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  • The MSE Share Index inched minimally higher today to 3,417.289 points as the marginal uptick in Middlesea Insurance offset the decline in BOV and Farsons. Meanwhile, the other four active equities ended the session unchanged. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index moved back into positive territory with a marginal increase to 1,127.794 points reflecting the sharp upward revision in the long-term MGS prices by the Central Bank of Malta.
  • Trading activity across the equity market today was centred around Bank of Valletta plc and HSBC Bank Malta plc as these equities accounted for almost 90% of the €0.23 million worth of shares that changed hands.
  • BOV’s equity eased minimally lower to €2.079 across twenty deals totalling just over 60,000 shares. In last week’s interim statement (covering the period from 1 October to date), BOV explained that it continued to experience weak demand for business lending which was mitigated by the increasing request for home loans. Meanwhile, customer deposits continued to grow despite the lower rates, resulting in higher levels of liquidity. Concurrently, the Bank registered a satisfactory rate of growth across all key business lines, maintained the cautious view towards provisioning and registered moderate positive price changes on its investment portfolio.
  • The share price of HSBC once again recovered from an intra-day low of €1.97 to end this morning’s session unchanged at the €1.98 level on volumes of 40,613 shares. The Bank is scheduled to publish its 2014 full-year results on 23 February.
  • Elsewhere, MaltaPost plc and Malita Investments plc held on to their respective highs of €1.35 and €0.73 on lower volumes. Similarly, the equity of Island Hotels Group Holdings plc held on to the €1.029 level across two deals totalling 3,030 shares. The Group is scheduled to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on 20 February seeking shareholder authorisation to divulge all the required information for International Hotel Investments plc to make a binding offer for the entire issued share capital of the Island Hotels Group.
  • Meanwhile, the share price of Middlesea Insurance plc edged marginally higher today to regain the €1.00 level on low volumes of 4,700 shares. Middlesea is due to report its 2014 results on 11 March.
  • On the other hand, the share price of Simonds Farsons Cisk plc slid by 0.3% back to the €3.07 level on an immaterial trade of 350 shares.

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