interesting session in which guests could taste two types of olive oil bottled for Ta’ Frenċ, a Tas-Salvatur made from olive trees planted opposite Ta’ Frenċ 10 years ago, and a Giarratana, with Frantoio olives from trees that have been growing in Tond Iblea for between 150 and 450 years. He then encouraged guests to sample different types of dried herbs, all available from Ta’ Frenċ, including wild fennel, perennial basil, wild thyme, dried capers and a host of other beautifully perfumed herbs that are grown on Dr Russino’s farm, which is now a tourist destination. He even brought along the fresh plants for the guests to smell for their outstanding frangrances. TEU
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Women Leaders December 2013
Women Leaders : EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ZINDZI MANDELA, NELSON MANDELA’S
A Sense of Character A retrospection on Nelson Mandelas’s life and meaning from a very special standpoint. By Tarek Hijazi / TIP for The Economic Update
The daughter of Nelson Mandela in an exclusive interview, just weeks before her father passed away. She gives impressive insights into her memories of her early childhood, how she experienced the visits to her father in jail. The repressiones of the apartheid cops belonged to her daily life. And the day the announcement was made that her father would be released was the same day as the funeral of her life partner, an underground operative of the ANC, who was killed in detention. She never got over that most bittersweet moment in her life.
TEU: You were only eighteen months old when your father was sentenced. Too young to have a recollection of the harrowing event. What is your earliest memory of your father? ZM: My earliest memory actually as a child is linked to my father. I remember my mother preparing his favourite dish: baked spaghetti with mince and cheese. She took it to him at the police station in Pretoria. I couldn’t remember whether it was a police station or prison, but to me, it looked like a police station. She left my sister and myself in the car, and we were quite scared because it was getting dark outside and it seemed like she was gone for the longest time. This I remember so vividly and my mother can’t believe that I actually remember because she said I was too young. TEU: Growing up, you got to know your father from trips you took to visit him while still in jail, and from letters you often wrote each other. How was that for you? What was the most memorable conversation you had? ZM: I think it was the very first conversation. The very first time I met him. It was very difficult. When I saw him, I had to see him through a glass partition. He was sitting down. There were three waters on his side, and three on ours. I was very conscious of the fact that it was a very hostile environment and it was a very cold day as well. We had been on the ferry for quite some time. We weren’t allowed to come on deck, and we 24 |
were at the bottom where people had been sick because it wasn’t a steady ride. So it was quite traumatic actually getting to him. And then getting there and hearing these tall, white, hostile prison warders who had no sense of compassion whatsoever even for a young child or the actual event of a fifteenyear-old meeting her father for the first time. But my father, the way in which he spoke to me, I could tell he realised my insecurity. He realized that I was quite emotional. And so he made me picture us all being at home with me sitting on his lap near the fireplace and he is reading a bedtime story to me, and I just got lost in his words. I became very captivated by him. I realised early on in my life the charm that he has. He was very convincing. He had the power to transport us from that particular environment to an imaginary one that actually worked and made us survive. He had the power to transport us from that particular environment to an imaginary one that actually worked and made us survive
TEU: As a young girl you felt vulnerable without your father, and have said that “had he been present, you wouldn’t have been exposed to the apartheid’s brutality and hostility.” Would you say that had contributed to your nervous breakdown which you eventually sought psychiatric help for? ZM: That was one of the reasons. The immediate reason was when I saw the hardship that my mother was being put
through. I remember quite vividly one incident whereby we were in the house and my uncle Peter was there. It was just me, my mother and my uncle. The apartheid cops stuffed our chimney with bricks and all we could inhale inside the house was carbon monoxide. I just remember waking up to my mother screaming, trying to revive me. My uncle was trying to get the doors open so that we can get out for help. It was very early in the morning and it was quite cold. My mother put me on the wet grass, shaking, still crying, screaming for help. It was experiences like those and how often my sister and I would be alone at home as children. There would be times when we’d come back from school only to find that the very same morning, the cops had taken my mother away. It wasn’t easy for neighbours to be supportive because they would also be harassed by the police. We had to wait for one brave relative or the family of Struggle Icons that eventually became who we regarded as family. So it was like a buildup of many things and also going to bordering school at an early age of five. Even there, the Italian nuns were extremely racist and we were exposed to many difficult experiences there. So it was a build-up of various factors in various hardship experiences I had growing up that eventually led to that. I just thank God that I was able to identify within myself that I wasn’t able to hold it together. I told my mother. I said: “Look, I’m looking for a psychiatrist and I have found this guy in the telephone book. I need to make an appointment with him.”
Women Leaders : EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ZINDZI MANDELA, NELSON MANDELA’S
TEU: How would you describe your mother, Winnie Madikizela? ZM: I think my mother is extremely courageous. She is a very strong woman. A very compassionate person. We always had other cousins and relatives at home because she was constantly taking people in to look after them. It comes naturally to her. People often refer to her as a born social worker. She is very much that type of person who is always concerned about other people’s problems. She truly believes that she is there to serve and has demonstrated that quite well. TEU: When did you realise your father was a hero? ZM: From the earliest time in my childhood because every time people learned who we were when they realise our surname, there was always a reaction. It was never total indifference. It would either be excitement and emotional or hatred and hostility. So I realised from an early age that there was something special about him. My mother always made us understand why he was not home and what he was fighting for. That made us appreciate and support his cause. As much as I realised that he is a great man in his own right, I also learned when I got to know him personally after his release that he was a very modest and a humble man, and that was something that struck me about his legacy. TEU: Take us back to that iconic moment when you took centre stage to read to the world the letter refusing your father’s conditional pardon in 1985. What was going trough your mind? ZM: He told his lawyers to ask me to read the message. It was a great honour for me. It was one of the most bittersweet moments in my life because I grew up very conscious of the fact that I came from a single-parent household. I was very conscious of the fact that when children spoke about their father, I had nothing to say. I couldn’t contribute. I did not know what it meant. I had never experienced it, so I grew up with a sense of longing for my father to come back home and for us to be a whole family. So here I was, having to say that he is not going to come back on terms that compromised his dignity and compromised the stand that he took against the apartheid government. So I was split between having to acknowledge that he won’t be coming home to us anytime soon, but at the same time having
to hold up this beacon of pride to say that I am very proud of him and the stand that he has taken, and that he cannot be shaken and that he cannot be broken. I was very conscious of the fact that when children spoke about their father, I had nothing to say. I couldn’t contribute. I did not know what it meant
TEU: Do you have any regrets? Given the opportunity, what would be the one thing or event that you would like to go back and change? ZM: I don’t even like to think like that because I believe that every experience is indeed a learning curve and it wouldn’t have shaped me as an individual so I cannot regret it. I can only be grateful no matter how negative or positive an experience. My experiences have given me a sense of character and more clarity of vision as to what life has to offer. That being said, if I were to regret anything it is the early loss of life of my granddaughter. I tell myself everyday perhaps I shouldn’t have allowed her to go to that concert and she may be with us today. But about other decisions in life and choices I have made, I do not have any regrets whatsoever. TEU: The ‘Zenani Mandela Campaign - Make Roads Safe’ was launched to honour her memory. ZM: Yes. It is an initiative of the United Nations’ Decade of Action for Road Safety. The greatest killer of children around the age of ten is road death and the onus is upon governments and the private sector to see to it that we develop infrastructure in our countries in the same way that they are willing to set aside budgets for issues of HIV/ AIDS, for housing and education, because road safety is a critical, critical issue in that it ties in with the development of roads and it ties in with road safety education. For me, it’s such a blessing that Zenani’s passing somehow became an idea to preserve the lives of other young children her age. TEU: Your daughter, Zoleka Mandela recently celebrated three years of sobriety. How does that make you feel? What advice do you have for women going through addiction? ZM: I think it’s the scariest thing especially for parents my generation because we grew up in a relatively drug-free environment in South Africa. My daughter was an addict for
ten years and I didn’t recognise it. I didn’t see the signs. It was a completely different and dark world that I was completely unaware of, but it’s very important for parents to pay attention and to take charge. Society has made us rely on the media and all types of popular culture to talk to our children, and we have to push that away and bring ourselves back in direct communication with our children, to talk to them regularly and to find out as much as we can about what it is that they do, who they are socialising with, what their fears are and what their insecurities are. We were just lucky that she was able to hold on to her strength. That her family was able to be there for her and provide her with all the support that she needed without being judgmental. It is very important for parents to try to have an honest and open dialogue because that is the only way to know the challenges your children are facing. To try to construct in them such strength of character because peer pressure has a lot to do with it as most children believe that certain activities make you cool and more relevant -- things that are life-threatening. It is all about communication with your children. TEU: How are you coping with media speculations about your father‘s health? ZM: I am very concerned in the way the media handled the issue of my father’s health. This has been going on for a number of years. It is like business. Everybody is trying to overtake the other with the hope of getting a scoop. Some members of the family have been approached directly with requests like: “We would like to speak to you about your father’s funeral.” It is quite harsh because my father is still alive and we continue to pray that he stays with us for as long as God will allow. And we’re not ready at any stage to be discussing his funeral and be assisting media with scoops. It is almost like the media is waiting for this great event, whereas, for us, it is the loss of a father, a comrade, a leader and somebody whom I love dearly. For me, emotionally, I’m just not ready to let go. Even if I have to intellectually say ‘my father is not young anymore. He is 95, and his health is frail. We enjoy every minute spent with him. We seize the time we have. And the media is trying to rob us of those opportunities, and turn every minute with him into a story. There have been all types of calls starting with the media and certain personalities where they say: “The family must just let go.” This riles us because we are not God. It is not true that he is on life support. And
December 2013 | THE ECONOMIC UPDATE
Women Leaders : EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ZINDZI MANDELA, NELSON MANDELA’S DAUGHTER
coffin was being lowered -- is when they made the announcement that my father would be released. I have never gotten over that because I thought it was one of life’s most bitter ironies that the one person who fought so hard for our freedom wouldn’t be there to witness my father’s release. So for me, that was a bittersweet moment and a moment where I just felt more determined than ever to make sure that I continue to uphold the values of everything that I have fought for personally, and everything that my parents, and the father of my child have fought for. TEU: Have you ever, at some point in your life, wished you hadn’t been born a Mandela? Did the burdens of carrying such a powerful name ever make you wish you had a normal life?
