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HSBC and IHI lead market higher

The MSE Share Index climbed 1.6 per cent higher today to 3,359.79 points as two of the three large caps gained.

The share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc recovered from yesterday’s decline and advanced by 2.7 per cent to close at the €2.67 level.

HSBC’s equity had a volatile session as it initially traded up to €2.66,5 before dropping back to €2.60 and recovering towards the latter part of the day. Activity remained high with over 57,000 shares changing hands today.

International Hotel Investments plc edged 5.1 per cent higher to close at 83c on weak volumes of 9,000 shares. Island Hotels Group Holdings plc also recovered from yesterday’s low and jumped by 9.1 per cent to 60c.

IHGH published its 2012 Annual Report this week ahead of the annual general meeting taking place on May 22.

Meanwhile, Bank of Valletta plc failed to retain its 2013 high of €2.30 despite still trading with the entitlement to the gross dividend of 6c per share.

The share price dropped to a low of €2.28,6 but closed minimally below the 2013 high.

Volumes decreased to 13,849 shares during this morning’s session. Last Thursday afternoon, the BOV Group announced that it registered a 31.5 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to €64.6 million and the bank declared a gross dividend of 6c per share to shareholders as at close of trading on May 6.

Also in the banking sector, Lombard Bank Malta plc and FIMBank plc continued to trade unchanged at €1.95 and USD1 respectively.

GO plc again ranked among the positive performers today with a minimal rise to €1.59.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index continued its upward trend and registered yet another new all-time high on growing speculation of an interest rate cut by the European Central Bank next Thursday following this morning’s news that inflation across the eurozone dropped to 1.2 per cent in April – the lowest level since April 2010.

Moreover, it was also revealed today that the unemployment rate increased to a record level of 12.1 per cent.

www.rizzofarrugia.com

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