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Equities trade higher

The MSE Share Index advanced for the fourth consecutive session as most active equities traded higher on the stock exchange, with three share prices touching fresh 2012 highs.

This morning, the local equity Index climbed by 1.5% to 3,178.25 points mainly due to the increases in the share prices of the largest equities by market cap.

HSBC Bank Malta plc surged 3.7% to regain the €2.75 level across nine trades totalling 24,950 shares and Bank of Valletta plc edged 0.4% higher to close at the €2.41 level after briefly touching €2.45. Over 30,000 BOV shares traded today. BOV's equity is still trading with the entitlement to the 1 for 9 bonus share issue.

Fresh demand also helped GO plc's equity move 1.4% higher to €1.065 on low volumes of 5,000 shares. Similarly, International Hotel Investments plc gained 1.2% to the €0.85 level also on shallow activity of 2,600 shares with Malta International Airport plc reaching a new 20-month high of €1.80 (+0.76%) across nine trades totalling 27,000 shares.

Positive trends were also registered in the smaller cap equities with Crimsonwing plc rising a further 1.2% to €0.425 on volumes of 10,000 shares. The IT equity has strongly outperformed this year as it currently ranks as the best performer of 2012 with a year-to-date jump of 70% and a staggering 165.6% turnaround from its all-time low of €0.16 reached earlier this year. The significant uplift in Crimsonwing share price follows the revelation of the CEO's expectations of improved results and a pre-tax profit of €2 million for the financial year ending 31 March 2014. Crimsonwing is due to publish its September 2012 interim results sometime this week.

The share price of RS2 Software plc initially also inched higher to €0.655 but eased back to close unchanged at the €0.65 level across six trades totalling just under 29,400 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.1% higher to a new 2-year high of 1,000.092 points as benchmark Eurozone yields slid back closer to the 1.4% level following the outcome of elections in the Catalonia region in Spain. Parties in favour of the region's independence from Spain won this weekend's election adding further instability to the ailing country. On the other hand, German Bund yields were supported by hopes that today's meeting of Eurozone finance ministers together with the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund will reach an agreement thereby releasing the much needed next tranche of aid to Greece amounting to €31.5 billion.

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