the person who is refusing to let go is my father himself. He is very determined. It is between him and his God. It is not for us to take such a decision. So all these speculations have been quite hurtful and very intrusive. TEU: How is he doing now? ZM: My father is fine. He is just typical of a 95-year-old man whose health has been compromised obviously because of his experiences in prison and we just take it day by day. He is getting stronger. I have a feeling that if he were to meet his maker, he wouldn’t want it to happen while he is in a hospital. I think he would want to make peace with himself and with his life and with family before crossing over to the other side. And it has to be an environment that he is comfortable with. TEU: What qualities has your father instilled in you? ZM: I learned a sense of selflessness from both my parents, and that has made me very giving. TEU: What’s been your life’s most defining moment? ZM: Aside from the speech that I had to make for my father, it was also the loss of my life partner who was an underground operative of the ANC and he was arrested and killed in detention. The day of his funeral was the very same day -- as the 26 |
ZM: I think because of the way in which I grew up and the reality of my experiences, I have learned to be a very practical person, and very realistic. It’s not possible to have been born as anybody other than who I am right now. In terms of carving my own identity as an individual, I don’t allow other people to determine who I am. I don’t allow myself to be validated by others. I am me, and I have my own purpose to serve. The day of his funeral was the very same day -- as the coffin was being lowered -- is when they made the announcement that my father would be released
TEU: Looking back, what advice would you give to a 16-year-old version of yourself. ZM: It is very important during the most difficult times to realise that it is possible to overcome whatever adversity you face in your life and turn difficult experiences into positive ones in the sense that you learn to define yourself not according to how much you have suffered, but according to the capacity that you have overcome. It is also about learning to grow to your highest potential because each person has a particular calling in life and a purpose to fulfill. It is important to realise that you are here for a reason and to tap into that and to say - ‘Yes, the journey through life has got hardships, but that is what defines you, and that is what gives you character.’ TEU: Tell us about your current works. What keeps you busy? ZM: Right now, my priority and my passion is something called The Mandela 95th. It is
a business venture that was created by my son and I, obviously to coincide with my father’s 95th birthday, and the intention is to preserve my father’s legacy. And then what ever we do, our beneficiary are his legacy institutions: The Nelson Mandela Center of memory, The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, And the Mandela Roads scholarship. And we are fully endorsed by all three. In this manner we are also hoping to endorse our own legacy in terms of our particular individual passions and commitments. TEU: You are involved in many charitable organisations. What issues do you hold dearest to your heart? ZM: My passion is children. I’m all about children. I just believe that if you cannot invest in your future then there’s barely a point to your existence. Not only am I a Management Trustee of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, but I am also very passionate about works that I do in the community. Right now, my concern is for drug abuse and young people because with drug abuse, there’s a spillover into all other areas that are quite frightening. With drug abuse, you get sexual promiscuity, and with that, you get the risk of HIV and AIDS. With drug abuse, you are very vulnerable to criminal actions. TEU: You have become an in-demand public speaker and requests to appear and speak at major events have been pouring in. What made you want to reach out to people on such a personal level? ZM: Well, I have been doing public speaking for a number of years now, but it just hasn’t been formalised. I mainly talk about both my parents, whatever our current situation is in South Africa, our concerns, and correcting media speculations, or misconceptions that people might have. It is just to create some kind of platform to say we are available to share what it is that you would like to know. TEU: How would you like to be remembered? ZM: I would like to be remembered as a fighter and a fearless defender of the truth. I feel like that’s one of the most sacred values we have lost as a society and that very much defines who I am. TEU
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Equiom Group appoints new Head of Yachting and Aviation Equiom, the leading international trust and corporate services provider, headquartered in the Isle of Man and with offices in Jersey and Malta is delighted to announce that Marina Gall has been appointed as Head of Yachting and Aviation. The appointment reflects Equiom’s commitment to support our growing international base of clients and intermediaries
Marina has over 15 years experience within the private accountancy sector having started her career working for private landed estates within the UK before joining a leading accountancy firm in Penrith. In 2001 Marina moved to Jersey to join a trust company within their private client team, moving to their Marine and Aviation division where she became Director of Marine and Aviation. Equiom’s Group Managing Director, Sheila Dean commented: “I am delighted to welcome Marina to Equiom. The appointment reflects Equiom’s commitment to support our growing international base of clients and intermediaries and Marina’s wealth of knowledge and private client experience as well as her professionalism
and enthusiasm will undoubtedly add value to our Yachting and Aviation proposition.” Reflecting on her appointment Marina commented: “I am delighted to be joining Equiom at an exciting time. In addition to this I am also looking forward to being part of an experienced, professional and client focussed organisation and ensuring that Equiom’s Yachting and Aviation proposition continues to grow.” Marina holds various professional memberships including: Chartered Certified Accountants, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments, Institute of Indirect Tax and Chartered Institute of Taxation.
Equiom is delighted to have been shortlisted for the Citywealth International Finance Centre Awards 2014 in the category ‘Trust Company of the Year - Isle of Man’. Online voting is open until 9th January 2014 at http://www. citywealthmag.com/international-financial-centre-awards - the winners will be announced on 23rd January 2014. TEU
Awards: Women in Business – North West & Isle of Man International Business Woman of the Year 2011: Sheila Dean Citywealth Leaders List 2012 – Leading Trustee: Sheila Dean Private Client Practitioner: Top 50 Most Influential: Sheila Dean 2013 Private Client Practitioner: Top 25 Most Admired Companies 2013 Citywealth Leaders List 2013 – Leading Trustee: Sheila Dean Equiom (Isle of Man) Limited is licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission Equiom (Jersey) Limited is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission Equiom (Malta) Limited is authorised to acts as a trustee and fiduciary services provider by the Malta Financial Services Authority
About Equiom Equiom is fast becoming the stand out business in the fiduciary services sector with offices in some of the world’s premier International Finance Centres - including the Isle of Man, Jersey and Malta. They provide a range of innovative and effective fiduciary solutions that have widespread appeal to both corporations as well as high net worth individuals. Equiom is an independent, management owned company allowing to think strategically and act quickly. They are a thriving business with plans to continue to extend jurisdictional reach and product range, in order to provide increased planning opportunities for existing and potential clients.
Marina Gall – Head of Yachting and Aviation
December 2013 | THE ECONOMIC UPDATE
Managing for the Long Term By Martin Vella
As leaders in their core business; security and fire safety, Alberta feel obliged to be involved and take an active role in educating the public on matters which can prevent loss of life and/or property. The Economic Update speaks with Liz Barbaro Sant, Director, and one of three family directors engineering Alberta’s expansion, who sustains that enforcement of legislation is key to injecting the awareness needed out there so that everyone understands and appreciates the risks involved when trying to by-pass legal requirements. She feels very strongly that fire safety and security can be significantly enhanced in our country and as yet, it remains a constant struggle.
TEU: What are the issue areas you define as challenging and how do you maintain a broad focus that makes sure you have the desired impact? LBS: There are always challenges, but the constant challenge is alignment. Alignment regarding strategy, objectives and expectations. If you can achieve excellent alignment, which is difficult in itself, then everyone will be humming and moving, so that your company can perform well. It’s a challenge to keep all of that in line. Quality, together with excellent service delivery embody the essence of our priorities
TEU: Would you talk about Alberta’s quality and some of the legislative issues you’re focused on? LBS: Quality, together with excellent service delivery, embody the essence of our priorities. These two concepts are the centre of every meeting my brother and I have had with the team in the last few months. All the initiatives and restructuring plans we are implementing are focussed solely on improving these two crucial factors. What is a company without its clients’ trust in quality and service delivery? Looking back to the last couple of years, I can only but recognise that in our will to improve and to grow, we have unwittingly disappointed a few clients along the way. We have grown fast and had to deal with the challenges that this brought about, and we were sometimes less wise than other times. The new structure, the team and all resources we are bringing on will be the foundation for our newly-found focus on how we will exceed our clients’ expectations. 28 |
I strongly believe there are authentic leaders, who are naturally born to take the lead and be ahead of others, those who sense and act upon different situations before they actually happen. As for having a mentor it doesn’t matter how far you get in your career, you have always got to have someone to encourage you and talk to about your concerns. Having a sounding board for your ideas will be invaluable. They will also be the people you will turn to for advice and assistance when things don’t go according to plan. I am fortunate to have my brother right by my side in the business so normally he is always my first point of reference. Mentors are the people you trust.
Liz Barbaro Sant together with Karen Zerafa and Adrian Cutajar
TEU: What advice would you give a senior executive looking to step up? LBS: It’s different in each case, but mostly, to try to understand what leadership entails. A leadership role requires stepping away from the day to day, and into a more strategic and visionary role. Start stepping into that role. Don’t assume someone is just going to give it to you. If you are not already taking on the responsibilities, step into it, lean in. TEU: What’s the best piece of advice you have received? LBS: One of the things I learned a long time ago – self-awareness, or understanding my impact on people. It amazes me what people read into what you do or say. By being self-aware, I understand how my actions and statements and my mood, has an impact. I learnt that I wasn’t as aware of myself, or of other people. I had to learn these behaviours and it made a difference. Also, there is no point in blaming others when you fail. TEU: What is the most important lesson learned from a mistake made in your past? LBS: So many times I want to kick myself for a decision made – so much revolves around communication, organisation and expectations. Not only do expectations need to be clearly set, they need to be understood as well, such as making sure that the full understanding of mental models are correct. There are certainly techniques to keep misunderstandings from occurring, and if
you don’t do it, mistakes will continue to happen over and over again. TEU: How do you deal with growth?
LBS: When companies go through growth spurts, they often hire in bulk and company culture can suffer. While it may seem a desperate rush to get somebody through the door to help carry the load, it is worth being patient to find the right person, rather than hurrying and unbalancing your team. Bringing in fresh blood is very important. You have to try to be comfortable enough with your own position that you hire people who are extraordinary. We also continue to emphasise what is important to us in everything we do. One thing is diversity, which I believe is responsible for our creativity. You have to try to be comfortable enough with your own position that you hire people who are extraordinary
TEU: Who is your leadership role model and do you have a mentor?
LBS: I do not have one specific leader in mind. Rather, I am inspired by leaders with out-of-the-box thinking, who are visionary, intuitive and charismatic, who are able to lead and make a difference every step of their lives. Life has taught me that leaders can be found in the most unlikely places and not necessarily at the top of an organisation. Leadership is about behaviour and how you can really make a difference; it is about how you handle challenges and how you go the extra mile when others cannot. And
TEU: What would those who have worked with you say about your management style?
LBS: I am a driver by nature. I aim high and move mountains to get there by setting strategies. I enjoy listening, learning, and adapting to the situation, whether I need to speak softly or be more assertive. I am constantly adapting my communication style to the person I talk to so I can best relate to them and create a relationship. When it comes to people, as a leader, a big part of my job is to put the best talents in the best positions possible, give them the tools to do their jobs, get out of the way, and be an obstacle remover, when needed. TEU: How would you describe the differences between Women’s and Men’s Leadership styles?
