Malta News Evening Round Up
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Good evening,

Please find your Evening Malta News round up based on what we believe are the main news presented by the local news portals.

 

TVM reports that the Police are investigating a case of an alleged kidnapping of a 17-year old German youth by his father. According to information acquired by TVM, it appears that the authorities started investigating the case as the father and son were at the airport preparing to travel to Turkey. During routine control by immigration officers, it resulted that the young man was under a protection order in Germany and alleged that he ran away with his father to Gozo as he was abused in his country.

 

S&P Global Ratingslowered to ‘BBB’ from ‘BBB+’ its long-term issuer credit rating on Bank of Valletta PLC (BOV) and affirmed the ‘A-2’ short-term rating. The outlook remains negative. The report of S&P says that the downgrade “reflects our view that allegations of money laundering against Pilatus Bank, a small Malta-based international bank, as well as our perception of poor transparency at some banks, have increased reputational and operational risks for the Maltese banking sector generally.”

That said, the steady operating environment, dominated by few domestic players, will continue to support Maltese banks’ profitability. We also anticipate banks will preserve a solid funding profile, being mainly reliant on customer deposits that more than cover their funding needs.

S&P also anticipated the fast expanding economy will help banks increase their lending and gradually reduce nonperforming exposures and credit losses.

However, the rapid increase in property prices, coupled with banks’ high exposure to the real estate and construction sectors, could pose risks for banks if there were a sharp correction in house prices.

The Times quotes the Malta Financial Services Authority has defended Malta, Bank of Valletta and itself against a critical report by Standard and Poor’s rating agency.

Net Newssaid that the Nationalist Party in a statement that the downgrade was the direct result of “the deterioration in level and quality of supervision of the financial services sector”.

 

Malta Today reports that Judge Giovanni Grixti has turned down another request for bail made by the three persons accused of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.Brothers Alfred Degiorgio (known as Il-Fulu) and George Degiorgio (Iċ-Ċiniż) as well as Vince Muscat (il-Koħħu), have been under arrest since a dawn police raid on a Marsa warehouse on 4 December. All of the men’s previous requests for bail have been turned down by the courts.

 

MaltaToday reports that the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri and two business associates have endorsed the Attorney General’s appeal from a constitutional court ruling that Judge Antonio Mizzi should recuse himself from the Panama Papers inquiry.

 

The Times reports that doctors in Malta have been alerted to an outbreak of measles, as the island faces a “serious risk of importation” through travellers, international students and workers. During this year, five imported cases of measles have been reported to the Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Unit, the Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci said in a letter sent to all doctors. “Despite measles and rubella elimination being sustained, Malta is facing the serious risk of importation through travellers, international students and workers,” Dr Gauci wrote. Read more on The Times of Malta. 

 

Newsbook reports that Libyan investigators are currently looking for 22 Maltese companies which belong to Ali Ibrahim Dabaiba, who is accused of fraud and money laundering.

Dabaiba, who was considered as one of Gaddafi’s main collaborates was Misurata’s ex-Mayor and the ex-CEO of Libya’s Government Contracts Office.

 

The Malta Independent reports that the Environment Ministry has found that fish farm operators were not respecting permit conditions.  A statement on Thursday confirmed that the absolute majority of the sludge was attributable to the tuna industry. This was the conclusion of an investigation by the Fisheries Department and the ERA. Over the past days, multiple images have been shared on social media by swimmers and environmentalists who have come face to face with the sludge.  Reports have been received of the slime being present across various shorelines, ranging from Marsascala to Kalkara and further up to Sliema and Pembroke.

 

One reports that the medicine Candesartan which are meant for people who suffer from high blood pressure has now been delivered to all pharmacies and are part of the POYC scheme.

 

iNews and Lovin Malta report that a Croat and a Romanian bouncer, were given a to 46 month prison sentence, suspended for four years after they pleaded guilty of hitting a Maltese youth in Paceville.

 

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