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Features

  • HSBC 2010 dividend payment set at 55 per cent

    The financial statements of HSBC Bank Malta plc published last Friday afternoon reveal that the HSBC Malta Group returned to profitability growth after two years of declines from the record profits registered in 2007. Pre-tax profits generated by...

  • No discrimination between EU nationals

    The European Court of Justice has once more gone all the way to reinforce the fact that EU member states have to tread carefully when distinguishing between persons residing in their own territory or their own citizens and other EU citizens.

  • Eurozone debt concerns regain the limelight

    From Thursday to the earlier part of this week the euro was generally weaker hitting lows, last Monday, at 1.3428 against the US dollar. Resurfacing eurozone debt concerns weighed on the single currency – as the Egyptian concerns faded away they...

  • Football of choice

    An eagerly-awaited opinion of Euro­pean Union Ad­vo­cate General Juliane Kokott has been recently given in two legal battles between FA Premier League on the one hand and Karen Murphy, a publican and a decoder supplier QC Leisure on the...

  • Volatility across the currency markets

    Currency markets have always been volatile but this seems to have increased markedly since the international financial crisis in 2008. Investors seek to take advantage of such wide bouts of volatility although the timing of such movements is...

  • Trichet’s comments dampen expectations for rate hike

    In his comments, following the European Central Bank interest-rate decision last Thursday, ECB president Jean Claude Trichet re-calibrated recent speculation for rate hikes from the ECB. The markets were interpreting recent inflation data and...

  • Plaza’s third phase of expansion during its 17-year history

    In the second interview with senior executives of companies whose shares or bonds are listed on the Malta Stock Exchange I met up with Lionel Lapira, CEO of Plaza Centres plc. Mr Lapira quickly starts the interview by talking about the origins of...

  • The Consumer Rights Directive – A step in the right direction?

    Significant progress has recently been registered in the long road towards the adoption of a somewhat controversial law which is intended to enhance the rights of consumers across Europe. First proposed by the European Commission way back in 2008,...

  • Egyptian riots dent risk appetite

    Riots in Egypt motivated by high unemployment and inflation and an authoritarian government have dominated news headlines this week and civilian protests escalated to a “million man march” on Tuesday. The Egyptian riots come just after a similar...

  • The January stock market barometer

    In recent weeks, many international financial commentators wrote about the January stock market barometer. Statistical studies conducted in the US suggest that stock market returns in January are a precursor of returns over the next 11 months of...

  • Entry restrictions in transport services

    Taxi cabs are used frequently by pass­engers for conve­yance in and around cities, especially in highly congested areas, even though fares are usually higher than other forms of public transport. The most frequently used mode of transportation...

  • EUR/USD breaks above a key resistance zone

    Wednesday of last week the EUR/USD pair traded new highs of 1.3538 after having breached the 1.3417 - 1.3498 region. The move higher is worth pointing out because the mentioned region had provided significant resistance to the EUR/USD pair since...

  • The Professional Qualifications Directive

    Now is the right time for anyone who feels that the current EU rules regulating the free movement of professionals are unnecessarily cumbersome to make his or her voice heard! The European Commission recently launched a public consultation on the...

  • MIA aims to maintain record passenger numbers in 2011

    Following last week’s company announcement when Malta International Airport plc revealed that it achieved a 10.6 per cent increase in passenger traffic in December and an overall growth of 12.8 per cent in passengers during 2010, the airport...

  • European Union’s new import regime

    Goods, manufactured in the EU, can move freely or without the need for customs clearance within the EU since there are no customs barriers between the member states. Such goods are considered to be in free circulation. On the other hand, there is...

  • Price is what you pay, value is what you get

    This is a famous quote by Warren Buffet in the 2008 annual report of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. at the peak of the recent financial crises. The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway said that he had learnt this quote from Benjamin Graham, widely recognised as...

  • Forex markets await solutions for eurozone debt

    A eurozone finance ministers’ meeting in Brussels on Monday was highly awaited but failed to provide any market-moving news. The ministers were expected to discuss whether or not to increase the current €440 billion available under the European...

  • Eurozone debt auctions get the limelight

    This week was marked by a number of key debt auctions from eurozone nations, among which were Portugal, Spain and Italy. Speculation has it that Portugal is the next possible candidate to apply for an EU/IMF bailout. Concerns over possible demand...

  • Saying no to tax obstacles in a borderless EU

    Finally, some good news on the financial side! A New Year’s resolution on the part of the European Commission to address a number of tax issues commonly encountered by Europeans who are living or investing their money in another member state. The...

  • Maltapost share price doubles since IPO

    The share price of Maltapost plc hit the €1 level on the penultimate trading day of 2010 helping the equity close the year as the best performer on the Official List of the Malta Stock Exchange with a gain of 42.9 per cent. The €1 level also...

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