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  • Negative run in local equity market now in its seventh successive session as subdued investment sentiment lingers on. MSE Share Index sheds a further 0.2% as HSBC, BOV and Middlesea trade lower. Meanwhile FIMBank and MIA close unchanged. In contrast to the 2.2% rise in January, the Share Index closed the month of February 6.8% lower mainly due to the sell-off triggered by the current political turmoil in Libya. As a result the local equity benchmark is 4.7% below its value at the beginning of the year.  Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • The Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index marginally retreated during the month of February to 983.255 points as the earlier uplift in Eurozone yields was mostly undone by the recent “flight to quality”. Nonetheless, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index is 0.9% below its value at the beginning of the year in line with the rise in the benchmark 10-year Eurozone yields from 2.97% in December 2010 to 3.18%. The recent MGS issues are expected to be admitted to listing today with trading expected to commence as from tomorrow.
  • HSBC’s share price negatively impacted by further selling pressure as Libya’s turmoil continues to weigh on local investor sentiment. Share price down to an intra-day low of €2.95 before recovering to a close of €2.969, representing a 0.4% decline from last week’s closing price. 23,212 shares change hands today with the equity still trading with the entitlement to the €0.077 per share. In contrast to the share price rally that took place prior to the results announcement, HSBC plunged 15.2% during the last two weeks of February following negative reaction to the  results and the Libya debacle.
  • Similar trend experienced in BOV shares as the equity closes 0.3% lower at €2.98 after recovering from an intra-day low of €2.95. Over 51,300 shares exchanged today with further offers unsatisfied at the closing price. Equity closed in negative territory for the second consecutive month with a further 4.2% drop in February. Earlier this month BOV’s Directors revealed that the Group’s net profit for the three months ended 31 December 2010 was in line with that reported in the previous comparable quarter but below expectations mainly due to fair value markdowns.
  • Middlesea Insurance in negative territory for the third consecutive session as its share price retreats by 0.8% to €1.002 across two trades totalling 2,848 shares. The equity of the insurance company registered a 0.8% decline during the month of February ahead of the Group’s 2010 full-year results publication on 14 March.
  • FIMBank fails to recover from its multi-year low of US$0.90 as 40,000 shares change hands at this level today. No other bids insight with lowest offers pitched at the US$0.94 level. The trade finance specialist is scheduled to publish its full-year results next Thursday 3 March.
  • MIA unchanged at the €1.75 level on volumes of 3,900 shares. Despite the 4.4% drop in February, the equity still ranks as the third best performing equity since the start of the year with a year-to-date increase of 5.4%. The airport operator is due to publish its 2010 financial results on 17 March.
  • The only other active equity, Loqus Holdings, which is listed on the Alternative Companies List saw its share price jump 5.6% higher to €0.17 on a single trade of 4,912 shares.