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  • MSE Share Index edged 1.0% higher to 3,087.037 points to reach a two-week high. However trading activity remained thin with only three equities active. HSBC, BOV closed higher while MaltaPost continued to trade at the €1.00 level. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged higher for the second consecutive day to 987.04 points. The 5.20% MGS 2031 continued to trade at its all-time high of 103% during this morning’s session. The main highlight across the international bond markets was the Treasury Bill auction by the Italian Government. €9 billion 6-month bills were sold at an average rate of 3.25%, significantly below last month’s auction which took place at a high of 6.50%. The Italian government will tap the bond market again tomorrow when an auction of €8.5 billion will take place for bonds maturing in 2014, 2018, 2021 and 2022.
  • Share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc advanced by 3.2% from its 2011 low of €2.50 to close the day at €2.58. Earlier on this morning, the Bank announced the sale of its card acquiring business to HSBC Merchant Services Ltd (Global) for €11 million. Global Payments Inc. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services. HSBC also explained that the new subsidiary will be its preferred strategic provider of card acquiring services. This sale falls in line with HSBC Malta’s strategic plan set out in May 2011 and the profit from the sale of this business will help partially offset the one-off costs related to the early retirement schemes.
  • After maintaining the €2.50 level for the past three trading sessions, Bank of Valletta plc edged 0.4% higher to €2.51 on volumes totalling 8,577 shares. BOV’s equity will trade with the entitlement to the bonus share issue until Monday 9 January 2012.
  • The only other active equity in the market was that of MaltaPost plc. A single trade was executed at yesterday’s closing price of €1.00. The postal operator last week published its Annual Report in anticipation of the Annual General Meeting being held on 17 January. During the AGM shareholders will be asked to to consider and approve a number of resolutions including the final net dividend of €0.04 per share and the scrip dividend option with an attribution price of €0.98 per share.

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