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  • Following three consecutive sessions of declines, the MSE Share Index moved 0.5% higher during this morning’s session to 2,978.843 points. Today’s upturn was spurred by the 2% jump in HSBC’s share price which offset the 1.3% decline in GO. Meanwhile, the two other active equities, namely BOV and IHI, closed the session unchanged. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary. During the week the local equity benchmark edged marginally higher with GO and MIA the only positive performing equities this week whilst Lombard and MIDI ended the week in the red.
  • On the local bond market front, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged marginally higher to 990.773 points somewhat reflecting the drop in yields to a new all-time low of 1.497% following the uncertainty created by the election results in France and Greece as well as the nationalisation of Spain’s third largest bank which fell into financial difficulties.
  • GO ended the week 3.9% higher despite this morning’s 1.3% decline following a positive reaction to last Wednesday’s Annual General Meeting and the announcement regarding the transfer of properties which will result in a gain of €11.4 million in the income statement during 2012. During the Annual General Meeting, GO also announced that it set up a new holding company for the various properties it owns and will be seeking advice on the best way to extract value from such properties.
  • Meanwhile HSBC recovered most of yesterday’s 3.1% drop with a 2% increase to regain the €2.55 level on low volumes of 3,200 shares. Shortly after the close of this morning’s trading session, HSBC published its Interim Directors’ Statement covering the performance since the start of the year. The statement revealed that the HSBC Malta Group returned a solid performance mainly due to the improved profitability in the life insurance business which in turn was lifted by the recovery in international financial markets. The Directors reiterated that the bank remains highly liquid with a strong loan to deposit ratio and capital ratios well above regulatory requirements. Equity ended the week unchanged.
  • BOV also ended the week unchanged as a further 1,000 shares traded at the €2.12 level during this morning’s session. Other offers unsatisfied at the closing price with highest bids at €2.115. The Bank is expected to pay the recently declared gross interim dividend of €0.06 per share on 24 May.
  • The only other active equity today was that of IHI which held on to the €0.82 level across five trades totalling 59,847 shares. IHI also issued its Interim Directors Statement this morning to update investors on the Group’s performance during the first three months of the year. The IHI Group reported improvements in performance mainly due to the recovery in the Tripoli Hotel as well as the London Hotel. The Directors explained that the improved results have been registered in the first quarter of 2012 despite the difficult economic conditions in the markets in which the Group operates.
  • Middlesea Insurance shares were inactive today as the Interim Directors’ Statement published yesterday failed to generate any trades. Middlesea also reported improved performances across both in its life and non-life insurance businesses on the back of the recovery in international stockmarkets. Further details available here.

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