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  • MSE Share Index up 0.6% today to 3,082.705 points as HSBC, IHI and Farsons trade higher to offset the declines in BOV and Lombard. Meanwhile the three other active equities, including GO, ended the session unchanged. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index shed a further 0.1% to 996.605 points despite a further reduction in Eurozone yields to the 1.33% level. German bund yields retreated this morning ahead of an Italian bond auction. However, market concerns eased following the announcement that Italy successfully managed to raise €7.29 billion in a mix of 5 and 10-year paper at lower rates than the previous auction leading to a slight recovery in the benchmark German bund yields after the news.
  • Over 79,600 GO shares were exchanged today with the share price recovering from an intra-day low of €0.825 to end the session unchanged at the €0.85 level. The equity of the quad-play telecom operator was under pressure in recent sessions in anticipation of GO’s decision, expected to be published by the end of September, whether to participate or not in Forthnet’s €30 million rights issue through its joint-venture Forgendo. The latter has already expressed its intention to participate in the capital raising exercise. In the meantime, GO is scheduled to publish its half-year results tomorrow.
  • MaltaPost also closed unchanged today as the postal operator maintained its 3-year low of €0.63 on activity of 17,000 shares. In May, the postal operator revealed a 54.5% drop in profitability to €0.5 million as the Company’s income and costs were negatively impacted by the changes in the tariff structure of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) for cross border mail with effect from 1 January 2012. Subsequently, on 17 August, MaltaPost announced that the downward trend in profitability continued during the second half of its financial year and the Directors believe that this trend will persist and even accelerate in future financial periods and until such time as the regulatory framework within which the Company operates is definitely and adequately revised. In this respect, MaltaPost is working closely with the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) to ensure the adoption of a fair and regulatory approach to its public tariffs.
  • Meanwhile Lombard Bank eased a further 0.5% to a new multi-year low of €1.99 on a single trade of 2,350 shares. The financials of Lombard were also negatively impacted by the amendments in the tariffs of the Universal Postal Union on international mail. Moreover, Lombard’s half-year results were further adversely affected by the prevailing unfavourable environment for banks. Further details on interim results available here.
  • BOV’s share price dropped to an intra-day low of €2.21 but partially recovered by the end of this morning’s trading session to close at the €2.26 level representing a further 0.9% drop on volumes of just over 4,000 shares.
  • On the other hand, the equity of HSBC jumped 2.6% to regain the €2.75 level on a single trade of 2,200 shares.
  • IHI shares closed marginally higher after recovering from a 4-month low of €0.75 to close at the €0.85 level representing a 0.2% increase over the previous close. A total of 62,920 IHI shares changed hands today.
  • Low volumes in Simonds Farsons Cisk plc as 700 shares were exchanged at the €2.08 level, representing a 1.4% increase over the previous close. The Farsons Group generally publishes its half-year results by the end of September.
  • RS2 Software also traded unchanged at the €0.50 level on volumes of 7,493 shares. The IT Company yesterday revealed a 12.6% drop in profitability to €1.2 million reflecting the lower level of licence sales compared to the significant amount concluded in the first half of 2011. RS2 however stated that it is still in advanced negotiations for new licences which should be concluded by the year-end. Further details on results available here.

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