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  • For the fourth time this week, the MSE Share Index closed lower with a further 0.2% decline to a fresh 7-week low of 3,112.039 points. This morning, Lombard’s share price slumped 10% to offset the marginal increases in BOV and Plaza shares. Meanwhile, HSBC, GO and Middlesea closed unchanged. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary. Over the week, the local equity benchmark tumbled 4% reflecting the declines in HSBC (-3.6%), IHI (-15.8%) and Lombard (-10%).
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged minimally higher to yet another 24-month high of 999.428 points as Eurozone yields eased to a new 10-week low of 1.32%. The local MGS benchmark edged 0.2% higher this week reflecting the weakening German Bund yields as investors seek safe-haven assets in view of the deteriorating economic outlook for the Eurozone, the prevailing sovereign debt crisis also in the 17-nation currency bloc as well as the uncertainties relating to the US fiscal cliff.
  • Lombard’s share price plunged 10% today back to its multi-year low of €1.80 across four trades totalling 8,962 shares. The Bank recently announced that it intends to increase its equity stake in MaltaPost plc (through its fully-owned subsidiary Redbox Ltd) from the current 67.2% to not more than 74.5%.
  • Meanwhile, the postal operator this afternoon announced that the Malta Communications Authority (MCA), following a public consultation process, has accepted the request postal tariff increases and other changes requested by MaltaPost. The new prices for Domestic Bulk Letter Mail, Domestic Registered Mail and International Registered Mail will be revised upwards with effect from Monday 19 November 2012 whilst price changes relating to Domestic Single Piece Letter Mail will come into force on Monday 1 April 2013.
  • The shares of BOV moved closer to their 2012 high of €2.50 with a further 0.4% increase to the €2.46 level on volumes of 22,133 shares. The final gross dividend of €0.13 per share is payable to shareholders as at close of trading next Wednesday 14 November.
  • Plaza Centres was active for the first time this week as its share price edged 1% higher to regain the €0.53 level across four trades totalling 16,300 shares. In the latest communication to the market, the Company indicated a strong performance for the first nine months of the year despite a drop in average occupancy after a lease of a large tenant was not renewed. Nonetheless, the Company is already holding negotiations with potential tenants for this vacated space. The local media reported that a recent survey conducted on the retail sector indicated higher turnover levels in shopping malls, particularly in the Sliema area.
  • HSBC’s equity maintained the €2.65 level across 9,110 shares during this morning’s trading session but slipped 3.6% over the week.
  • Similarly, GO closed unchanged today at the €1.00 level after again recovering from an intra-day low of €0.975 across 4,500 shares.
  • A single trade of 3,000 Middlesea Insurance was executed at the €0.74 level, representing no movement from the previous close.