LBS: For me, a leader is a leader regardless of gender. There is one element that differentiates men and women and I don’t think it’s about leadership, it’s about values. I see women as “corporate governance enablers” more than men. We pay more attention to transparency, conflict of interest and business ethics than men. I can’t tolerate misconduct or conflict of interest and I firmly believe in the importance of transparency. A leader is any person who has the foresight and energy to redirect a situation to the right direction. “A manager is about doing things right and a leader is about doing the right things”. Indeed, a leader chooses to put energy in the right places, who can inspire and drive change. This ability has nothing to do with being a male or a female.
December 2013 | THE ECONOMIC UPDATE
you will find a way to rebound. As long as you keep working hard and keep learning from your mistakes, you always will succeed. Never be afraid to do the job that no one else wants. There is opportunity in everything for success and you may learn something about yourself along the way. A lot of times the thing that made a difference was our confidence to see where others could not. The second – stay grounded in your values when making decisions. When your back is against the wall it’s your value system that determines which direction you will go. Being honest in your dealings, even with the hard decisions, will never let you down in the long run. Most importantly treat people with respect and love your family. Have empathy for colleagues, employees and for the people who are affected by the business’s operations. Listen to and accept with humility the feedback that comes from your team even though you don’t like what you hear sometimes. What are your views on: challenges faced in a familyrun business TEU: What’s your key to success in life?
LBS: Success, more than anything else, turns out to be about being able to set goals and reach them because you use the right strategies. Decide what you really want: to be the best, the fastest, the cheapest, the biggest, whatever. Aim for the ultimate. Decide where you want to end up. That is your goal. Then you can work backwards and lay out every step along the way. Admit you made a mistake. To say sorry. To have big dreams. To admit you owe success to others. To poke fun at yourself. To ask for help. To fail. Don’t create backup plans solely because they can help you sleep easier at night. Back-up plans can also create an easy out when times get tough. You will work a lot harder and a lot longer if your primary plan simply has to work because there is no other option. Total commitment-without a safety net--will spur you to work harder than you ever imagined possible. Know your strengths and your weaknesses. Be honest and admit when you have a problem. If somehow the worst does happen (and the “worst” is never as bad as you think) trust that 30 |
• Respect each other’s talents and use them at best, accept that you cannot do everything alone and accept a family member may be smarter in some areas. Setting up a Board of Directors and adopting corporate governance is critical with clearly defined duties and accountability for family members too. Communication • This is key, en par with transparency. It creates involvement, ownership and makes the team grow. Leadership not micromanagement • I believe in coaching, open door policies, motivation, team-building activities, no matter how small, knowing your people, good HR practices. These are all vessels to a happier team and higher productivity. We suffered from this in the past few years and we are doing everything possible to steer Alberta in the right direction. We are also trying to infuse fun. Growth • This requires stepping up into a more visionary role and moving away from the day-to-days. It may require re-structuring, definitely adopting a systematic approach,
becoming lean, with flowing processes and clearly defined duties and targets. Self-awareness • Keep getting to know yourself, know your effect on people, know what style you fall in and how to change it to fit the styles of others. Training/learning never stops, even if just through research/reading. A few philosophies you really believe in which have proven successful and you use day to day • never take no for an answer (we went on the moon after all) • if plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters • Ideas are cheap, execution is everything All rights reserved | Copyrighted
Editor’s Note Liza Barbaro Sant is a high energy C Level leader with an innate ability to drive strategy, lead people and achieve results. Entrepreneurial by nature and able to see the ‘bigger picture’, utilises skills from an extensive experience within the family business from Product, Performance and Marketing Management, Business and Stakeholder Performance and Analysis, Business Growth and Development. Liz has an excellent record of initiating and leading turnaround growth strategies and her successes and achievements are based on a passion for people development and empowerment. She is known as an inspirational leader with a supportive yet challenging management style that motivates both teams and individuals to achieve and exceed targets and job responsibilities. She is a committee member of Middle East Business Council, which aims to promote and enhance business linkages between Malta and the GCC countries in particular and all Middle East countries in general by creating a well-known and credible entity, facilitating Maltese business reaching out to the region, establishing links with stakeholders in the region and raising awareness about Malta. Liz has acted as Company Administrator, Business Development Manager and is presently Director at Alberta Fire & Security Equipment Ltd. She is also on the board of Empower, an initiative aimed at creating employment opportunities for people with disability who want to access the labour market.
Modernising education and encouraging entrepreneurship for more youth employment By Zofija MAZEJ KUKOVIČ
We need to modernise education by using open systems, integrating non-formal education and various skill-building platforms, thus encouraging creative confidence. We need to make investments in opportunities that could generate self-employment and grow into businesses
We believe in people that are dynamic, entrepreneurial, talented, self-motivated and dedicated. People who have bright ideas and are motivated to follow their dream.
about and knew through their parents doesn’t exist anymore. There is no longer a safe formula for the kind of education they should undertake in order to get a job.
We believe that young people should also be able to follow their dreams onto the labour market after finishing their studies. However, the economic crisis has hit the young more than any other age group.
The European Single Market creates new opportunities for youth
There is no longer a safe formula for the kind of education youth should undertake in order to get a job
Competition for jobs has changed from being local and national, to being global. Young people are not competing with others from their hometown anymore, but with anybody from any town, from anywhere. “Young people are not prepared for a changing job market” The world has moved along with the times. Access to the best study programmes are available to those whose education, only a decade ago, was not really developed. The biggest change is that jobs in large organisations and the public sector are decreasing. And our education system does not encourage young people to create their own job opportunities. There is no longer a safe formula for the kind of education youth should undertake in order to get a job. The main obstacle to youth employment is a lack of preparedness for the unconventional economic environment they find themselves in. The job market that young people have learned 32 |
Europe, however, is creating a real single market, a melting pot. This is a big step towards lowering barriers to self-employment and to businesses being able to implement an idea on a larger scale, in a market of 500 million people. This size of an open market has not easily been available to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). Now Europe is removing barriers and making various development funds available, as for example the COSME Programme, to support the competitiveness of European SMEs. Europe has also contributed to the international exchange of students; with the new Erasmus+ umbrella programme, 5 million young people will be able to take advantage of this. A further 8 billion Euro fund will be made available to stimulate employment, selfemployment and entrepreneurship specifically for young people, as part of the Youth Guarantee adopted by EU Member States. There are also various incentives for young people and entrepreneurs available in the new Common Agricultural Policy. Modern education should encourage selfemployment in growing industries Youth unemployment will not solve itself right away. We have to build a compelling vision for European youth based on new industries, markets and entrepreneurship.
We need to shine a light on and make investments in opportunities that could generate self-employment and grow into businesses. These are the opportunities that are growing from market demand in healthy food, wellbeing, sustainability and technology development with low-cost deployment. We need to raise awareness among young people to allow them to see what they have so far been unable to TEU
With special thanks to the EPP Group in the European Parliament.
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Editor’s Note Zofija Kukovic is an MBA at IEDC, 1996. Engineer of electronics, 1989. Informatics and organization, 1979. CEO of Esotech - Environmental Engineering company, 1992-2007. President of Commercial Ecological cluster of Slovenia, 2004-2007. Member of Executive Board, Managers Association Slovenia and Board for Chamber of Commerce, SAŠA region. President of football team Šmartno ob Paki, 1997-2000. President of Society for preservation of Smrekovec, Natura 2000, 2004. Minister of Health of Slovenia, 2007 2008. Presidency to the EU Health Ministers Committee, 2008. Member of Executive Board in Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), 2008-. President to the Board of Economics and Board of Health in SDS, 2008-2011. Member of Ljubljana City Council, 20102011. Autobiography “Simple philosophies for tough times,” 2007. Award for transfer of knowledge to business Jožef Stefan Institute Ljubljana, 2002. Business woman of the year, 2006. Award for Project Management, 2007. MEP since 2011.
Striving for Gender Equality By George Carol
Global College Malta interns helping with new Gender Equality Scholarship.
Global College Malta intern Lily Azbaha, together with her colleague Claudia Goncalves, talks about their initiative to solicit support for the new Gender Equality Scholarship through networks and social media to maximise scholarship uptake. TEU: Why is Malta the right place to test a very new and innovative scholarship programme that focuses on a ‘Women in Business’ Gender Equality Scholarship? LA: Since Malta is the connecting point of three continents and it is a country of opportunities, I think that it is the best place to test this new scholarship. Being centrally located makes it easier for women, and men who are interested in gender equality, to come here and study. Moreover, it is the ideal location for young women due to its extreme safety and friendly culture. TEU: Why, in your opinion, are many young capable and talented female students unable to achieve their academic or professional goals? LA: I think that many capable and talented female students are unable to achieve their academic or professional goals because they are not given the right opportunity at the right age. We have to create awareness among very young students about all possibilities they have. What young people pursue now, will tremendously determine their situation in the future. Not every country and culture is encouraging young girls to achieve their dreams; in some cases, it is even highly discouraged. We would like to change that and by offering this scholarship we would like to create awareness and motivate these students to pursue their academic and professional goals. TEU: You have decided to combine two problems: the glass ceiling and a lower number of female applications – in what way does this stimulate women to study at Global College Malta and to continue aiming for a high leadership position? LA: Even though Global College Malta
receives applications mainly from men (due to its focus on management, and oil & gas engineering), I see that there is a great potential for women to gain this valuable education and thus to become new business leaders. I believe that there are many women who are expected to be housewives and thus never continuing their education after primary school or high school. There are also a lot of women, who would love to continue their studies but do not get the opportunity because of the high tuition fees. by offering this scholarship we would like to create awareness and motivate these students to pursue their academic and professional goals
Moreover, even the women, who are not facing the financial issues, often stopped aiming for leadership positions since it is known that higher up the ladder there are more men than women. By offering this scholarship we aim to encourage people to strive for gender equality. This shall be done by supporting women to continue their studies and to aim for higher positions since it is possible to reach it as long as you work hard for it. In the same time, I feel that it is not right to discriminate men from this offer. For that reason, this scholarship is designed for anyone, who is willing to encourage gender equality in the market place. This scholarship should be a right step towards equal opportunities not only in education but also in their further careers. The selection procedure incorporates these criteria. TEU: What is significant in a role model encouraging gender equality in management positions and leadership roles?
LA: An ideal role model encouraging gender equality in management positions and leadership roles should be truly a catalyst for changes. Motivation is the key. It must be clear within any organisation that any sort of discrimination is not OK. The change shall be done through major shift in perception as well as in changes of day to day behaviour. Imagine a scenario, when you as a manager expect your female employees to prepare a coffee and do the dishes, because it is “women’s job”. It may sound like an unimportant thing, and these women may not even mind it so much (as they are probably used to it by now), however, it does set up a pattern of undesired behaviour. Similarly, some managers prefer to employ women for positions below their level of education or else they offer lower wages than they offer to men for the same positions. This is a very common trend which needs to be addressed by any leader and hopefully it will help to create a better world for all of us in the future. TEU
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Editor’s Note Lilly is 20 years old and is a third year student at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, currently doing her bachelor degree in International Business and Management Studies (IBMS). She lives in the multicultural city Rotterdam in the Netherlands. As part of her studies combined with her eagerness to learn, Lilly was given the opportunity to travel abroad and experience first-hand the daily operations of how a business is run.
