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  • The MSE Share Index ended marginally lower as it retreated by just 0.04% from its highest level in almost two weeks to 4,567.887 points today. Most notably, trading activity was spread amongst various equities and volumes were robust as they peaked to €821,000 – the highest daily level since mid-March 2016. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index retreated by 0.03% to 1,146.916 points. The 10-year benchmark German Bund climbed from 0.13% yesterday to 0.17% today, possibly reflecting decreased deflationary concerns in view of the recent rally in the price of oil.
  • Nearly 60% of today’s trading activity again took place in the equity of RS2 Software plc. The share price closed 0.3% lower at the €3.789 level across 127,875 shares having a market value of €0.48 million. Shareholders as at close of trading on Thursday 19 May will be eligible to receive the recently recommended final net dividend of €0.0278 per share (payable on 30 June) subject to approval at the upcoming AGM to be held on 23 June. The Directors are also recommending a bonus share issue of 1 new share for every 18 shares held (cut-off date: 19 May) and a 5 for 3 share split (cut-off date: 30 June).
  • Three other large companies also registered losses for today. International Hotel Investments plc shed 1.6% to the €0.63 level across 30,000 shares. This morning, IHI revealed that its associate company in which it has a 50% stake, NLI Holdings Limited, completed the acquisition of the 121-room Grand Hotel Astoria in Brussels. NLI Holdings is in the process of appointing two IHI Group companies to operate the property as well as to supervise an extensive refurbishment of the property over the next two years.
  • Bank of Valletta plc retreated by 0.4% to the €2.24 level on activity of 22,370 shares. Likewise, GO plc shed 0.6% to €3.55 on volumes of 20,862 shares. Yesterday evening, GO confirmed that it is now in the final stages of evaluating the binding offers from third party investors interested in acquiring the company. GO plans to select the preferred bidder by the end of the month. Thereafter, GO will announce the identity of the preferred bidder and the preferred bidder will subsequently announce the terms of this bid. Within not more than 21 calendar days, the preferred bidder will then be expected to publish an offer document to all of GO’s shareholders, on which GO will issue an opinion. GO’s shareholders will have a specified period of time, which will be at least 4 weeks long, within which to decide whether or not they wish to accept any such offer and sell their shares to the preferred bidder. On Sunday, the local media reported that two binding offers received by GO plc were from Bahrain Telecoms Corporation (Batelco) and Tunisie Telecom.
  • Two deals totalling 2,760 shares pulled the equity of Medserv plc back to the €1.80 level (-0.6%) The oil and gas logistics company is due to hold its AGM on 30 May.
  • Negligible volumes were also traded in the equity of HSBC Bank Malta plc. The equity closed 1.3% higher at the €1.62 level.
  • Malta International Airport plc advanced by 0.5% to the €4.36 level across 10,215 shares. This morning MIA announced that during the first three months of 2016, the performance of the Company has been much better than expected. Following the 15.5% increase in passenger traffic between January and March and the continued growth in the retail sector of the business, MIA’s revenues for the first quarter of 2016 amounted to €11.6 million, representing a 5.1% increase over the previous comparable period. Similarly, the Company’s profits grew by 7.6% to €1.46 million. Going forward, the Directors anticipate that MIA’s financial results for 2016 should be in line with the projections made at the beginning of the year.
  • In the property segment, Malta Properties Company plc regained the €0.56 level (+2.8%) on volumes of 42,000 shares. MIDI plc edged 0.3% higher to €0.39 on activity of 29,550 shares. During last week’s AGM, MIDI announced that, subject to regulatory approval, it intends to issue a €50 million 10-year secured bond and that part of such funds will be used to redeem its outstanding listed debt on the first redemption date possible – i.e. 15 December 2016.
  • In contrast, Malita Investments plc (10,000 shares) and Tigne’ Mall plc (60,000 shares) closed flat at €0.90 and €1.06 respectively. Shareholders of Tigne’ Mall as at 22 June will be eligible to receive a final net dividend of €0.0125 per share. This is payable on 12 July subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming AGM scheduled to be held on 24 June 2016.
  • Similarly, Mapfre Middlesea plc (1,494 shares) and Simonds Farsons Cisk plc (5,175 shares) maintained the €2.20 and €6.40 levels respectively. Last Thursday, the Farsons Group revealed its financial results for the year ended January 2016 in which it showed that pre-tax profits climbed to a record of €10.1 million. The Directors recommended a final dividend (out of tax exempt profits) of €0.0733 per share, representing a 10.1% increase over the final dividend paid out in respect of the previous financial year. This dividend will be paid on 30 June 2016 to all shareholders as at 25 May, subject to approval at the upcoming AGM scheduled to be held on 28 June.

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