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  • Local equity market in negative territory for the fourth consecutive session as the political unrest in Libya continues to weigh on investor sentiment. MSE Share Index down a further 2.4% to a new 2011 low of 3,629.123 points as HSBC, MIA, FIMBank and Plaza trade lower. On the other hand, Middlesea and MaltaPost move higher whilst BOV and MIDI trade unchanged. Following the recent downturn, the Share Index is now 4% below its value at the beginning of the year.  Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • Downturn also registered in the local corporate bond market due to the political turmoil in Libya. The bonds associated with the Corinthia Group were mostly affected. In fact, the 6.75% Corinthia Finance plc 2012 plunged 600 basis points to 95% and the 6.25% International Hotel Investments plc 2020 slid a further 400 basis points to the 93% level. Meanwhile no trades effected in the Mediterranean Investments Holding plc bonds with various offers across all MIH bonds pitched below the par level.
  • Intensified selling pressure forces HSBC’s share price to drop by 7.4% to a fresh 2011 low of €3.001 after recovering from a 2-month low of €2.95. Ten trades totalling 17,984 shares transacted today with further bids at the €3.00 level and lowest offers at the €3.20 level. The equity has shed 13% since last Friday’s publication of the Bank’s full-year results revealing a 16.7% increase in pre-tax profit to €83.1 million. Further details available here.
  • Meanwhile BOV’s equity remains supported at €3.00 with a total of 21,345 shares changing hands at this level. Further offers outstanding at the last traded price whilst best bids now placed at the €2.995 level.
  • FIMBank also in negative territory ahead of the Group’s 2010 full-year results publication on 3 March. The share price of the trade finance specialist slipped 5.2% to a fresh 66-month low of US$0.90 on volumes of just over 8,000 shares. No bids in sight whilst few other offers remain unsatisfied at the closing price.
  • Plaza Centres also plunges 7.9% to the €1.52 level on insignificant volumes of 400 shares. Further bids in the market at the closing price whilst lowest offers still placed at the €1.65 level. The Company is scheduled to report its 2010 financial figures on 3 March.
  • MIA’s equity eases by 1.1% to the €1.75 level on a single trade of 1,000 shares. The airport operator is due to publish the 2010 accounts on 17 March.
  • Single trades transacted in MIDI, MaltaPost and Middlesea. 10,000 MIDI shares trade at the €0.45 level whilst the share price of the postal operator climbed 2% to regain the €1.095 level on volumes of 1,000 shares. Middlesea Insurance also edged 0.5% higher to €1.06.