December 2013 | THE ECONOMIC UPDATE
‘Aftershock’ Book Predicts Economic Disaster Amid Controversy “We Are on the Precipice of the GreatestRetirement Crisis in the History of the World.” – Forbes Robert Wiedemer’s new book, “Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown,” quickly is becoming the survival guide for the 21st century. And Newsmax’s eye-opening Aftershock Survival Summit video, with exclusive interviews and prophetic predictions, already has affected millions around the world — but not without ruffling a few feathers.
This wasn’t the first time Wiedemer’s predictions hit a nerve. In 2006, he was one of three economists who co-authored a book correctly warning that the real estate boom and Wall Street bull run were about to end. A prediction Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, were not about to support publicly.
Initially screened for a private audience, this gripping video exposed harsh economic truths and garnered an overwhelming amount of feedback.
Realising that the worst was yet to come, Wiedemer and company quickly penned “Aftershock.” However, just before it was publicly released, the publisher yanked the final chapter, deeming it too controversial for newsstand and online outlets such as Amazon. com.
“People were sitting up and taking notice, and they begged us to make the video public so they could easily share it,” said Newsmax Financial Publisher Aaron DeHoog. But that wasn’t as simple as it seems. Various online networks repeatedly shut down the controversial video. “People were sending their friends and family to dead links, so we had to create a dedicated home for it,” DeHoog said.
“We got lucky,” DeHoog said. “I happened to read the original version, which contained this ‘unpublished chapter,’ which I think is the most crucial in the entire book. Wiedemer gave Newsmax permission to share this chapter with our readers.” Continues on page 42
A red carpet for beautiful machines
Since 1988, Chopard has been supporting the famous Mille Miglia race, in which 375 vintage cars are driven from Brescia to Rome, thrilling the bystanders on the way. This year, Chopard, through Edwards, Lowell Co. Limited, supported another great motoring event – the Mdina Grand Prix. Chopard is proud to be an official sponsor of the Mdina Grand Prix and looks forward to a long and loyal partnership with the event and with the Valletta Grand Prix Foundation. Chopard, in collaboration with Edwards, Lowell Co. Ltd., also presented the winner of the Mdina Grand Prix with the latest Chopard Mille Miglia Chronograph. This chronograph represents what the Mille Miglia and the Mdina Grand Prix are all about – sophisticated mechanical engineering, outstanding design and high performance. Chopard is not only renowned for its watches, but also for the great parties it throws, including at the Oscars, Cannes Film Festival, and Mille Miglia race. On Thursday, October 10, Chopard gave the Spinola Bay square the red carpet treatment as it hosted the opening party of the Mdina Grand Prix. Those invited to this glamorous party include Mdina Grand Prix participants and Chopard clients, enjoyed an atmosphere of vintage cars, cocktails, glamorous watches and jewellery. TEU
For more information visit www.vallettagrandprix.com and www.elcol.com
December 2013 | THE ECONOMIC UPDATE
OIL & GAS
Medserv Malta on Logistics Support to the Oil & Gas Industry Medserv Group Chairman Anthony Diacono is interviewed by The Economic Update. As the offshore oil and gas industry in the Mediterranean region is forecast to grow and more Mediterranean countries, including Malta, gear up and enter into exploration and production sharing agreements with International Oil Companies (IOCs), Medserv Malta speaks to the Economic Update to share insight into the companyâ€™s success story, their plans for the future and their views on what needs to be done to ensure Malta capitalises on the opportunities with which it is being presented. With a successful track record of 40 years servicing the offshore oil and gas industry in the Mediterranean, the Medserv name is today synonymous with logistical support to the large IOCs operating in the Central Mediterranean. The Group is currently expanding its reach and in addition to their bases in Malta and Libya, investment is currently being made in a Cyprus base.
Part of our success has been our ability to look to the future to identify growth opportunities, says Anthony Diacono, Group Chairman. Whilst the business pipeline looks good with the company participating in various international tenders, and as we continue to invest in our bases and equipment to maintain competitiveness in our core business, we recognise that complacency is the worst enemy. We are currently looking to enter new markets, diversify our product and service offering, as well as considering acquisitions to strengthen our position. We have also invested in non-core business to make full utilisation of our facilities and are in the process of installing a 2MWp roof mounted solar farm at our facilities in the Malta Freeport. The success of the recent Note issue is testament to the strength of our brand locally and demonstrates the confidence the market has in us.
Our shareholders too are important and our management team is committed to making sure the group remains an attractive investment supported by a strong dividend policy. We also constantly seek advice as to how to ensure we create the right environment for shareholders as evidenced by the splitting of shares recently announced. We are in the People Industry and the quality of our employees is directly related to the quality of our service and a direct reflection on the strength of our brand. We continually seek to attract the best people to the group, whether it be at director and senior management level or at the level of support and technical staff. The offshore oil and gas industry is managed by a dominant handful of IOCs and for this reason cultivating a strong brand and a strong reputation is paramount. Word of mouth is the most influential form of marketing in the industry.
Mud Plant at Medservâ€™s Malta Facilities
Malta is ideally situated to capitalise on the growth in offshore oil and gas activity in
the Mediterranean region forecast to take place over the next decade. Recognising that Malta has limited land resource it is important that we use our facilities in the most efficient manner possible. We also recognise that in order to cater for this expected surge in activity, the group needs not only the best people but also the best facilities. Our Malta base will need to be expanded and the company is already looking to secure more land. Furthermore Malta is the gateway and ideal platform to logistically support growth in North Africa, particularly as regards the offshore oil and gas industry. Political stability, sound economic environment, safety, security and infrastructure are key elements to attract logistics support services. As a nation, we are fortunate that Malta satisfies these critical factors however there is always room for improvement and development particularly in infrastructure. Investment in developing a hub for this industry is critical to allow Malta to reap the benefits that this influx of business will bring. We believe that for that to happen every effort must be made to ensure that those companies with a strong track record of delivering in this field are afforded every chance to utilise the best facilities and sites available. Success will generate investment, and create jobs well beyond their direct sphere as the multiplier effect on the economy as demonstrated by Medserv should not be ignored. TEU
For more information : www.medservmalta.com tel: 22202000
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Oil & Gas Feature
THE ITALY AND MALTA OIL & GAS 2013 SUMMIT
The Italy and Malta Oil & Gas 2013 Summit was held under the auspices of the Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business of Malta and the Ministry for Energy and the Conservation of Water of Malta. The Ministries provided IRN with exclusive insight and information regarding the Upstream and Downstream sector of Malta, and will be there to present on the latest developments, so this is your unique opportunity to meet and network with them. The Italian team met with their Maltese in Valetta to finalise the program and discuss the details of the summit. The Italy and Malta Oil & Gas 2013 Summit
Dr. Konrad Mizzi, Minister for Energy and the Conservation of Water of Malta with IRN Oil & Gas team and John Schembri, President of Shield Consultants
DAY 1 - ITALY
DAY 2 - MALTA The official agenda of the Italy and Malta Oil & Gas 2013 Summit hosted topics that define the oil and gas industry in both countries in the following themes: •
New offshore regulations on E&P activities
The Geological landscape on and offshore Italy and Malta with updates on the current production status
Identifying new opportunities in Italy, from new ventures and farm outs to pipelines and LNG
took place on 30-31st October in Rome. Being the only event that focuses on the two neighbouring countries Italy and Malta, both of which have significant oil and gas prospect, the event will host the highest delegation from the principal operating companies in Italy and Malta, as well as presentations on the Upstream onshore and offshore potential and the latest updates from the most exciting Downstream projects that link Italy with Europe and North Africa.
One can present a case study focused on analysis of business security within a particular project or region. Presentation Participants can request to present on one of the topics listed in the agenda tab, or form your own presentation on a topic that well reflects your area of expertise Panel Discussion
This provided investors, delegates and participants to meet the Government and the leading operators of the region in Rome, and get involved in the well-rewarding Italian and Maltese hydrocarbon industry and benefit from the investment opportunities rising in both countries.
By partaking in one of the highly topical panel discussion you can present you and your company’s perspective on some of the most critical industry concerns. The senior level Speaker Faculty included a strong panel of experts from the Maltese Government and International Oil Companies, as well as key Consultants, Geologists and Associations with extensive experience and knowledge of the region.
Source : rn-international.com
PRESTIGIOUS OIL AND GAS ENGINEERING COURSES IN MALTA JANUARY 2014 Global College Malta (GCM) has announced that it is partnering with Robert Gordon University (RGU) to provide three of its oil and gas engineering courses, commencing January 2014. The partnership agreement will ensure that industry specialists from RGU’s teaching community will come to GCM to deliver the following three courses: • MSc Oil and Gas Engineering • MSc Petroleum Production • MSc Drilling and Well Engineering
Robert Gordon University
The programmes combine on campus tuition and online tutorials. This means, the courses emulate those offered at RGU’s main campus whereby after successful completion of the course, students will graduate with a degree certificate awarded by Robert Gordon University. To find out more about Global College Malta and its degree courses, please visit www.gcmalta.com.
Are you interested?
If you are interested in applying for one of the MSc Oil & Gas Engineering courses or just enquiring for more information, contact Global College Malta directly and one of our Admissions Representatives will provide you with all the details on the courses and application process. The Admissions Office can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org and +356 21801252.
Global College Malta Tel.: +356 21801252 email@example.com, www.gcmalta.com SmartCity Malta, SCM01, Ricasoli
Robert Gordon University (RGU) is based in Aberdeen, the Energy Capital of Europe, and offers a diverse and exciting range of degree courses to students from over 120 different countries world-wide. RGU is recognized as a leading provider of professional education and training to the oil and gas sector with courses developed in close collaboration with industry and taught by leading experts in the field. The close working relationship that RGU maintains with industry has led to the Universities outstanding employment rate for postgraduate students of 96% and the accolade of Best UK University for Employment.
Good quality education makes a difference...
