15 August 2001
Special editorial comment
Why the Commissioner of Police should temporarily withdraw from his post
The imminent privatisation of the Lotto department is good news. Privatisation
is good news because it equals a lesser burden for the state and therefore
less pressure on the tax payer.
This must be clear in the privatisation drive. The government must be careful not to allow for any bad long terms deals. In the case of the lotto department one can see a long term agreement that will benefit the state and furthermore rake in a regular income from the issuing of the licence.
This, minus the salaries and output for such a department, should serve
as a welcome plus.
The boom and doom in the tech market
The boom and doom in the tech equity market has led many to doubt the validity of investing in the stock market. Many investment agencies have been suffering from a backlash.
The present scenario has opened our eyes to the issue of who exactly is promoting such investment and the long-term view in tech stocks.
The new economy took a blow, but it will be back.
But it is a highly volatile market where the losers take all.
Here in Malta we also have had our fair share of tech falls.
We saw Maltacom shares rise to Lm3.24 in February 2000 and then drop to Lm1.60 in the last few days. More than a 50% drop.
Many Maltese investors experienced this fall first hand and now are wary of looking favourably at the stock exchange. Indeed, one cannot blame them.
What is needed is a new brand of investors and analysts who can instil new impetus and trust in the market.
In the US, market investor analysts have been experiencing litigation suits when it was discovered that they had a conflict of interest in the selling and buying of shares.
This is not going to be easy.
Some Maltese investment agencies have practised this unethical habit without any fear of retribution.
The Malta Stock Exchange can also contribute here by encouraging companies
to be more transparent and forthcoming in their accounting systems
apart from accepting more scrutiny in the dealings by the directors
of the company.