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BOV Market Watch - Week Ending 09 Nov 2018
09 Nov 2018
Fed holds rates steady, sees economy on track. At the conclusion of its two-day monetary policy meeting on Thursday, the Federal Reserve (Fed) monetary policy committee surprised no one by leaving its key interest rate unchanged. As widely expected, the Fed kept its benchmark target for interest rates in a two percent to 2.25 percent range. The policy statement issued after the meeting reflected little change in the central bank’s outlook for the economy since the last meeting in September, with inflation projected to remain near its two percent target, unemployment falling and risks to the economic outlook appearing to be “roughly balanced”.

German exports dip as trade war woes escalate. In a fresh sign that Europe's largest economy is feeling the pinch of a slowdown in global trade, German exports in September recorded their largest monthly fall since February. The Federal Statistics Office reported this week that, on a seasonally adjusted basis, exports fell by 0.8 percent in September from August to €109.5 billion euro, missing a forecast of a 0.3 percent rise. On the other hand, imports dropped by 2.7 percent, below predictions for a 0.2 percent drop. The trade surplus, that is the difference between exports and imports, widened to 18.3 billion euro from 15.9 billion euro. The Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, says that the third-quarter slowdown was due to temporary difficulties in the automobile industry and expects a rebound, but an escalation of trade tensions could undermine that.

UK house prices rise at slowest pace in five years House prices in the UK are increasing at the slowest annual rate in five years, according to mortgage lender Halifax. Prices rose by 1.5 percent in the three months through October. That is the lowest rate since March 2013. During the month of October alone, prices gained 0.7 percent, just shy of the 0.8 percent expected by economists. The report follows similar data from Nationwide Building Society. The report also showed that house prices are falling on a broad basis, although the steepest falls remain focused in London and southeast England after decades of booming real estate values left affordability stretched, and as Brexit adds uncertainty about the economic outlook. The average UK home price now stands 227,869 pounds, Halifax said.

Strong US service sector growth on robust jobs market. Growth in the vast US services sector grew more than expected in October, albeit cooling slightly after a record-setting performance in September. The Institute of Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing index came in at 60.3 in October, above the 59.3 expected by economists. The index jumped to 61.6 in September, which was its fastest expansion on record. "The non-manufacturing sector has again reflected strong growth despite a slight cooling off after a record month in September," ISM chair Anthony Nieves said in a statement. The report comes on the heels of a an earlier Labour Department report that shows that the US economy created 250,000 non-farm jobs in October, beating analysts’ estimate of 190,000 new job additions.

China exports rise in October in spite of tariffs. Chinese exports and imports increased more-than-expected in October, as trade remained robust, in spite of the escalating trade disputes with the US. Exports grew by 15.6 percent on an annualised basis, according to a report by the General Administration of Customs. Economists had forecast exports to rise by 11.7 percent, after a 14.5 percent rise in September. Importantly, shipments to the US increased by13.2 percent in October. At the same time, total imports surged by 21.4 percent, which was faster than the forecast of 14.7 percent and September's 14.3 percent rise. As a result, the trade surplus came in at $34 billion versus the expected level of $35.1 billion.

Important  Information
This documents is issued by Bank of Valletta p.l.c. (the Bank) for information purposes and personal use only. This document is not and should not be construed as an offer or recommendation to sell or solicitation of an offer or recommendation to purchase or subscribe for any investment. This information may not necessarily be appropriate and suitable to your particular investments requirements and risk profile. It is therefore recommended that if you require investment advice or wish to discuss the suitability of any investment decision, including if the financial instrument being considered in this research note carries a higher risk than your risk profile, you should immediately seek financial, legal or tax advice from your professional advisers as appropriate. Opinions, estimates and projections in this report constitute the current judgment of the author as of the date of this report. The Bank has obtained the information contained in this document from sources it believes to be reliable but it has not independently verified the information contained herein and therefore its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The Bank makes no guarantees, representations or warranties and accepts no responsibility or liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this document. The Bank has no obligation to update, modify or amend this report or to otherwise notify a reader thereof in the event that any matter stated therein, or any opinion, projection, forecast or estimate set for the herein changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate. Income from an investment may fluctuate and the price or value of the financial instrument described in this report, either directly or indirectly, may rise or fall. Furthermore, past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Bank of Valletta p.l.c. is licensed to conduct investment services by the Malta Financial Services Authority.
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Bank of Valletta p.l.c. is a public limited company regulated by the MFSA and is licensed to carry out the business of banking and investment services in terms of the Banking Act (Cap. 371 of the Laws of Malta) and the Investment Services Act (Cap.370. of the Laws of Malta).