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The MSE Share Index opened the week 1.1% higher at 4,384.848 points following gains in the share prices of five equities (IHI, HSBC, RS2, MaltaPost and MIA). MaltaPost climbed to a new record whilst BOV virtually remained unchanged despite reporting record profits last Friday. The equity of Medserv also traded unchanged notwithstanding trading without the entitlement to the net interim cash dividend of €0.08 per share as well as the 4 for 5 bonus share. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.

On the bond market, the RF MGS Index dropped by 0.4% to 1,138.837 points as in an interview published this weekend, the President of the European Central Bank Mr Mario Draghi failed to confirm market expectations that a further rate cut will be entertained during the forthcoming ECB Monetary Policy meeting set for the first week of December.

The most actively traded equity was Bank of Valletta plc following the publication of the 2014/15 financial results last Friday. BOV reported a 13.3% increase in pre-tax profits to €117.9 million. The Directors are recommending the payment of a final gross dividend of €0.085 per share (final net dividend of €0.05525 per share). Coupled with the gross interim dividend of €0.039 per share, the total gross dividend for the year remained unchanged at €0.124 (net: €0.0806) per share. The final dividend is payable on the 18 December to those shareholders as at close of trading on 13 November. Moreover, a bonus share issue of 1 new share for every 12 shares is also being recommended. The cut-off date for the entitlement of the bonus shares is 13 January 2016. Despite the record profits, the equity closed virtually unchanged at the €2.439 level after recovering from an intra-day low of €2.40. Trading activity was high with 55,056 shares changing hands.

Also in the banking sector, HSBC Bank Malta plc almost recovered all of last week’s losses as it advanced by 2.5% to the €1.845 level across 10,000 shares.

RS2 Software plc and MaltaPost plc broke into record territories as the share prices moved 2.0% and 9.3% higher to the €2.60 and €1.99 levels respectively albeit on low volumes.

The equity of International Hotel Investments plc advanced by 2.6% to the €0.80 level across low volumes of 2,636 shares. Last week, the IHI Group published its Interim Directors’ Statement covering the nine-month period up to the end of September 2015. The company explained that during the period under review, the positive trends highlighted in the 2015 interim financial statements persisted during the third quarter of the year and expectations for the rest of the financial year remain buoyant. IHI is anticipating a year of overall growth with new development and hotel management agreements expected to be entered into with third party investors in cities and resorts across Europe and the Gulf. Further announcements in this regard will be made at the opportune time.

Malta International Airport plc also closed the day in positive territory as the equity of the airport operator advanced by 0.7% to the €3.885 level across a single deal of 4,000 shares.

Meanwhile, four equities traded unchanged on shallow volumes. Simonds Farsons Cisk plc closed at the €6.00 level across 2,191 shares.

Two single deals of 4,390 and 1,000 shares left the equities of FIMBank plc and Grand Harbour Marina plc unchanged at the USD0.43 and €1.00 levels respectively.

Despite trading without the entitlement to the net interim cash dividend of €0.08 per share as well as the 4 for 5 bonus share, the equity of Medserv plc closed at the €3.15 level across insignificant volumes of 457 shares.

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