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Equity market ends 2010 in positive territory

During the last trading session of 2010 an unusually large number of HSBC Bank Malta plc shares changed hands.

Trading activity amounted to over 113,000 shares with the share price rising a further 1.7 per cent to the €3.25,5 level, representing a five per cent weekly rise.

Bank of Valletta plc also traded higher for the fourth consecutive session this week as its share price gained a further 0.7 per cent to reach a new 2010 closing high of €3.85,8 across 10,350 shares. BOV ended this week 4.3 per cent higher.

Malta International Airport plc recovered yesterday’s 0.6 per cent decline as its share price climbed 1.2 per cent to regain its 2010 high of €1.66 on a single trade of 5,000 shares.

On the Alternative List, Loqus Holdings plc maintained the €0.20 level across a small trade of 700 shares.

Meanwhile, Santumas Shareholdings plc inched marginally higher to close at the €2.567 level.

2010 Overview

The local equity market closed the year in positive territory.

After rising by 7.9 per cent in 2009, the MSE Share Index gained a further 9.3 per cent during the past 12 months.

Most of this upturn was recorded in December following a rally in the three largest equities by market cap, namely HSBC Bank Malta plc, Bank of Valletta plc and International Hotel Investments plc.

The top performer of 2010 was MaltaPost plc which recorded a 42.9 per cent jump in its share price to an all-time high of €1.

MaltaPost shares are now trading at double the January 2008 IPO price of €0.50. The postal operator is closely followed in the 2010 rankings by Malta International Airport plc (+38.3 per cent) on the back of a 13 per cent increase in passenger movements during the first 11 months; Middlesea Insurance plc (+26.2 per cent) after divesting from its Italian loss making subsidiary and Bank of Valletta plc (+24.61 per cent) which produce a strong set of results for the financial year ended 30 September 2010.

On the other hand the laggards of 2010 are 6pm Holdings plc (-20.9 per cent) and RS2 Software plc (-13.8 per cent) as the IT industry was hard hit by the global recession.

GO plc (-7.9 per cent and FIMBank plc (-13.6 per cent) are amongst the other negative performing equities for calendar year 2010.

For the second year running, the local bond market lagged behind equities.

In fact, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index closed the year at 992.63 points representing a yearly increase of just 0.7 per cent compared to an equity index improvement of 9.3 per cent.

No trading session will be held tomorrow and the Malta Stock Exchange will open again for business on Monday. Wishing a prosperous New Year to all our readers.

www.rizzofarrugia.com

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