The internet and internationalisation of SMEâ€™s - that sinking feeling By Klaus M. Pedersen
Over the past decades, the internet has gradually become an increasingly important tool for SME’s to internationalise. However, recent changes in the way Google ranks search results – known as the Venice Update - have reversed this trend. What is meant by localised SEO - and why is this development having a major impact on how companies use the internet for international marketing purposes? The internet – the ultimate internationalisation tool Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO for short, has gone from being a buzz-word to being a common tool which is known by almost all companies – small and big. The art of ensuring that your web-site gets a high ranking among the most important search engines, which in our part of the world equates to Google, has become so important to most companies, that they spend a lot of time and resources towards this end. From the point-of-view of promoting internationalisation of SME’s, the internet has long been the pinnacle of internationalisation promotion. The importance of the internet in promoting your business cannot be overstated, and the fact that Small- and Medium Sized Companies could suddenly market their services to most the world has revolutionised internationalisation as a discipline and a subject. With the help of some good SEO, a company could almost instantly be a player in a global market – a scenario summarised in the term “Born Globals”. But this trend which have been going on for the past twenty years and which appeared to be an unstoppable march towards a world made smaller by the internet, has now been stopped – and indeed reversed. The implications are of course much more profound than the marketing aspects, because it allows search engine providers to segment the market and generate exponentially higher incomes
Venice – a revolution by stealth
take into account where you are, and if you are using a mobile device, it may even consider your exact locality when listing your results. For holders of web-sites, this means that they have to have local content and relevance in order to show up in specific localities. That means, for example, text in the local language and links to authoritative local web-sites. But that also means that, by a stroke, the relentless drive towards internet-driven globalisation has been halted and reversed. Companies can no longer make a good website, work some SEO magic and presto: get a high ranking in most countries around the world. Now they have to work hard on each market again – just like the old days. A small change with wideranging implications It is astonishing how little these changes have been debated, not only in Malta, but around the world, given the massive implications they have for how we use the internet and thereby for nearly all businesses. The implications are of course much more profound than the marketing aspects, because it allows search engine providers to segment the market and generate exponentially higher incomes and it gives the users more customised search results but also raises issues about privacy. I will leave it to others to discuss these wider socio-economic implications, but for the Small and Medium Sized Maltese Business here and now, the consequences are clear: these changes demand an immediate and drastic strategic rethink for any company which is using the internet to market its’ products or services internationally. TEU
In 2012, Google made some major changes to how their search engine ranks search results. The changes were first and foremost in the area of localised content and local context. To explain this, it is easiest to look at it from the point of view of the user. You may have noticed that your search results have started becoming much more local. Before, if you searched for example HSBC without specifying Malta, you would get a host of results from around the world. Not so anymore: today Google will
Editor’s Note Klaus Pedersen is the Internationalisation Manager at The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry. Mr. Pedersen’s studies focused specifically on the Internationalisation of SMEs, though a Master degree in International Strategic Management at Aarhus School of Business (now Aarhus University). A Danish national, Mr. Pedersen has worked in a number of sectors, in both up-stream and down-stream oriented management positions, in both Denmark and Malta. In his current post, Mr. Pedersen is responsible for the Malta Chamber’s efforts to help its’ members in their internationalisation efforts.
November 2013 | THE ECONOMIC UPDATE
Continued from page 35
With daily economic forecasts projecting doom and gloom and no recovery in sight, people need to learn how to survive economic disaster. During the past quarter alone, unemployment skyrocketed to nine percent. Inflation continues to soar and the U.S. national debt crisis is still on the fence between raising the debt ceiling or massive budget cuts, with no resolution in sight. During Newsmax’s Aftershock Survival Summit video, Wiedemer discusses the dire consequences of Washington, D.C.’s, bipartisan, multi-decade “borrow-and-spend” agenda. He also explores the inflation nightmare, the impending plunge in home prices, the looming collapse of the stock and bond markets, a possible historic surge in unemployment, and how to survive what life in America will be like in the days of the “Aftershock.” Despite appearances, Aftershock is not a book with the singular intention of scaring the heck out of people. Although it does provide a harsh outlook for the economic future of America, the true value lies in the wealth of investment tips, analyses,
Rolex MIDDLE SEA RACE A celebration of Malta’s maritime tradition, the 34th edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race attracted a record fleet of 99 yachts, with the eventual winner being Michele Galli’s B2. As always, the race started in style with a spectacular start sequence, as the dramatic sound of cannon fire echoed against the beautiful backdrop of the Grand Harbour. The record fleet then raced to Sicily, before entering the Strait of Messina, heading off to Pantelleria and Lampedusa, and returning to Malta. Sponsored by Rolex since 2002, the RMSR captures the imagination of the sailing world, attracting top sailors from all around the world. For the occasion, Edwards Lowell Co. Limited organised a hospitality event on the St Elmo footbridge in Valletta. With a full view of the Grand Harbour, the St Elmo footbridge is the best location where to view the start of the RMSR from. Guests were treated to drinks and canapés as they enjoyed a live commentary of the race. TEU
predictions, budget advice, and sound economic guidance that people can act on immediately, offering a ray of recovery hope and an indispensable blueprint for life after shock. Viewers of Newsmax’s Aftershock Survival Summit video heard detailed advice for handling credit card debt, home and car loans, life insurance, unemployment issues, how to beat inflation, making personal budget cuts and many more recovery tools to survive the economic aftershock. They also took advantage of a special Newsmax offer for a free copy of the new edition of “Aftershock,” which includes the final “unpublished chapter.” TEU
Courtesy: 2013 Newsmax
Editor’s Note Over 30 million have watched The Aftershock Survival Summit. For a limited time, Newsmax is showing the Aftershock Survival Summit and supplying viewers with free copies of the “Aftershock” book (while supplies last).
Good Measure By George Carol
Five months into his nomination as a PN candidate for the forthcoming European Parliamentary elections to be held in May 2014 we touch base with Jonathan Shaw
TEU: The brief- what’s your position on the following five issues.
off, lacked full info to highlight the extent of the actual measure.
1. The Individual Investor Programme
3. Youth Unemployment
JS: It was a non-starter from day one and so much so that the name given to the programme does not match the scheme itself. When one purchases something, whatever the price, if it’s an outright sale, the individual is referred to as a client and not as an investor. As of today, talks with the Opposition are in progress and I hope that common sense will prevail and amendments are put in place. Nonetheless, serious damage has been done to our nation’s credibility.
JS: Youth Unemployment is a time bomb and it’s a recent European phenomena highlighted by the fact that even educated people realize or find no real opportunities for their employment. Whilst EU and Government policy can assist and contain this issue, business leaders need to do their part. We need to instill a countrywide mindset whereby we really believe in today’s youth, listen to them and give them the opportunity to manage and lead. Our country’s business sector is mostly composed of small and family owned companies and unfortunately some parents/ owners struggle with the idea of giving sufficient space and opportunities to their own children.
When one purchases something, whatever the price, if it’s an outright sale, the individual is referred to as a client and not as an investor
2. Labour’s First Budget JS: There is an important lesson to be learnt from this year’s Budget. If we want a People’s Budget, we have to speak the people’s language. The people want good measures that impact them positively. How these measures will be financed, for a sector of the population, this might come as secondary. This is not necessarily a good thing, but we cannot live in a bubble. Perceptions matter, and this Budget handled some perceptions well. On the otherhand, reality is that the budget lacked the important detail of how certain positive measures will be financed or worse 44 |
4. Civil Unions and Gay Adoption JS: I’m all in favour of LGBT rights and in my opinion we have made giant steps in this regard over the years. Nonetheless, this is a dynamic and ongoing process that needs to evolve with the reality of the times. As regards adoption by Gay couples, similar to adoption by heterosexual couples, whatever the case, the adoption process and framework must still be carried out and each case decided on its merit. For a gay couple to adopt is clearly not the conventional set-up, but that is not to say that homosexual parents are less suitable,
or caring than heterosexual parents. The issue is not if the gay couple is capable of adopting but is society and other children ready to have a child with two ‘daddies’ or two ‘mummies’. Hence, besides debating this possibility we need to embark on a strong educational programme. Nonetheless, lets also keep matters in context and not give the impression that we are going to have thousands of gay unions and adoptions! 5. Gozo Bridge or Tunnel JS: I have my reservations about the financial and environmental feasibility of either of the two yet I would have to wait to read the commissioned studies to have a factual opinion. Yet, I strongly believe that we don’t need to wait for the above links to improve the current infrastructure and connectivity. I have already written an article whereby I highlighted the feasibility of having the current runway extended to accommodate small fixed wing aircraft and also the idea of a fast catamaran which departs from the waterfront in Valletta. A fast catamaran departing every 90mins, with space for some cars and cargo vehicles besides foot passengers should already provide a good and parallel option to the Gozo Channel boats. Being located at the Waterfront makes locational sense as its adjacent to a car park, the elevator to Valletta, the Marsa port for cargo and adjacent to Cruise liners for day tourists. TEU
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Malta E-Gaming Review 2013/14 In the autumn of 2000 the Maltese government passed legislation enabling online betting centres to be set up in the country, and this legislation, coupled with provisions from the Income Tax Act written specifically for international companies, made Malta an attractive location for casino and sportsbook operations. Malta became the first EU member state to regulate internet gaming in May 2004 with its Remote Gaming Regulations under the Lotteries and Other Games Act 2001. A large number of companies from around the world expressed interest in Malta, including Stanley Leisure, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Unibet, GC Sports, International Allsports, and Eurofootball; in 2012, PokerStars launched Pokerstars.eu under the group’s new Maltese license. Malta’s economic policy encourages information technology operations, and the territory has invested heavily in state-of-theart telecommunications. With the e-gaming sector using an estimated 50 percent of Malta’s available bandwidth, there are now four highcapacity fibre-optic submarine cables linking the island with mainland Europe. As a result of this investment, there are already a number of
Internet Service Providers in Malta, with clear interest being shown in continuing offshore e-commerce development. The e-gaming industry in Malta is regulated by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA), which was established in 2002 and is responsible for the governance of all gaming activities in Malta including casino gaming, commercial bingo games, commercial communication games, remote gaming, sports betting, the National Lottery and non-profit games. According to its mission statement, the Authority’s role is to ensure that “gaming is fair and transparent to the players, preventing crime, corruption and money laundering and by protecting minor and vulnerable players.” In 2002 the LGA put together the legislative framework for a new licensing regime encompassing online casinos, sports betting, betting exchanges and lotteries, which came
into effect in early 2003. Said the Authority: “This framework has the objective of providing regulation which is strong and serious but not unnecessarily bureaucratic, ensuring vigorous protection for users of online gaming, and dovetailing with Malta’s long-established and reputable financial services sector.” There are four classes of licence available to operators in Malta, as follows: Class 1 - a remote gaming licence (e.g. casino type games, online lotteries) whereby operators manage their own risk on repetitive games. It is also possible to have a “Class 1 on 4” licence whereby the Class 1 licensee operates its games on the software and in certain cases through the equipment of a Class 4 licensee. Class 2 - For operators managing their own risk on events based on a matchbook. Under this class operators can offer fixed odds betting. Continues on page 55
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December 2013 | THE ECONOMIC UPDATE
Crucial vote on tobacco products By Thomas Bickl and Karl-Heinz FLORENZ, Shadow Rapporteur, EPP
The Plenary has voted on one of the most controversial issues of this last October in Strasbourg. The EU Directive on Tobacco Products is being redrafted. Whilst everyone recognises that smoking poses a serious threat to one’s health, the question of how to deal with it in hard and fast legislation is an open one.
