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Features

  • Contagion risk weighs on investor’s sentiment

    Last Sunday Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen announced that Ireland had made a formal request for aid from the EU and IMF. Although details still had to be concluded at the time of writing, the Irish Finance Minister indicated that aid should not...

  • Forthnet share price in free fall

    Forthnet share price in free fall

    On November 15, Forthnet SA pub­lished its financial statements for the three months en-­ded September 30, 2010 and since then the share price has declined rapidly on increasing volumes. Over the past seven trading sessions between the...

  • Guaranteeing consumer protection

    Guaranteeing consumer protection

    After the summer recess, the European Court of Justice delivered a number of judgements aimed at guaranteeing a high level of consumer protection without greatly tilting the balance against traders and businesses. In one judgement, delivered...

  • Equity market indicators which reveal a company’s strength

    Equity market indicators which reveal a company’s strength

    Whether in res­pect of inter­national equi­ties or local equities, one still comes across individuals who look at the absolute price of a share to determine if it is high or low rather than looking at the important indicators which reveal the...

  • The promise of personalised medicine

    The pharmaceutical care landscape is presently characterised by a number of challenges, namely an increase in regulatory requirements and R&D costs, coupled by a paradoxical decrease in the number of new active ingredients reaching the market. The...

  • Eurozone debt concerns: The Irish domino effect

    Eurozone debt concerns for the countries of the periphery keep making headlines and expectations of some sort of European Union intervention are escalating. The big question is if Ireland will eventually have to tap for EU aid any time soon. Last...

  • Greenback gathers renewed support as QE limelight eases

    Once the Federal Reserve’s plans for further easing were unveiled, the greenback enjoyed renewed support earlier this week. With the investors’ limelight away from the US’s second round of QE, eurozone debt problems might be attracting some of the...

  • Legislative scrutiny of rating agencies

    Legislative scrutiny of rating agencies

    A credit rating agency is a company that assigns credit ratings to institutions that issue debt obligations. A credit rating measures creditworthiness, or the ability to pay back a loan. Opinions of credit rating agencies, which often have greater...

  • Midi set to become sixth largest company on MSE

    Midi set to become sixth largest company on MSE

    Following a highly successful bond issue in January 2009, Midi p.l.c. is now tapping the market with a share issue. During a recent briefing for all stockbrokers, Midi’s CEO Ben Muscat immediately highlighted the fact that this is not an offer of...

  • BOV’s profitability of €98.9m only marginally below ’07 record level

    BOV’s profitability of €98.9m only marginally below ’07 record level

    The results published by Bank of Valletta plc for the year ended September 30, 2010 show that the group registered a pre-tax profit of €98.9 million during the past 12 months. This represents a growth of 20.9 per cent over the previous year, and...

  • The wait for FOMC is finally over. What about Europe?

    At the time of writing, the market awaited anxiously the outcome of a two-day FOMC meeting in which the Federal Reserve was expected to announce a new bout of monetary easing, more commonly referred to as QE2. The US central bank was expected to...

  • Abusing of dominance

    Dominant companies cannot hide behind regulatory action taken by national authorities when committing an abuse. Any abuse of a dominant position on the EU market contravenes the EU competition rules and deserves hefty fines, the European Court of...

  • G20 pledge manages to ease risk of currency wars

    During G20 meetings in South Korea last weekend, finance chiefs concluded a surprise deal favouring a power shift within the IMF to emerging nations. G20 countries also made a commitment to keep current account imbalances at sustainable levels,...

  • The EU directive on copyright in the information society

    The EU directive on copyright in the information society

    The EU directive on copyright and re­lated rights in the information society protects the reproduction rights of authors, performers and producers in relation to their audio, visual and audio-visual material. Yet the directive allows private...

  • Bond redemptions in the final quarter of 2010

    Bond redemptions in the final quarter of 2010

    During the final three months of the year, the mar­ket will ex­per­ience five bond redem­ptions. The gov­ernment of Malta, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc, Dolmen Properties plc, Bay Street Finance plc, and P G Finance plc (formerly Big Bon Finance plc)...

  • US dollar back in support as QE looms

    The EUR/USD pair reached an eight-month high of 1.4159 last Friday. It gained momentum following Thursday’s move by Singapore to widen currency trading bands, but the immediate push to reach the 1.4159 came shortly after Fed chairman Ben Bernanke...

  • The world in 3D: an analysis of Malta’s performance

    The world in 3D: an analysis of Malta’s performance

    It was a pleasure to have been among the invitees for last week’s business breakfast organised by HSBC Bank Malta plc. Many were evidently fascinated by the simple but very effective presentation delivered by HSBC’s senior global economist Karen...

  • Gender is an irrelevant risk factor

    Gender is an irrelevant risk factor

    Taking the gender of an insured person into account as a risk factor in insurance contracts is incompatible with the EU’s fundamental principle of ensuring non-discrimination on grounds of sex. To this end, member states must not be permitted,...

  • Weekend meetings fail to address Forex matters

    During the weekend, various G7, IMF and World Bank meetings failed to prop up any specific agreement on Forex matters and left countries contemplating on engaging in “currency wars” (a term coined by the media) as still free to manoeuvre. The term...

  • Healthcare without frontiers

    Healthcare without frontiers

    A series of rulings by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), beginning over a decade ago, established that healthcare could be sought by EU citizens in any member state, while patients seeking such cross-border healthcare were entitled to have...

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