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  • The MSE Share Index trended higher for the sixth successive session with a further 0.2% increase to 3,507.197 points on the back of increases in the share prices of HSBC, GO and Malita which offset the declines in IHI, Middlesea Insurance and Santumas Shareholdings. Meanwhile, the share prices of BOV and MIA ended the session unchanged. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.1% higher to 1,134.128 points although Eurozone yields continued to creep marginally higher to the 0.38% level.
  • Focus this afternoon was shifted on the press conference of the European Central Bank (ECB) during which the Bank’s President Mario Draghi announced that the €60 billion a month quantitative easing programme, first revealed in January, will commence next Monday 9 March. The ECB also published its revised forecasts for the region with GDP now expected to grow by 1.5% compared to the previous forecast of 1%. Additionally, the growth forecasts for 2016 and 2017 were also raised. Meanwhile, the inflation forecast for 2015 was revised downwards to 0% for 2015 from 0.7% but raised higher for 2016 and 2017.
  • This morning’s uplift was largely due to the continued recovery in the share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc which edged a further 0.9% higher to the €1.928 level. Trading activity in the Bank’s equity remains strong with a further 163,455 shares changing hands today following the 174,700 shares that traded yesterday. The equity will trade with the entitlement to the final gross dividend of €0.026 per share until Wednesday 18 March.
  • The share price of GO plc added a further 0.9% to reach yet another 7-year high of €2.79 across six deals totalling 23,000 shares. The telecoms quad-play operator is scheduled to publish its 2014 full-year results next Tuesday 10 March.
  • Similarly, Malita Investments plc trended 1.2% higher to yet another all-time high of €0.87 on volumes of 10,000 shares.
  • On the other hand, International Hotel Investments plc eased minimally lower to close at the €0.645 level across 1,551 shares.
  • Likewise, the equity of Middlesea Insurance plc shed 0.9% back to the €1.021 level on low volumes of 2,158 shares ahead of the 2014 full-year results publication on 11 March.
  • The only other negative equity was Santumas Shareholdings plc with a 1.5% drop back to the €1.97 level on a trade comprising 1,200 shares.
  • Meanwhile, Bank of Valletta plc held on to the €2.15 level across eleven trades totalling 29,390 shares.
  • Similarly, the share price of Malta International Airport plc ended this morning’s session unchanged as a further 1,964 shares were exchanged at the equity’s all-time high of €3.05 although bids have already been placed higher at the €3.06 level. The equity will trade with the entitlement to the final gross dividend of €0.1231 per share until 16 April.

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