The packaging and ingredients of cigarettes and other tobacco products will be subject to tougher EU regulation. This is the gist of the vote of the European Parliament on the new EU Directive on tobacco products. “This is good news for health protection. Europe is the region in the world with the highest percentage of smokers. 700,000 people are said to die from tobacco consumption in the EU every year. As representatives of the citizens, we need to protect health and young people”, said Karl-Heinz Florenz MEP who is in charge of the Tobacco Products Directive for the EPP Group in the European Parliament. Warning labels As for the most visible impact, the warning labels on the packaging, there are differing views about the size of such labels. The current Directive stipulates a minimum of 30 percent on the front and 40 percent on the rear packaging. In a recent draft propsoal, the European Commission proposed 75 percent each, a figure supported by the EP’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee. The amendments for the plenary vote range from 50 to 70 percent. In Council, the state of play is reported at 65 percent. 46 |
Ban on appealing packaging There are amendments to introduce so-called plain packaging which means that any packet of cigarettes would look the same with identical fonts and labelling. The EPP Group favours a realistic approach and is not in favour of such radical packaging – as was the Environment Committee as a whole. Appealing types of packing, however, such as lipstick-style packaging or slim cigarettes, are facing a ban for which there is cross-group support in Parliament.
700,000 people are said to have died in the EU per year due to tobacco consumption. Timetable After Tuesday’s vote, Parliament will enter into negotiations with the Council on the final wording of the Directive. An agreement may be reached by the spring of next year. TEU
With special thanks to the EPP Group in the European Parliament
E-cigarettes The classification of e-cigarettes is another disputed issue. Hitherto they have not been subject to the current Directive. This is going to change. There are mainly two options on the table: e-cigarettes could be seen as a tobacco product, and treated accordingly, or classified as a medical drug and made available in pharmacies only. Artificial flavouring Artificial flavouring, such as menthol, is very likely to come to an end. The only question is whether there will be a transition period. According to a European Commission Impact Assessment, 43,000 people worked in tobacco product manufacturing in the EU in 2007 and
Editor’s Note Hailing from Neukirchen-Vluyn (North Rhine-Westphalia), Karl-Heinz Florenz’s trained in commerce and agriculture. 1984-1992, Town councillor in Neukirchen-Vluyn. He was President of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, 2004-2007, and Rapporteur and Member of the former Temporary Committee on Climate Change. He has been an MEP since 1989.
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Should You Let Your Life Insurance Lapse? By Reporting by Gina Roberts-Grey
The primary purpose of life insurance is to protect against the risk of the loss of the breadwinner. In effect, you’re replacing the income you would otherwise provide for your family. But as time marches on, there may be some instances where it’s OK to stop making payments and let your life insurance lapse. “The short answer is that you can lapse a policy when the need for insurance has ceased,” says Kevin Gahagan, a certified financial planner and principal at Mosaic Financial Partners in San Francisco. However, there is an important exception: if the policy is written for cash value. “A cash value policy can be surrendered or sold so that policyholder gets value for the premiums that have accumulated over time,” he explains. For all other types of policies, need is the major factor. Because the goal of life insurance is to fund funeral services as 48 |
well as take care of loved ones, you need to plan for the annual income you believe will provide the standard of living you desire for your survivors. That income can come from many sources in addition to life insurance, including Social Security benefits, pension plans, and stocks. Here’s the back-of-the-napkin math you should do to calculate whether you need a life insurance policy to provide part or all of that income: 1. Determine income need. Tally up all your anticipated monthly financial outlays, including mortgage, car loans, credit card debt, college costs, personal loans, and other obligations. Multiply this number by 12 – that’s how much income your spouse or partner needs to earn annually to maintain his or her current standard of living. 2. Establish expected income. This is the annual income your partner can expect
to receive between any salaries, interest and dividends, real estate investments, Social Security, and other sources. And don’t forget to factor in funeral costs because your loved one would need to have cash on hand to pay for services. 3. Crunch the numbers. Subtract the income need from the expected income. If the answer is in black, you might be able to let your insurance lapse. However, if there’s any shortfall or doubt, Gahagan says life insurance is necessary. It’s wise to access your life insurance needs annually, Gahagan says, as well as after any major life event like the loss of a job, divorce, or major move. “Those can greatly impact the amount of life insurance needed.” Courtesy: The Franklin Prosperity Report, Oct, 2013/ Vol. 5, No. 10 & Moneynews.com
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Business leaders share views in HSBC Malta networking event Business leaders from prominent Maltese businesses recently got together for an inter-company leadership development programme, called ‘Crossover’, organised by HSBC Bank Malta together with Island Hotels, Farsons Group, Air Malta and Ernst & Young.
(From left to right) HSBC Bank Malta CEO Mark Watkinson, Island Hotels Group Holdings PLC CEO Winston J. Zahra, Air Malta COO Phillips Saunders, and Simonds Farsons Cisk CFO Charles Xuereb leading an inter-company panel discussion.
CROSSOVER participants during the inter-company leadership development programme held at the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Golden Sands.
The inter-company seminar’s panel, formed by Mark Watkinson, the Bank’s CEO, Winston J. Zahra, CEO of Island Hotels Group Holdings PLC, Phillips Saunders, COO at Air Malta Company and Charles Xuereb, CFO at Simonds Farsons Cisk, met with the participants at the Radisson Blu Resort, Golden Sands, to discuss and shed light on the large-scale challenges facing businesses in Malta today, as well as to share best practice tips and techniques for addressing change to build on success stories. The aim of the development programme was to bring together a number of talented leaders from the different successful companies and market sectors within the local scenario to help participants gain a better understanding of changes taking place in different organisations and their role within the context of a challenging ever-changing work environment.
“Businesses must be quick to adapt in today’s fast-paced changing world,” said HSBC’s CEO Mark Watkinson, who championed this programme. “Consumer behaviour patterns are evolving, and, as business leaders, we must be ready and sensitive to their changing requests. To stay ahead, we must be comfortable with change, flexible to adapt, while keeping an ear to the ground for what is to come in the future.” The programme was also aimed at increasing participant’s commercial awareness of how other businesses in Malta operate and what makes them so successful in addressing change-related issues. During the programme, participants were provided with the opportunity to network with external professionals, who could help them to better understand the importance of their role within an organisation’s rising need to address on-going changes in an increasingly dynamic marketplace. TEU
December 2013 | THE ECONOMIC UPDATE
The PEUGEOT 2008 voted winner in Poland Auto Swiat, the most important of the Polish motoring media, has just announced its annual awards: the 2008 urban crossover has been distinguished in its category, ahead of stiff competition.
For the 5th year of the “Golden steering wheel” awards, organised by the most important Polish motoring magazine, the readers being called on to vote for the new models launched in Europe during 2013. The 49 eligible vehicles were split into 6 categories. Introduced in Poland during the summer in 2013, the new 2008 carried off the award in the most contested category, that of SUV/ CUV, with strong competition from the 12 models in contention. It was ahead of the Range Rover Sport and the BMW X5 on the podium. The PEUGEOT urban crossover has amassed many distinctions, the most prestigious of which were gained recently in Italy and Ireland. The PEUGEOT 2008, a compact, agile and multi-role crossover, with innovative instruments and controls, a refined style and strong character, distils the marque’s expertise in city cars and its now recognised knowhow in the field of crossovers, illustrated in particular by the Grip Control system. Perfectly in tune with the dynamism suggested by its profiled styling, the PEUGEOT 2008 conceals the latest generation of engines under its bonnet, with their particularly well 50 |
contained fuel consumption: with its e-HDi Diesel and 3-cylinder petrol engines, the PEUGEOT urban crossover stands out with CO2 emissions from 98 g/km. Success has been achieved. First, quantitative : launched in Europe between May and July this year into the rapidly developing CUV category of the B segment, the PEUGEOT 2008 has already recorded 73 600 orders to the end of November, a volume well above the objective for the date Next, qualitative: with a very high trim level mix - 70 % of orders in Europe are for the top trim levels 3 and 4, against an initial objective of 50 % - the urban crossover also demonstrates that all of PEUGEOT’s models are participating in the move up-market. The 2008 is produced at Mulhouse, where the dedicated production capacity has been progressively brought up to 650 vehicles per day to meet the strong sales demand. The overseas calling of the model will be demonstrated with production and sales of the PEUGEOT 2008 starting in China in 2014, then in Brazil in 2015. TEU
Courtesy: Michael Attard Imports Ltd. All rights reserved | Copyrighted
HSBC Malta sets up €50m fund to boost trade across Malta’s borders - Malta Trade for Growth Fund to support Maltese businesses with global aspirations A €50 million trade fund launched by HSBC Malta is offering new funding to support business growth in Malta through international trade. This funding, introduced as a part of HSBC’s Malta Trade for Growth initiative, was announced at the Malta Maritime Museum in the presence of The Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, HSBC Bank Malta CEO Mark Watkinson and the Head of Commercial Banking Michel Cordina.
A €50 million trade fund launched by HSBC Malta is offering new funding to support business growth in Malta
During the presentation of the €50 million trade fund, HSBC Malta also launched two related business tools, the first being a “Why Malta?” video promoting Malta’s and HSBC’s role in supporting businesses, and the second being a detailed country guide, produced in conjunction with PwC, for doing business with Malta. “This €50 million fund further boosts the Malta Trade for Growth initiative launched by HSBC Malta earlier this year, as it aims at helping Maltese businesses flourish by increasing international trade with growing and emerging markets and, equally importantly, encouraging international investment in Malta,” explained HSBC Malta Head of Commercial Banking Michel Cordina. “International trade is forecast to bring the most significant growth to Maltese companies and the Malta Trade for Growth Fund is our platform to connect Maltese customers to global opportunities, to help customers grow their business and, in turn, further the prosperity of Malta’s economy. With offices on the ground in 60 markets, and more than 7,000 relationship managers operating worldwide, we are in a unique position to connect potential customers in new markets, provide local insight through people on the ground, and offer the financial support for businesses to expand globally,” Mr Cordina said. HSBC Malta CEO Mark Watkinson said: “International trade is a critical component of Malta’s history, its economy, and most importantly the country’s future. We believe that Malta can build on its competitive trade advantage and its strategic location that bridges Europe with Africa and the rest of the world. As one of the world’s largest international banks, HSBC can add real value to the Maltese economy. The Bank is already instrumental in helping hundreds of Maltese businesses expand across borders. The addition of a €50 million fund as part of the Malta Trade for Growth initiative offers a significantly higher level of support to Maltese businesses.”
