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  • The MSE Share Index kicked-off the week minimally lower than last Friday’s sixteen-week high to 4,541.160 points. Trading activity was strong again today as nearly €0.6 million worth of shares changes hands. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index halted a four-day negative streak as it inched 0.07% higher to 1,174.263 points. The 10-year benchmark German bund advanced slightly to 0.169% from 0.161% last Friday after it touched a near six-month high of 0.219% on Friday afternoon. Fresh data issued this morning showed that, year-on-year, GDP in the euro zone rose by 1.6% during the third quarter. Meanwhile, in the US, consumer spending rose more than expected in September, bolstering the chances that the Federal Reserve raises interest rates again in December.
  • The most actively traded equity was Bank of Valletta plc which temporarily traded at the €2.32 level (+0.7%) – the highest since mid-January 2008 – before closing the day marginally above last week’s close at €2.306. A total of 173,486 BOV shares (having a market value of €0.4 million) traded today. Last Friday, BOV published its results for the financial year ended 30 September 2016. The Group reported a 23.7% jump in pre-tax profits to €145.9 million. The main driver behind this growth was the one-off gain of €27.5 million registered from the disposal of the shareholding in VISA Europe. Excluding this one-off gain, the Group’s pre-tax profit was relatively unchanged at €118.4 million. The Directors recommended a final gross dividend of €0.0852 per share (net: €0.0554) to be paid to all shareholders as at the close of trading on Monday 14 November subject to shareholder approval during the upcoming Annual General Meeting on Friday 16 December. During the meeting, shareholders will also be asked to approve a 1 for 13 bonus issue.
  • RS2 Software plc moved 0.7% higher to the €1.51 level on volumes totalling 46,058 shares.
  • On the Alternative Companies List, Loqus Holdings plc surged by 17.9% to the €0.165 level on insignificant volumes.
  • Shallow volumes were also transacted in GO plc and International Hotel Investments plc. GO slipped to the €3.215 level (-0.5%) whilst IHI retreated 0.2% from its three-month of €0.66 to the €0.659 level. This morning, IHI issued an Interim Directors’ Statement updating the market on its performance since 30 June 2016. IHI stated that its owned and managed hotels recorded an improvement in performance in the first three quarters of 2016 over the corresponding period last year. In particular, the 50%-owned Corinthia Hotel London improved its operational results in sterling terms over 2016 despite shackled by the uncertainty created by the UK’s referendum on EU membership. However, the results reported in euro have more recently been impacted by the drop in the value of sterling. On the other hand, the Corinthia Hotel St Petersburg registered a marked improvement in performance due both to operational results and a stabilised rouble exchange rate when compared to last year. IHI is forecasting that its full-year results will reflect the continued improved performance of its hotels recorded in the first nine months of 2016.
  • Also among the large companies, Malta International Airport plc dropped back to the €4.14 level (-0.1%) across 2,400 shares.
  • A single deal of 11,500 shares pulled the equity of Malita Investments plc 1.6% lower to the €0.865 level.
  • The worst performing equity today was Simonds Farsons Cisk plc as it fell by 3.6% to the €6.51 level on volumes totalling 1,025 shares.
  • Medserv plc opened at a new 2016 low of €1.48 (-1.9%) before finishing the day 0.6% below last week’s close at €1.50. A total of 7,600 shares changed hands today.
  • Meanwhile, HSBC Bank Malta plc maintained the €1.91 level across 20,300 shares.
  • Likewise, Malta Properties Company plc held on to the €0.61 level on heightened activity totalling 72,234 shares.
  • Last Friday, the Treasury announced that during the recent Malta Government Stock issues, it received applications from the general public for a value of nearly €187.8 million (nominal). The Treasury will be exercising its over-allotment option and increasing the aggregate amount to €160.0 million. With respect to applications for the 2.1% MGS 2039 (I), which amounted to just below €187.7 million, applications up to €45,000 (nominal) will be met in full. Meanwhile, those applications in excess of €45,000 (nominal) will receive €45,000 (nominal) in full plus an additional 11% of the remaining unallocated balance rounded up to the nearest €100. The Treasury have not yet announced the date when the refunds will be made.

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