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HSBC in positive territory for the third successive session

The share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc advanced for the third consecutive session ahead of the publication of the bank's 2011 full-year results on Friday.

The equity edged another 0.8% higher to regain the €2.60 level but volumes remained low with a mere 1,500 shares changing hands today.

Meanwhile GO plc's equity remains under pressure as it slid a further 3% to yet another all-time low of 80c5 on a small trade of 367 shares.

Lombard Bank Malta plc also closed in negative territory today with a 0.4% drop to a new 16-month low of €2.51 across four trades totalling 8,800 shares.

This afternoon the bank announced that its board of directors is scheduled to meet on March 15 to consider and approve the group's financial statements for the year ended December 31 as well as consider the declaration of a dividend to shareholders.

On the other hand, RS2 Software plc maintained the 55c level on a single deal of 33,500 shares.

Likewise, Bank of Valletta plc's shares ended this morning's session unchanged at €2.17 after recovering from an intra-day low of €2.16 on low volumes of 1,351 shares.

Overall, HSBC's 0.8% rise offset the declines in GO and Lombard Bank to help the MSE Share Index recover by a further 0.1% as it edged closer to the 3,000-point level.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index was practically unchanged at 987.142 points as Eurozone yields remained stable at the 1.97% level.

Last night, the EU granted a new €130 billion bailout to Greece after the country committed itself to further cuts, private investors agreed to take more losses and the European Central Bank agreed to distribute profits generated from its dealing in sovereign debt paper.

The agreement envisages that with these measures, Greece will be able to cut its ratio of debt to gross domestic product to 120.5% by 2020. Nonetheless, scepticism over the sustainability of Greece's sovereign debt still remain as various analysts think that Greece will still struggle to return to economic growth for many years to come.

www.rizzofarrugia.com

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