Mark Watkinson – CEO HSBC Malta, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Michel Cordina – Head of Commercial Banking HSBC Malta, during the launch of the €50m Malta Trade for Growth fund.
Addressing guests at the launch, Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat said: “It is very positive to have such an established international financial institution like HSBC Malta providing tangible support solutions in the form of a €50 million trade fund as well as important promotional tools like the country guide and video – all aimed at growing and internationalising Malta’s economy. HSBC’s objectives are in complete harmony with my Government’s commitment to make Malta a more important player in global trade. In this respect, we are building upon Malta’s trade legacy by promoting international trade and attracting new inward investment, whilst capitalising on Malta’s strong specialisation in trade finance provided by companies like HSBC.” Mr Cordina said that to date, more than 500 companies have made enquiries into Malta Trade for Growth as they look to grow their business overseas and take advantage of incentives such as discounts on foreign currency transactions. Through the Malta Trade for Growth Fund, companies will be eligible for a range of discounts and incentives, including capital to support their international trade, the waiving of administration fees for finance against trade export or import, facilities for trade with emerging markets, and discounts in pricing when upgrading from traditional overdrafts to Structured Trade Finance products, such as export loans or invoice finance. In addition along with the Fund HSBC are also offering a reduction in effective interest rate for Trade and Receivables Finance facilities. More information about HSBC Malta’s trade initiatives and the newly launched €50 million trade fund is available on HSBC Malta’s website at www.hsbc.com.mt/50million TEU
December 2013 | THE ECONOMIC UPDATE
What is in a Risk Management Framework Developing and Implementing a Risk Management Framework in the Fund Industry By Dr Paul Magro
Risk has become a growing concern for most financial institutions today. Irrespective of whether this concern stems from an increasingly competitive marketplace or from more stringent regulations, financial institutions must have a robust risk management framework (“RMF”) in place if they wish to survive in a more interconnected and complex world. In the fund industry, running a successful asset/fund manager (“firm”) necessitates forward-facing, sound risk management and innovation as much as sound returns and profitability.
In order to assure the appropriate management of risk, risk managers need to remain independent from the daily operations of portfolio management, possess the highest degree of integrity and authorisation within the firm, and rely on robust and validated risk systems. A robust RMF is based on five key components.
1. A strong corporate governance that
diffuses a positive risk culture from the top to the bottom of the firm. It is the responsibility of the board of directors (the “Board”) of the firm to encourage discussion about its risk appetite. If a firm realises the benefits in managing risk, then it will promote a positive risk culture. The Board will authorise the policies and procedures, define the risk tolerance, and establish the risk strategy. The risk manager will act as an advisor to the Board and, as such, be independent from senior management, which delegates its responsibility to manage risk to the risk manager. Accountability, creativity, transparency, and honesty are the key attributes of the individuals working in a risk management function.
A firm needs a coherent and exhaustive set of policies and procedures. Regulators are mainly concerned about minimising the risk that a manager takes, while the manager is concerned about optimising this risk and achieving the greatest reward possible for an acceptable level of risk. Therefore, a firm should develop its own set of procedures, which should be aligned with its goals and risk appetite. Procedures formalise one’s tasks and duties. Policies and procedures should be reviewed at least once a year to integrate best practices, new regulations, or updates on systems and processes. The technological capability to extract data about the firm’s performance and the risk of its uncertain environment. Today there are risk management technologies that, whilst requiring methodical parameterisation by professionals, conveniently automate the hundreds of time-consuming steps required before the information included in any dataset can be utilized. This is vital because decisions rely on timely and accurate information. Data collection, and its enrichment and practical utilisation, is a critical phase in any risk analysis. It is not uncommon that risk managers to spend up to 50% of their time on these necessary but tedious tasks. Today there are risk management technologies that, whilst requiring methodical parameterisation by professionals, conveniently automate the hundreds of time-consuming steps
Know-how in measuring uncertainty. Risk managers can calculate various risk measures, such as the size of open positions, the degree of maturity mismatch in the net position, the exposures of every single asset, the volatilities of those assets, etc. These measures are wide-ranging and seem difficult not only to implement, since the market is constantly evolving, but also to enforce. For years Valueat-Risk (“VaR”) has been a powerful tool used to capture the complexity of risk of a portfolio. The three main VaR methodologies are Analytical / Parametric, Historical Simulation and Monte Carlo Simulation. Due to its simplicity, VaR may lead
to misleading results because of the assumptions surrounding its computation. However, there are extensions e.g. Expected Shortfall (or Conditional VaR) and Modified VaR.
Ongoing audits and external validations of the models and procedures used in a risk management function can benefit both the risk management team as well as the Board of the firm
VaR should be complemented with Scenario Analyses and Stress Tests to provide substance due to fluctuations in the market. These analyses and tests help identify extreme events that could trigger catastrophic losses. They test market, historical, or user-defined scenarios and can be used at the market, sector or even security level. Some examples include corresponding shifts in equity, FX, credit spread, interest, or volatility.
Conclusion As risk is fundamentally linked to performance, having an efficient and effective RMF in place is essential to any firm. The RMF must integrate its various components and make them operate in a continuous cycle. In this article whilst I have discussed the setting up of a risk management framework from an asset/fund manager’s perspective. The same approach can be applied to all companies in all industries when it comes to setting up a RMF. TEU
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Finally, in order to assess VaR to forecast a potential large loss, a VaR model should be back-tested. Backtesting validates that the actual losses are consistent with forecasted losses. It involves comparing historical VaR with the portfolio return. Breaches of VaR indicate that the actual losses have exceeded the forecasted losses more than expected demonstrating that VaR has not been properly adapted or that another methodology should be employed.
5. Finally it is important to have the
ability to monitor risk on an ongoing basis in order to optimise the risk taking process. Once the risk measures have been produced they need to be analysed and interpreted against the investment policy and the risk parameters. Limits can be assigned at various levels within a portfolio: total, country, industry, sector, asset class, counterparty, currency, etc.
To ensure that senior management keeps the risk management function separate from the business, independent controls must be put in place. Ongoing audits and external validations of the models and procedures used in a risk management function can benefit both the risk management team as well as the Board of the firm.
Editor’s Note Dr Paul Magro is Managing Director at RiskCap International Limited, responsible for risk management and quantitative research. RiskCap provides outsource risk management solutions and directorships to the fund industry. Paul joined RiskCap after having worked in the local financial services industry and, recently, having received his PhD in Finance at the University of Bangor. His research focused on hedge fund risk and performance, persistence and capital flows and is in the process of being publishing in top rated international journals. He is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta’s Banking and Finance department and has been invited to talk at seminars and conferences locally and abroad on the topic of risk.
December 2013 | THE ECONOMIC UPDATE
INformation & technology
THE EUROPEAN INSTITUTE OF INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY (EIT) HOLDS CONFERENCE AT SMART CITY MALTA By Lorna Diep
The EIT Conference ‘Joining Europe’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities’ was organised and supported by The Malta Council for Science and Technology, SmartCity Malta, Malta Information Technology Agency, Malta Enterprise and the University of Malta
This morning the Parliamentary Secretary for Competiveness and Economic Growth, The Hon Edward Zammit Lewis and the Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport, Hon Stefan Buontempo opened a European Institute of Innovation and Technology conference held at Smart City Malta Hon Edward Zammit Lewis explained that the Government is supporting Smart City Malta for it to form into an ICT cluster that grows organically and spontaneously. A project which – far from being merely a real estate project – actually is living up to the original expectations of an Internet city, strategically located between two continents, joined by cyberspace, and of course by our blue Mediterranean sea. Government has already committed itself to the opening of an innovation and co-creation centre, and the contractuals are in their final stages. Effectively, we should see MITA running an Innovation Centre round April 2014. Furthermore, the policy document that is being finalized – the Digital Malta strategy for the next seven years – includes specific actions designed to prepare the country to equip itself for the challenges of what innovation pundits call the “innovation society”. Countries that lack a hinterland like Malta, have no option but to look outwards and beyond their borders if they are to grow, thrive and prosper. Therefore, in a small island state like Malta, which lacks the required critical mass in terms of skilled resources and expertise, it makes little sense for enterprises that want to internationalise, to compete aggressively for such brainpower. Besides optimising resourcing through complementarity, clusters are the best way to network and create the “coffeehouse culture” that we need to create the desirable trust factor when conducting 54 |
business and building relationships that lead to co-creation and experimentation, remarked the Hon Zammit Lewis. in a small island state like Malta, which lacks the required critical mass in terms of skilled resources and expertise, it makes little sense for enterprises that want to internationalise, to compete aggressively for such brainpower.
