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Features

  • Poland’s young and creative people

    Poland’s young and creative people

    Poland has one of the best educated societies in the European Union. Young people make up 30.2 per cent of the population who study, work and learn foreign languages. In their minds great and creative ideas thus flourish, creating the face of...

  • Regulating traditional herbal medicines

    Regulating traditional herbal medicines

    The use of plants, in a wide variety of forms, for their therapeutic value is widespread. Indeed, alternative herbal medicine preceded traditional medicine and now sits comfortably alongside main­stream medicine, with many even considering it as a...

  • Local shares strongly underperform in Q1

    Local shares strongly underperform in Q1

    During the first quarter of 2011 all major international stockmarkets were im­pacted by two unexpected events which occurred in quick succession – the escalating crisis in the Arab world which quickly spread to Libya and the devastating natural...

  • ECB hikes rates; euro higher on monetary policy outlook

    Last week, on Thursday, the European Central Bank raised interest rates by 25 basis points to 1.25 per cent as was widely anticipated by markets. This marked the first time since July 2008 that the ECB raised its “refi” rate. In the news...

  • The euro faces an interest rate decision today

    So far this week EUR/USD has traded in the range of 1.4153-1.4268. Ahead of us today we have the ECB interest rate decision at 13.45CET and the ECB president will be giving his customary news briefing conference at 2.30 p.m. Markets have been...

  • Consultations over online gambling

    The European Commission is lending an ear to interested stakeholders in the online gambling market. With the recent launch of an EU-wide public consultation on a Green Paper dealing with online gambling, the Commission is striving to get its facts...

  • GHM expands into Turkey

    GHM expands into Turkey

    Grand Harbour Marina plc recently announced its first investment outside Malta through a 45 per cent acquisition in the Cesme Marina in Turkey. GHM had successfully raised €12 million through the local bond market in January 2010 in order to...

  • Trichet’s hawkish comments keeps focus on interest rates

    Earlier in the week, European Central Bank president Jean Claude Trichet reinforced interest rate expectations for a rate rise as early as next month. Mr Trichet said that the eurozone inflation rate is “durably” above the central banks’...

  • MIA registers record profitability

    MIA registers record profitability

    The 12.8 per cent increase in passenger numbers passing through the airport terminal during 2010 boosted the financial performance of Malta International Airport plc. The airport operator recently announced a 20 per cent increase in pre-tax...

  • Community patent and its enforceability

    Community patent and its enforceability

    The ministers of economy of 25 member states of the European Union have given the green light for the adoption of a Community Patent. This patent will be valid in 25 EU member states and is expected to enter into force in 2014. The idea of a...

  • G7 countries intervene to reduce yen’s volatility

    Last Friday, the G7 announced there would be a coordinated currency intervention in respect of the JPY. This announcement triggered a spike, from levels around Friday’s open of 79.08, up to 81.48. The USD/JPY currency pair than continued its drive...

  • Go’s dividends slashed by 50%

    Go’s dividends slashed by 50%

    Go plc’s announcement on March 15 that dividends to shareholders have been halved to a net distribution of €0.05 per share was yet another disappointing piece of news for the local market. Within the space of a few weeks, financial markets...

  • No outright ban on online sales

    No outright ban on online sales

    An outright ban imposed by a manufacturer on its distributors from selling products over the internet falls foul of the competition rules, the ECJ’s Advocate General Ján Mazák recently declared. Each case has to be examined on its own merits in...

  • Japan in the spotlight – yen strengthens

    Attention has shifted from the Middle East/North African unrest onto Japan for most of this last week. As if having to face an 8.9-magnitude earthquake and a devastating tsunami was not enough, Japan has had to struggle with a massive nuclear...

  • Lombard’s profits just shy of 2008 record level

    Lombard’s profits just shy of 2008 record level

    Lombard Bank Malta plc published its 2010 financial statements on March 10 revealing a 12.9 per cent increase in profit after tax to €8.3 million. The profitability level achieved during 2010 was just shy of the all-time record of €8.4 million...

  • Gender-based insurance to be phased out

    Gender-based insurance to be phased out

    Equality between men and women is a fundamental principle of the European Union. This is established in the Treaty of the EU and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, which prohibit any discrimination on grounds of gender and require...

  • Eurozone sovereign debt back in focus

    The euro rally from the back end of last week to early Monday morning took a pause on Tuesday as resurfacing of eurozone debt following Moody’s downgrade of Greece’s debt rating appeared to be weighing on the single currency. The rally in the euro...

  • FimBank announces profits of $6.7 million

    FimBank announces profits of $6.7 million

    FimBank plc’s financial statements published last week reveal that the trade finance specialist generated a profit after tax of $6.7 million during 2010. This represents a significant increase over the previous year as the group “cautiously...

  • Focus on small businesses

    Focus on small businesses

    The recent review of the Small Business Act for Europe by the European Commission provides a ray of hope for European small and medium sized enterprises that not all will be gloom and doom in the years to come. Less bureaucracy, improved access to...

  • EU meetings in March could be market moving

    March will be filled with major events for the euro. This week, the planned banking stress test criteria (banks should be tested in the first half of this year) are being discussed by the European Banking Association, and today the ECB holds its...

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