This morning's trading session on the Malta Stock Exchange was characterised by low activity across the equity market and increased volumes in the bond market as a result of the new Malta Government Stock offerings.

Of the five active equities, four closed lower while GO plc recovered by 4.7% from yesterday's fresh all-time low of 85c on weak volumes of 3,070 shares.

The Greek company Forthnet is shortly due to update the market in view of today's deadline by its bankers for the company to raise €30 million in new equity.

Earlier this month, Forthnet's shareholders rejected a €30 million rights issue.

The share prices of the three active banks closed the day lower.

Bank of Valletta plc edged minimally lower to €2.24,9 on weak volumes of 4,200 shares with offers of a further 9,675 shares remaining unsatisfied at this level.

Last Friday, BOV published its interim directors' statement covering the first quarter of its 2011/12 financial year.

The period under review was characterised by a continued slowdown in demand for credit, uncertain market conditions resulting in lower fee and commission income and lack of confidence due to eurozone sovereign debt crisis. BOV reported that it registered a net profit similar to that in the previous comparable period.

HSBC Bank Malta plc eased 0.4% lower to €2.55 on activity of 6,400 shares with Lombard Bank Malta plc shedding 0.8% to drop back to its 15-month low of €2.55. A total of 5,950 shares traded today with bids already entering the market at €2.57.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index continued to edge higher to 989.426 points with prices of the medium and long-term Malta Government Stocks edging higher. Various trades took place across a number of Malta Government Stocks today.

Subscriptions for the three new government stocks announced last week open tomorrow and close on Friday.

A total of €300 million is on offer across the following stocks: (i) 4.25% MGS 2017 (III) (Fungibility Issue) at 103.75%; (ii) 4.3% MGS 2022 (II) at 100% (par) and (iii) 5.2% MGS 2031 (I) (Fungibility Issue) at 101.75%.

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