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  • The MSE Share Index posted a three-day negative streak as it fell by a further 0.62% to a fresh near four-month low of 4,647.080 points, reflecting the declines in the share prices of HSBC (-3.4%) and RS2 (-2.7%) which outweighed the gains registered in four other equities. Meanwhile, BOV, IHI and MIA closed the day unchanged. Trading volumes remained weak as only €0.15 million worth of shares changed hands. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index dropped by 0.13% to 1,120.210 points as euro zone sovereign yields inched higher from last Friday’s levels.  On the economic front, fresh data showed that manufacturing activity in Spain and Italy improved more than expected in April over the previous month, whilst in France and Germany it stayed flat and in line with expectations. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in Italy rose to 11.7% whilst in the whole of the single currency area it remained at 9.5%.
  • HSBC Bank Malta plc moved below the €2.00 mark for the first time since 25 January 2017 as the equity dropped 3.4% to the €1.98 level across three deals totalling 17,000 shares.
  • RS2 Software plc extended its recent negative trend as it declined by a further 2.7% to an over six-month low of €1.46 across 16,866 shares. Shareholders as at close of trading on 17 May 2017 are eligible to a final net dividend of €0.01 per share as well as one bonus share for every twelve shares held.
  • In contrast, GO plc advanced 0.3% to the €3.499 level across 10,000 shares. GO will be holding its Annual General Meeting tomorrow during which shareholders will also be asked to approve a final net dividend of €0.11 per share payable on Friday 5 May 2017.
  • GlobalCapital plc erased some of the significant losses suffered last week as it rebounded by 6.7% back to the €0.32 level across 20,000 shares.
  • A single deal of just 6,000 shares lifted the equity of MIDI plc 3.3% higher to the €0.31 level.
  • Lombard Bank Malta plc also performed positively today with a gain of 1.3% to the €2.43 level albeit on trivial volumes.
  • Within the same sector, Bank of Valletta plc maintained the €2.25 level across 14,568 shares. Last Thursday, the Bank published its financial results for the six-month period ended 31 March 2017. BOV reported an 8.1% increase in pre-tax profits to just over €74 million as the €5.3 million net reversal of impairments (as opposed to a charge of €8.1 million in the previous comparable period) and the surge in share profits from associate companies to €8.9 million offset the 8.3% decline in total operating income to €123.2 million and the 8.5% increase in non-interest expenses to €63.4 million. The Directors declared a net interim dividend of €0.0293 per share, representing a near 24% increase over the previous interim dividend. The Directors noted that within a 12-month period the Bank will be seeking to raise €150 million in fresh equity capital.
  • Also among the large companies by market capitalisation, International Hotel Investments plc (6,000 shares) and Malta International Airport plc (3,500 shares) held on to €0.64 and €4.15 respectively. Last Friday, IHI published its 2016 financial statements revealing a 20.2% rise in total EBITDA to €53 million when including the 50% share of EBITDA generated by the two hotels held jointly with third parties (the Corinthia Hotel London and the Radisson Golden Sands Resort). However, the overall net loss amounted to €7.66 million mainly due to the €19.7 million reduction in the fair value of investment properties as well as increased depreciation. The Directors recommended a 3 for 100 bonus share issue to all shareholders as at the close of trading on 27 June 2017. The Directors also noted that from the 2017 financial year, the results of the Corinthia Hotel London will be consolidated with the Group’s results.

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