Media and gaming conglomerate set to leave Malta, cites FATF greylisting

Media and Games Invest SE (MGI), a media and gaming conglomerate, has announced it intends to relocate its headquarters from Malta to Sweden, citing the FATF’s decision to greylist Malta as one of the reasons.

“As a result of Malta’s greylisting by the FATF in mid-2021, the Board of Directors and the management of MGI believes that the company’s registration in Malta may result in an increased risk premium on the company’s shares,” MGI said in a statement.

The company’s Maltese registration “may also preclude certain prospective investors from investing in the company”, MGI added, citing a need to reduce “administrative complexity” as further motivation for its decision.

Other reasons mentioned by MGI include its listing in Sweden in 2020 and the shifting of its core businesses to North America and Continental Europe.

The gaming conglomerate’s board of directors, whose worldwide reach extends to 2.9 billion online and mobile game players, has also proposed the relocation due to MGI’s familiarity with Sweden’s capital markets and its “very strong local network” in that country.

The company’s strategy, described as a process that started in 2020, refers to stricter requirements in terms of adequate governance following a boom in quarterly revenues and a five-fold increase in its workforce as other aspects of its restructuring process.

According to MGI’s statement, its revenue grew from €45 million in the third quarter of 2018 to €221 million in the third quarter of last year.

“Through the relocation to Sweden and further strengthening of the governance structure, the company expects to complete the transformation by the end of 2022 with an effective date in January 2023. Furthermore, a large part of the company’s shareholders hail from the Nordics and the regulatory framework is globally recognised,” the statement adds.

More than 100 companies had, in a survey published by the Malta Employers’ Association in June, blamed the greylisting on the authorities’ inability to prevent money laundering, enforce rule of law across the board, deal with institutional corruption and provide financial transparency.

In November 2021, The Shift published an article about an international fintech company’s decision to leave the island, a decision that was directly linked to Malta’s greylisting by the FATF as well as the conduct of financial watchdogs following the greylisting.

                           
                               
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James
James
2 months ago

It is likely to be the start of a steady exodus of those whose sole raison d’etre of being based in Malta is not because they need to be sure that any suspicions of malpractice won’t be pursued by the regulators and law enforcement agencies etc.

Any above board financial or gambling company will be taking the necessary steps to distance itself from the overriding stench of corruption which envelopes Malta and shareholders of those that don’t will be wondering why the directors are happy to stay in a jurisdiction which has lost all credibility of being able or willing to uphold the rule of law.

After all it seems as if the only people on planet earth who don’t think there is a problem are the foxes elected or appointed to be in charge of the chicken house.

protolangue
protolangue
2 months ago

Mine is a Malta-registered company whose main shareholder is a Maltese national. We have nothing do with gaming per se. We act in a totally different environment and we supply our services to a dozen international organizations – clean and proper. In 30 years of activity we have never been so adversely affected as we have been since Malta has been grey-listed (June 2021). A few weeks ago, i received a private call on my personal mobile phone from a canvasser of a well-known Labor minister asking me whether i “needed anything”. I hung up on him. He called me back a few seconds later. Here is what i told him: if you really want to help : (i) refund my company for the losses incurred as a result of grey-listing; (ii) ensure my employees are not made redundant; (iii) try, sentence and throw in jail ALL Labor wheelers and dealers who brought this country to shame, starting with J. Muscat and the current PM. I ended by telling him this: a) you violated my privacy by calling me on my private/personal mobile number – where did you get my number ? b) in a decent country i could sue you under GDPR for abusively using my phone number; c) your call is tantamount to an attempt to corrupt me – and that is punishable by law. NEVER EVER CALL ME AGAIN.

Mjscer
Mjscer
2 months ago

This is only the tip of the iceberg. The PM stated that the EU’s prognostics for Malta 2022 is that our economy will grow by more than the average percentage growth for other EU countries. However, I only read this in labour-leaned media houses.

Joe
Joe
2 months ago

I relocated to Malta because of brexit, then Malta got grey listed,
a u.s. based brokerage firm e-mailed and told me there bank will not do business with me, so they have set my account to close.
my uk brokerage firm have frozen my account until I can prove origin of money, my ex landlady have not returned my deposit after three months,
and there marketing Malta to digital nomads!!!!
If the goverment wants to make money they should put pictures of the beheading of john the baptist, on post cards, with the words, welcome to Malta!

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