To support this specialisation process, augmenting specialist skills in ICT such as systems integration and device programming can become very crucial in the Internet of the Future. Similarly, developing knowledge transfer and grooming a new breed of webentrepreneurs, are also going to be both crucial and strategic to achieve if Maltese SMEs want to become more competitive and live up to the challenges of tomorrow Malta wants to become. While addressing the conference, Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport, Hon Stefan Buontempo, said that it is encouraging that 67% of the investment in research and development is being invested by the private sector. In view of the gradual change of the Maltese economy, from manufacturing to a service economy, the Government is a firm believer that our economic growth should be based on a knowledge-based economy. Hon Buontempo also mentioned the National Research and Innovation Strategy which is being finalised and is expected to focus human resources capacity building, financing for research and innovation and smart specialiastion. Parliamentary Secretary Hon Buontempo said that we have to be creative in finding options on how best to support our drive
in research and innovation. The launch of the Commercialisation Voucher Scheme is a step forward in reaching our aim, that of transforming knowledge into innovative products and services. Government’s role is clearly that of an enabler towards innovation. Government is working to provide the fertile terrain that can allow clusters to grow and develop in an emergent way, through specific policy actions such as: • e-Learning infrastructures • Specialist ICT capacity building • ICT voucher-based innovation schemes for SMEs • Legal and regulatory frameworks for Next Generation Access networks • Interoperability standards • Open data standards for the third party sharing of public information • Online public services of tangible value to the community and enterprises, and of course many others Alexander von Gabain – Chairman of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Governing Board praised Malta for its efforts towards innovation and looks forward towards further success of the Smart City Malta project. “Small countries like Malta can act as an example for larger countries as they are perfect in brining stakeholders and innovation players together”. Present for the conference was also the Executive Chairman of MCST Dr Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando. The EIT Conference ‘Joining Europe’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities’ was organised and supported by The Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST), SmartCity Malta, Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA), Malta Enterprise (ME) and the University of Malta. TEU
iGaming Continues on page 55
Class 3 - For operators taking a commission from promoting and/or abetting betting games. This class includes peer-to-peer games, poker networks, betting exchanges and online lotteries. It is also possible to have a “Class 3 on 4” licence whereby the operator uses a Class 4 licensee to provide its platform. Class 4 - To host and manage remote gaming operators, excluding the licensee themselves. This is intended for software vendors who want to provide management and hosting facilities on their gaming platform. Licenses are granted for a period of five years and licensees must have the core part of their online operation physically located in Malta. The rate of income tax in Malta is 35 percent on chargeable income (certain types of company benefit from lower rates). Malta imposes income tax on the world-wide income of companies resident in the country; this includes all companies incorporated or registered under any Maltese law if they are ordinarily resident, and any foreign company which is managed and controlled from Malta. Online gaming companies are also subject to a special tax regime, and the amount due depends on the type of licence held. Class 1 licence holders pay EUR4,660 for the first six months, then EUR7,000 per month thereafter; Class 2 firms involved in fixed odds betting pay a 0.5 percent tax on the gross amount of bets accepted; Class 3 licence holders pay a 5 percent tax on real income; and Class 4 licence holders pay no tax in the first six months of operations, then EUR2,330 per month for the following six months, and EUR4,460 per month thereafter. The maximum amount of tax payable annually in respect of any one licence is EUR466,000. Malta’s heavy investment in the remote gambling sector and the infrastructure upon which it depends has certainly paid off. Since the Lotteries and Other Games Act 2001 was put in place, the number of licensed operators has grown from 12 to almost 250, and the number of online gaming licenses reached the 425 mark in 2012. In the last months of 2012, the LGA received 60 new applications for remote gaming and a large number of requests relating to Digital Games with Prize. In total,
these companies employ over 5,000 people in Malta, with a further 3,000 in the servicing industry including telecom operators, data centre operators, lawyers, auditors, and banking and payment institution staff. Having grown year-on-year, the industry now contributes onetenth of the country’s gross domestic product. The LGA says that the inclusion of the gaming sector in the Highly Qualified Persons tax rules towards the end of 2011 is also having a positive impact on the industry in Malta. Under this scheme, individual income from a qualifying contract of employment is subject to tax at a flat rate of 15 percent. To qualify for this special rate of tax, the individual’s annual salary must be at least EUR75,000. The 15 percent flat rate is imposed up to a maximum income of EUR5m. According to the LGA, thanks to the Highly Qualified Persons scheme, existing gaming licensees are moving more highly specialised functions to Malta, whilst a number of the larger European Tier 1 operators which were established and licensed in other jurisdictions have either relocated or are in the process of relocating to Malta. Malta has been a member of the European Union since 2004, and the country’s EU membership has undoubtedly been beneficial for the local economy as companies seek a lowtax base from which to trade within the Union. However, recently, the future existence of Malta’s highly successful gaming sector was put in jeopardy as the European Commission pondered the regulation of the sector at EU level. But Malta has been fighting its corner with much vigour, urging the Commission to tackle discriminatory legislation in other Member States favouring domestic operators over those based in other EU countries, while opposing a 2011 Commission Green Paper that threatened to introduce a much more illiberal regime than that currently in place in the jurisdiction. The primary aim of the Green Paper consultation was, according to the Commission, “to obtain a facts-based picture of the existing situation in the EU on-line gambling market and of the different national regulatory models.”
“The on-line gambling market in the EU continues to grow rapidly and generates important revenues that are sometimes channelled into good causes,” the Commission says. “Its expansion must go hand-in-hand with a determination to protect our citizens, especially minors, and to ensure that offers of these types of services within the EU are sound and well-regulated. It responds to calls from the European Parliament and the Member States for us to address these questions jointly. This consultation is not about liberalisation of the market, it is about ensuring that the market for on-line gambling services within the EU is wellregulated for all.” In October 2012, the Commission completed its Green Paper with the publication of “Towards a comprehensive European Framework for online gambling,” which proposed to enhance the safeguards in place to protect consumers, mitigate match-fixing and money laundering, and challenge member states’ regimes that infringe EU law. In summary, the LGA puts the success of Malta’s gaming sector down to the flexibility of its regulations, Malta’s favourable tax system and the regulator’s own determination to stay ahead of the competition. “First in their kind, these regulations find the balance between effective regulation that properly protects players, a tax regime that allows the industry to expand and a flexible strategy that approaches the future of gaming in an innovative and responsible way,” says the LGA in its Remote Gaming Update 2013. “This is the reason behind Malta’s attractiveness, but in true LGA style, we will not be stopping there. LGA will revisit its licensing regime, making sure it is small-business friendly. We will ensure the Remote Gaming Regulations are mobile and social media game friendly. Or else we’ll create a separate regime.” Malta’s e-gaming sector can therefore look to the future with much confidence. TEU
Courtesy: taxnews.com Source: Tax-News.com
December 2013 | THE ECONOMIC UPDATE
Bank of Valletta wins the Best Multi-Channel Strategy Award in 2013 MCA eBusiness Awards Bank of Valletta has won the MCA eBusiness Award for Best MultiChannel Strategy during this year’s eBusiness Awards organised by the Malta Communications Authority. The award was presented by Dr. Edward Woods, Chairman Malta Communications Authority to a team of senior executives from Bank of Valletta, namely, Michael Galea Chief Officer Operations and Ivo Camilleri, Executive Head Electronic Banking. Bank of Valletta’s multi channel strategy has a strong background which has seen the Bank registering a number of firsts including the first ATMs in 1989 and the first Internet banking in 2002. In renewing the strategy, BOV has launched Multichannel Banking 2.0 – a strategy centred around providing customers with a uniquely positive experience. The first part of this innovative Dr Edward Woods, Chairman Malta Communications Authority presents the MCA eBusiness strategy involved BOV mobile, introducing mobile payments and a Award for Best Multi-Channel Strategy 2013 to Michael Galea Chief Officer Operations and Ivo whole new take to banking on the go. The next step in this strategy Camilleri, Executive Head Electronic Banking. will be the introduction of a new internet banking platform, scheduled in 2014. Through this strategy, Bank of Valletta is focusing on continuing to make its extensive expertise in financial services translate into innovative and value added services that its customers appreciate. This year the Malta Communications Authority received 35 submissions for the eBusiness Awards 2013 in various categories. The adjudication was conducted by an independent committee comprising representatives from industry, Government and academia, which assessed each nominated solution against criteria on which the committee based its final judgement.
Global College Malta interns ask peers to support new Gender Equality Scholarship through networks and social media to maximise scholarship uptake Two young interns at Global College Malta have convinced their Rector, Professor Brian Smart, that Malta is the right place to test a very new and innovative scholarship programme that focuses on a ‘Women in Business’ Gender Equality Scholarship which covers up to 50% of tuition fees on management courses at Global College Malta. The two bright interns, Lilly Azbaha and Claudia Goncalves, from Rotterdam University put forward to Global College Malta’s management team that there should be significant opportunities for women to pursue higher education, but that due to family structure and financial priorities often these opportunities are virtually non-existent for some women, leaving many capable and talented students unable to achieve their academic or professional goals. Global College Malta is committed to provide eligible gender equality scholarship candidates, both female and male, with an opportunity to pursue their higher education at Malta’s newest tertiary educational facility located at SmartCity Malta. Lilly Azbaha says that management subjects are well-suited to women’s talents and leaves them better prepared to face challenges in the future, “When I came to Malta and started to do my internship at Global College Malta I noticed that a lot of applications came from male students and a few from female students. I decided to combine two problems: the glass ceiling and a lower number of female applications.” Fellow intern Claudia Goncalves says she is very happy to be able to reach out to her peers through helping with the new gender equality scholarship, “Women can be smart as well, women can be creative, and women can speak with a mind of their own. But, they have to get the chance to show it. That’s where this new scholarship programme kicks in, and someone who wants to be a role model encouraging gender equality in management positions and leadership roles will truly have access to the latest teaching resources and facilities here at the college in Malta.” Located at SmartCity, Global College Malta offers a sophisticated state-of the art learning environment and gives students the opportunity to study alongside and share cross-cultural insights with people from diverse countries. In this environment students will be trained to become leaders and managers in a variety of business and IT sectors, for both global and local markets. Global College Malta is the first European College offering university degrees according to British standards at SmartCity. Rector of Global College, Professor Brian Smart said that the new scholarship initiative was very much in line with the development policy at the college, saying, “We believe that education shapes and changes lives and business for the better, and makes a tremendous contribution to society’s bottom-line, with the role of managers and leaders key to this enhanced performance. Ensuring women can continue their education is a Global College Malta priority and it is our privilege to provide hope, resources and access to post-secondary education with innovative forms of scholarship. Without access to education there are limited options available to youth for a meaningful life.” For more information and to check eligibility visit www.gcmalta. com For further information visit www.gcmalta.com or call 2180 1252. TEU
HSBC Malta wins FT’s The Banker Awards three years running
HSBC Malta CEO Mark Watkinson accepting the prestigious award for Bank of the Year in Malta 2013 during the FT award ceremony in London.
For the third consecutive year, HSBC Bank Malta has been named Bank of the Year in Malta by the Financial Times publication The Banker. This prestigious award recognises HSBC Malta’s financial strength, continued investment in business and commitment to the community. HSBC Malta Director and CEO Mark Watkinson said: “HSBC Malta remains one of the strongest banks in the country and has continued to invest in its business for the benefit of its customers and shareholders. The Banker Award is a tribute to the role HSBC plays in Malta and I would like to thank all our stakeholders for their continued strong support of the business.” As a winner of The 2013 Banker Awards, HSBC Bank Malta received the prestigious Bracken Award, considered as the ‘Oscar’ of the global banking industry. Brendan Bracken was the founding editor of The Banker in 1926 and later the chairman of the modernday Financial Times from 1945 to 1958. TEU
KPMG E-Learning Bringing you 24 x 7 Accountancy Training at your finger tips KPMG has launched an online training portal to assist all Accountants in keeping abreast of professional standards, relevant legislation and other related matters in a straight forward, efficient and cost effective manner. The following is a list of courses currently available on KPMG’s online training portal: • Basic VAT principles in practice • The future of lease accounting: what’s the impact on your balance sheet? • IFRS 11 Joint arrangements, Initial Considerations • General Accounting Principles for Smaller Entities “GAPSE” – An overview – Part 1/2/3 • Navigating through Malta’s International Tax Law Maze • Introduction to Anti-Money Laundering & Counter Funding of Terrorism All courses are prepared and presented by KPMG staff to KPMG’s high quality complying with CPE requirements has never been easier! For further information kindly send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org www.kpmg.eblearn.net
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