28 March - 3 April 2001

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Financial journalism
Last Friday we asked a number of invited guests to the Corinthia Palace Business Times seminar to debate the issue of financial journalism.

The presentations were to the point, no beating round the bush, which was just as well, considering that we had asked our guests to pass judgement.

There were those who argued that the economies of scale would not allow for financial independent analysis.

Others presented the case that irrespective of the amount of financial analysis, people would only be motivated by fear and greed. There were also those, such as the finance minister, who underlined the significant value of business analysis.

But all the concluding remarks agreed that a culture of business analysis would help steer analysts to profile companies and to focus on their past, present and future performance.

There are two financial newspapers in Malta, The Business Times and The Business Weekly. Both newspapers lack the acumen to look into the local markets. The people who do write are usually stock brokers, but these have vested interests, as we all know.

At The Business Times, we are concerned that there is a lack of analysis. And we hope to address this issue.

Our first project is to provide our readers with company profiles as opposed to simply unedited press releases.

Slowly and steadily we will look into the performance of these companies and their strategies in order to promote fiscal growth.

And then we will ask independent analysts, from abroad if necessary, to comment.

Needless to say, we will undoubtedly get some flak, but at least we would have set the ball rolling.

The weekend messages
There was much discourse last weekend from both political leaders.

The Leader of the Opposition, Dr Alfred Sant, was very busy consolidating his base at an Qormi mass meeting, and he did this very well with the support of jumping hysterical youths waving red flags and singing along to pop tunes.

Prime Minister Dr Eddie Fenech Adami was less upbeat.

And when he spoke on Sunday, he forgot about the local council elections and launched himself into an assault mode.

Thankfully, he chose not to steer away from the party's goals and commitments – it would have been a fundamental mistake if he had.

And he reassured everyone present that he still believed that the Nationalist party had a Christian dimension in its politics. Though no one knew precisely how this would change the course of our lives.

There was not much deciphering needed for Dr Sant's speech. There was nothing new, apart from the fact that his archive of scandals went back seven years, though he had nothing fresh to offer in terms of new allegations or facts.

What we learnt from last Sunday's display was that both leaders are in no mood to travel the middle road.

The Prime Minister, particularly, made it very clear that if it was war they wanted then war it would be.

The Prime Minister's thinking process was undoubtedly brought about by Alfred Sant's recent electoral successes.

The Nationalist Party machinery is conscious that if it allows the Sant phenomena to grow it can make inroads.

Hence, the latest slogan is that the MLP is the party of Manwel Cuschieri and Alfred Sant.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt