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  • Local equity market moves lower for the fifth consecutive session as investors remain wary of the political situation in Libya. MSE Share Index down another 0.07% today to a new 2-month low of 3,626.462 points as BOV and Middlesea trade lower offsetting the minimal rise in GO. Meanwhile HSBC and MIA trade unchanged. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • Negative trend also persists across local corporate bonds mainly those associated with the Corinthia Group. In fact, the largest declines were registered in the 7.5% Mediterranean Investments Holding plc 2014 which plunged 14 percentage points to the 90% and in the 6.5% International Hotel Investments plc 2014 which slid 13 percentage points also to the 90% level. Nonetheless the concerns arising from the Libyan situation are also affecting sentiment towards other bonds such as the 7% FIMBank plc 2019 which slipped 200 basis points back to the par level and the 7% Grand Harbour Marina plc 2019 bond which dropped by 300 basis points.
  • On the other hand, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index gained 0.17% as the benchmark yields dropped back to the 3.13% level with the price of the 5.25% MGS 2030 rising to 102.80%.
  • BOV drops below the €3.00 level for the first time since 9 November 2010. Share price touches a low of €2.95 before recovering to close at €2.994, representing a marginal decline from the previous close. Eighteen trades totalling 9,716 shares transacted this morning with further offers unsatisfied at the last traded price and best bids at the €2.95 level.
  • Following the 13% plunge since last Friday’s results, HSBC finds support at the €3.00 level. Share price touches an intra-day low of €2.99 before recovering to close unchanged at €3.001. Volumes increase to 33,600 shares as buyers return to the market following the sharp sell-off. HSBC’s equity will continue to trade with the entitlement to the final gross dividend of €0.077 per share until next Thursday 3 March.
  • Also in the financial sector, Middlesea Insurance, eased 0.9% lower to the €1.05 level on volumes of 4,700 shares. The company is scheduled to report its 2010 financials on 14 March.
  • GO opens at a new 15-month low of €1.785 before fresh bids lift the equity up to the €1.80 level representing a minimal rise over the previous close. 4,500 shares exchanged today with no bids in the market and further offers outstanding at the closing price.
  • The only other active equity, MIA, trades unchanged at the €1.75 level on activity of only 1,000 shares. The airport operator is due to publish its 2010 financial results on 17 March.