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first_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Italian-Egyptian singer wins contest exalting Italian song by The Associated Press Posted Feb 10, 2019 12:20 pm PDT Italian singer Mahmood celebrates on stage after winning the 69th Sanremo Italian Song Festival at the Ariston theater in Sanremo, Italy, on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. (Ettore Ferrari/ANSA via AP) ROME — An Italian-Egyptian singer has won a long-running music contest that aims to exalt Italian song.Alessandro Mahmoud, who performs with the stage name Mahmood, triumphed at the Sanremo music festival late Saturday with his rendition of “Soldi” (“Money”).The 26-year-old’s winning song has a rhythmic beat often heard in North African music.TV viewers, an expert panel and journalists vote for the winner of the five-day annual festival. The public input counts for 50 per cent of contestants’ scores.Italy’s anti-migrant interior minister, Matteo Salvini, tweeted that he’d have chosen Ultimo, the songfest’s presumed favourite.The Milan-born Mahmoud has an Italian mother and an Egyptian father. He said early Sunday: “I’m an Italian guy, 100 per cent.”He will represent Italy at this year’s Eurovision song contest.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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BoC was healthy until 2012 panel hears

first_imgBy Poly PantelidesFORMER Bank of Cyprus (BoC) chairmen spoke out yesterday against what they perceived as the vilification of the island’s largest lender.Speaking at a committee of inquiry looking into how Cyprus’ banking sector and economy nearly collapsed, former BoC chairman Eleftherios Ioannou defended the bank’s practices during and after his term.Ioannou, who was BoC chairman between 2006 and 2008 after which he retired during what he described as the lender’s “golden age” dismissed suggestions the BoC’s workings were dominated by a handful of executives.Ioannou was asked to comment on what a Central Bank commissioned report on the country banking system has described “weak bank governance” enabling “reckless ventures” made possible by “the failure of the boards of the banks to place independent checks on the ambitions of strong willed chief executives”.“I do not accept these conclusions represent all banks. Although I was not at the bank I do not accept them,” Ioannou said. He also dismissed a report by global firm Alvarez and Marsal which focused its investigations on why the Bank of Cyprus was forced to seek state help last year. The report said the BoC was willing from 2009 onwards to invest in risky Greek government debt to offset the effect of non-performing loans, and claimed that executives may have concealed information on the purchase of Greek government bonds from the board. It also spoke of “a culture whereby senior management decisions were not challenged”.Ioannou said that no one had anticipated the devastating write-down of Greek bonds in 2011, but also defended the BoC as a healthy and strong bank that was adversely affected by a write-down which all experts agreed would not take place.He said he did not believe the culture that existed in the bank in 2008 at the time of his own retirement could have corroded to the extent described in reports.When Ioannou left the bank, the BoC posted a 55 per cent net increase on its 2007 net profit to €485 million, and increased its profit guidance for 2008 by 11 per cent compared with 2007.Theodoros Aristodemou, a property developer who took over as BoC chairman after Ioannou and stepped down last year, was asked to explain why his loan portfolio kept growing, reaching €319 million by 2011, according to data available to the committee.Aristodemou said the loans were not his own but related to companies of which he was minority shareholder. He told the committee he had held sizeable deposits with the bank as a board member before assuming chairmanship.Aristodemou was also the largest private BoC shareholder when he resigned for health reasons last year, although his shares have been effectively wiped out – no longer carrying dividend or voting rights – following a deposit-for-equity swap for the BoC’s large savers as part of the lender’s restructuring.He told the panel that the board did not take key decisions on the Greek bonds, although he also said that all experts thought there was no risk of Greek defaulting or of a write-down.But with a write-down looming following a July 2011 decision, both himself and the CEO tried to secure promises that steps would be taken to protect the bank, he said. This failed, he said.In retrospect, investing in Greek government bonds was a mistake, he said. But “the BoC was a victim of the overall situation,” he added. All its indicators were “excellent” until the summer of 2012, and even ventures such as deciding to purchase Russian bank Uniastrum in 2008, were taken after much discussion and the consultation of experts, Aristodemou said.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoSenior Living | Search AdsCheap Senior Apartments in Rowland Heights Are Turning HeadsSenior Living | Search AdsUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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