• In contrast to the very high trading activity last week, volumes across the equity market remained low for the third successive day with only €184,000 worth of shares changing hands. Despite this, the MSE Share Index closed marginally higher at 4,220.747 points as the gains in HSBC offset the marginal declines in GO and Malita. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index dropped by 0.2% to 1,134.813 points as local yields mirrored the upward movements in yields across Europe following comments from a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee that a US interest rate rise by the Federal Reserve is expected in September.
  • HSBC Bank Malta plc was the only positive performer of the day with a 0.8% rise to €1.84 on total activity of 12,393 shares. Last Monday, HSBC Malta published its 2015 interim results revealing a 6.8% drop in profitability to €23.9 million during the first six months of 2015. The improvement achieved on the income side, largely relating to lower interest expense and the fees generated from the newly transferred insurance portfolio, was offset by higher costs (mainly linked to regulatory and compliance factors) as well as increased impairment charges. The Bank declared a gross interim dividend of €0.051 per share (to all shareholders as at the close of trading on 12 August) representing a 25.9% increase over the adjusted interim gross dividend declared with respect to the first six months of 2014. The difference in dividend is attributable to a lower charge in connection with the General Banking Risk Reserve as per the revised Banking Rule 09.
  • On the other hand, Malita Investments plc and GO plc both closed the day lower. Malita dropped 1.6% to €0.925 across three trades for a total of 20,000 shares. Tomorrow is the last day for investors to gain entitlement to the net interim dividend of €0.00936 per share. GO opened at €3.451 but partly recovered to €3.48 representing a 0.6% decline from yesterday. A total of 15,300 shares changed hands today. Earlier this afternoon the telecom operator announced that its interim financial statements will be published on 11 August.
  • Meanwhile, the other five active equities closed the day unchanged. In the financial sector, Bank of Valletta plc held on to the €2.30 level on activity of 9,145 shares and Mapfre Middlesea plc maintained the multi-year high of €2.02 across 3,960 shares.
  • Malta International Airport plc dropped to an intra-day low of €3.90 but recovered to close the day unchanged at €3.95. The equity will trade with the entitlement to the net interim dividend of €0.03 per share until next Monday 10 August.
  • RS2 Software plc also closed the day unchanged at €2.15 as a further 15,000 shares changed hands at this level. Likewise MIDI plc retained the €0.34 level on a single deal of 9,000 shares. On Monday, MIDI announced that it will be acquiring the remaining 50% stake in Solutions & Infrastructure Services Limited from Siemens.

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