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BUSINESS TODAY 18 January 2024

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€1.50 THURSDAY 18 JANUARY 2024 • ISSUE 239 WWW.BUSINESSTODAY.COM.MT Food price-fixing scheme to last till end of this year No change in rental scooter ban - minister PAUL COCKS THE government's proposed price-fixing agreement with food importers and retailers will last till the end of 2024, Business Today has learned. In early January news emerged that the govern- ment was in talks with importers and retailers of foodstuff to lower the costs of some essential items by 15 per cent in a bid to ease the burden on consumers as inflation rose. CONTINUES PAGE 3 SEE EDITORIAL PAGE 9 STAR PERFORMER MSE FTSE 100 EUR EXCHANGE RATES Trading Date: 17 Jan 2024 Number of Trades: 87 Turnover: €695,023.87 MSE TRX Index: 8111.283 Change: +0.022% Name: 3.85% HLF UNSEC MT0001891200 - Currency € Last Traded: 17 Jan 2024 Price 96.000 Change +2.400 US Dollar 1.0522 British Pound: 0.86477 Japanese Yen: 144.59 Australian Dollar: 1.5451 Swiss Franc: 0.98700 7,613.67 78.12 7,613.39 / 7,312.00 Value Net variation High / Low +0.86% MARIANNA CALLEJA THE ban on e-kick scooters will proceed, com- mencing on 1 March 2024, as confirmed by the new transport minister, Chris Bonett, on Wednesday. "e goal was to provide the nation with an alternative mode of transport, but instead of replacing cars, the scooters ended up replacing walking," stated Chris Bonett. While addressing parliament and responding to a question from Labour MP Katya De Giovanni, Bonett explained that several issues had arisen with rental e-scooter users. "We observed a lack of respect, excessive speed- ing, riding on pavements, and haphazard parking of scooters… they were not only causing incon- veniences but also endangering people's lives," added Bonett ese problems were not caused by owners of e-scooters, according to Bonett. "On the contra- ry, they tend to take good care of their vehicles," he added. With this in mind, the transport minister an- nounced that new incentives will be unveiled soon to promote the purchase of e-scooters as an alternative mode of transport. Annual inflation up to 2.9% in the euro area The euro area annual inflation rate was 2.9% in December 2023, up from 2.4% in November. A year earlier, the rate was 9.2%. European Union annual inflation was 3.4% in December 2023, up from 3.1% in November. A year earlier, the rate was 10.4%. The lowest annual rates were registered in Denmark (0.4%), Italy and Belgium (both 0.5%). The highest annual rates were recorded in Czechia (7.6%), Romania (7.0%) and Slovakia (6.6%). Compared with November, annual inflation fell in fifteen Member States, remained stable in one and rose in eleven. (Photo: James Bianchi/Mediatoday) Some food items will see prices dropped by up to 15% Today, government expected to announce details of an agreement reached with major importers and retailers on reducing the price of a number of staple food items by 15%

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