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The MSE Share Index kicked-off the week on a positive note as it extended last Friday’s gains by a further 0.54% to a three-week high of 4,570.914 points on heightened activity with just over €568,000 worth of shares changing hands. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.

On the bond market, the RF MGS Index retreated by 0.08% to 1,146.231 points as the 10-year benchmark German Bund yield advanced to 0.26% today. On Friday afternoon, the 10-year Bund briefly touched an intra-day high of 0.31% before closing the day at 0.28%. On the economic front, a survey released yesterday showed that activity in China’s manufacturing sector expanded only marginally, raising doubts about the sustainability of a recent pick-up in the Chinese economy.

The increased activity took place in the equities of RS2, BOV and GO. These three equities, together with another three shares, all ended today’s trading session in positive territory. The only negative performer today was Medserv plc, which finished only minimally lower at the €1.79 level (-0.1%) across 24,860 shares.

RS2 Software plc advanced 1.4% to regain the €3.85 level across 43,093 shares having a market value of €0.16 million. Last Thursday, RS2 revealed that its post-tax profits for the year ended December 2015 surged by nearly 70% to €4.87 million (2014: €2.88 million). The Directors recommended a final net dividend of €0.0278 per share (2014: €0.0222) to all shareholders as at close of trading on 19 May (payable on 30 June) subject to approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held on 23 June. The Directors also recommended 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).

Following last Friday‘s publication of the 2015/6 interim results, Bank of Valletta plc closed 1.1% higher at the €2.275 level across 53,737 shares. BOV reported an improved net profit figure of €44.6 million. The Directors declared a gross interim dividend of €0.0391 per share (net: €0.0254). This is payable on Friday 27 May to those shareholders as at close of trading on Tuesday 10 May.

GO plc briefly traded at an eight-month high of €3.60 (+3.5%) before closing at the €3.50 level – representing a gain of 0.6% over the previous closing price. A total of 41,240 shares changed hands today. GO shareholders are still awaiting updates regarding the interest of a number of investors to acquire the entire company.

Also among the large companies, four deals totalling 10,225 shares pushed the equity of Malta International Airport plc 0.7% higher to a three-week high of €4.38. On Wednesday, MIA will be holding its AGM during which shareholders will consider the approval of a number of resolutions including the distribution of a final gross dividend of €0.1077 per share (to be paid by not later than 19 May 2016).

6pm Holdings plc climbed to a new all-time high of GBP1.00 (+4.7%) across shallow volumes totalling 2,000 shares. Last week, the Group revealed improved results for the 2015 financial year as net profits more than doubled to GBP1.69 million. The Directors did not recommend the payment of a final dividend in the light of the interest being shown by third party investors in the company.

Lombard Bank Malta plc rebound slightly from its seven-month of €2.135 to the €2.14 level (+0.2%) across 6,500 shares.

Also in the financial services sector, GlobalCapital plc (8,214 shares) surged 18.0% from the post-rights issue adjusted price of €0.339 to €0.40 today. This morning, the insurance specialist revealed a net profit figure of €4.12 million for the financial year ended 31 December 2015 (2014: €0.22 million). The Financial Statements also stated that the Group intends to approach the market with a €10 million five-year bond at a coupon of 5.0% in order to fund the remaining €9.9 million of the existing bond which matures on 2 June 2016. Furthermore, the Directors have resolved that another rights issue for an amount of €5 million will be made following the issue of the new bond and this within the next twelve months to strengthen the Company’s capital base.

In contrast, FIMBank plc (34,072 shares) and HSBC Bank Malta plc (587 shares) closed flat at USD0.765 and €1.62 respectively. The trade finance specialist is due to hold its AGM on 10 May.

Two single deals of just 5,400 shares and 1,000 shares left the equities of International Hotel Investments plc and MaltaPost plc unchanged at €0.65 and €1.98 respectively. Last week, IHI announced a 3 for 100 bonus share issue to all shareholders as at the close of trading on Monday 27 June 2016.

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