MaltaToday previous editions

MT 27 April 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 23

WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT WEDNESDAY EDITION €1.00 Newspaper post WEDNESDAY • 27 APRIL 2016 • ISSUE 466 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT WEDNESDAY EDITION WEDNESDAY Issue no. 71 | AprIl 2016 The offIcIAl JournAl of The KAmrA TAl-perITI newspAper posT FREE Online bank Nemea under administration MATTHEW VELLA THE online 'direct' bank Nemea Bank is to go under administration, in an instruction issued on recom- mendation of the European Central Bank. At the time of going to print, this newspaper was informed of an im- minent announcement by the MF- SA and the Central Bank. MaltaToday is informed that the ECB made "strong recommenda- tions" for the bank to be taken un- der administration, but banking sources said the concerns were un- related to insolvency and that the bank is "healthy". The MFSA and the Central Bank are expected to appoint a compe- tent person to take charge of the bank's assets, as well as stop depos- its from customers and impose a cap on withdrawals of €500. Creditinfo lists the bank's direc- tors as former prime minister Law- rence Gonzi and financier Joseph F.X. Zahra, recently appointed to head a special finance commission for the Vatican by Pope Francis. The other directors are Finnish co-founders and co-chairmen Mika Lehto and Heikki Niemelä. Nemea Bank PLC is in turn owned by Nemea PLC, itself owned by Nevestor SA of Belgium (40%) and Ninovan Ltd and Shilmore Ltd of Cyprus (30% each). The bank is ultimately jointly owned by its founders Heikki Niemelä and Mika Lehto. Nemea, founded in 2008, special- ises in banking and investment ser- vices for high net worth individuals across the European economic area. As a direct bank, Nemea Bank, which operates out of St Julian's at the Portomaso tower, does not op- erate any physical bank branches but provides all its products and services online. The bank devel- oped the Nemea Instant Payment (NIP) product, which enables real time global money transfers be- tween Nemea clients at no cost. The bank is a member of the Maltese Depositor Compensation Scheme, which protects client de- posits up to €100,000 per client, and also a member of the Malta In- vestor Protection Scheme. As an online-only bank Nemea can afford to operate with lower costs and overheads than tradi- tional banks' relative cost base, and earn income by generating interest, fees and commissions, and finan- cial income. Clients' deposits were invested by the bank in loans, de- posits, other fixed income instru- ments and other low risk securities. EU Commission urged to close Malta spring hunting season JURGEN BALZAN THE International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has urged the European Com- mission to request the closure of the spring hunting season to protect the European Turtle Dove. This year, Malta has proceeded with opening its spring hunting season, which will allow 5,000 birds to be shot. "This is concerning given that the species has undergone a rap- id decline in numbers in recent years and has now been up-listed to Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species," the international organization said. In a letter to the EU environ- ment commissioner Karmenu Vella, IUCN highlighted the conditions for sustainable hunt- ing within the Birds Directive. In the case of species with an 'unfavourable conservation sta- tus' or with 'very low population levels', the Birds Directive clear- ly stipulates that a derogation should not be granted. Research is still ongoing as to why the Turtle Dove is declin- ing faster than other migratory bird species, but there is already evidence which links the seri- ous fall in numbers to agricul- tural intensification, diseases and over-hunting. Until further research can be carried out to understand these threats and there is proof that can clearly demonstrate that spring hunting is sustainable, IUCN considers the practice to be questionable. In order to save the Turtle Dove from a real threat of extinction, IUCN has requested the Com- mission to apply an urgent mora- torium on spring hunting of the species in Malta. This should re- main in place until sustainability and recovery of the Turtle Dove can be clearly demonstrated, the organization said. Malta remains the only coun- try in the European Union that allows the killing of turtle doves during spring. Conservationists BirdLife have said that despite reports and scientific arguments that show that this bird is in dan- ger due to an extraordinary de- cline, the Ornis Committee ig- nored all this to suggest another spring hunting season. "The Maltese government chose to open the hunting sea- son in spring even though the Turtle Dove has been declared as a vulnerable species and al- though it is known that there is a strong presence of individuals who kill protected birds," CEO Mark Sultana said. BirdLife has urged Prime Min- ister Joseph Muscat to close the season but so far the government has not shown any willingness to cut the season short as it had done last year following a series of illegalities. International nature conservation organisation calls on Malta's European Commissioner Karmenu Vella to protect the Turtle Dove against spring hunting season in Malta European Commissioner Karmenu Vella Former Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi is one of the bank's directors

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of MaltaToday previous editions - MT 27 April 2016