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  • The MSE Share Index extended yesterday’s negative performance by a further 0.53% to 4,434.102 points, following declines in the equities of each of the four large companies by market capitalisation (IHI, HSBC, BOV and GO). On the other hand, the equities of RS2 and MIA broke their previous all-time highs respectively while of GlobalCapital plunged by 33% on low activity. Total trading volumes decreased to €190,000 today. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index registered its fourth consecutive positive performance as at it reached its highest level in four weeks at 1,141.370 points (+0.05%). The yield of the benchmark 10-year German Bund continued to slide further to 0.48% today. High volatility across equity markets together with subdued euro zone inflationary expectations lifted the attractiveness of “safe-haven” assets such as sovereign debt instruments.
  • The Treasury of Malta announced that the amount of issuance of Malta Government Stocks during 2016 will not exceed €600 million. The funds raised will be used to finance the government’s borrowing requirements (estimated at €196 million) as well as to finance the redemption of four MGS issues during 2016 amounting to €417.77 million and the repayment of a bank loan of €56.38 million. The Treasury is aiming to spread its issuance programme over 4 to 5 issues with the first issue expected to take place in February 2016.
  • The worst performer of today’s trading session was GlobalCapital plc as the equity traded for the first time since early October 2015, sinking by 33.3% to the €0.50 level across a single deal totalling 5,000 shares.
  • In the banking sector, HSBC Bank Malta plc and Bank of Valletta plc also finished lower. The equity of HSBC dropped by 1.1% to the €1.75 level after failing to hold on to an intra-day high of €1.795. A total of 34,973 shares changed hands today. This morning, the Bank confirmed that, as part of its planned programme aimed at improving its productivity and cost effectiveness, it intends to accept 130 applications for early retirement from its staff members. The estimated cost of this one-off expenditure (to be provided for in the financial year ended 31 December 2015) is approximately €14.7 million, but it will enable the Bank to reduce annual operating costs by approximately €4.4 million.
  • On the other hand, the equity of Bank of Valletta plc shed 0.6% to close at the €2.36 level across 18,868 shares. Shareholders have until 13 January for the entitlement to the 1 for 12 bonus share.
  • GO plc eased marginally lower to the €3.059 level (-0.4%) across 5,300 shares.
  • International Hotel Investments plc and Medserv plc also finished the day in negative territory on shallow volumes. IHI closed at the €0.731 level (-2.5%) whilst the equity of Medserv retreated to the €1.69 level. Eligible Medserv shareholders have until 18 January to take up their rights to participate in the recently announced 2 for 9 Rights Issue at €1.50 per share. Moreover, investors have until 15 January to participate in an Intermediaries’ Offers, comprising of a €30 million Bond Issue (in USD and/or EUR) and the Rights not taken up by the Company’s two largest shareholders (worth €9.56 million). All of the funds raised from both the Rights Issue and the Bond Issues will be primarily used for the acquisition of the METS Group.
  • Meanwhile the equities of RS2 Software plc and Malta International Airport plc closed at their highest levels ever. The equity of RS2 climbed 0.6% to the €3.20 level after a volatile session across 10,244 shares.
  • On the other hand, the equity of Malta International Airport plc advanced by 1.2% to the €4.10 level albeit on low volumes totalling 2,400 shares.
  • A single trade of just 100 shares lifted the equity of MaltaPost plc by 3.2% to the €1.94 level. The company will be holding its Annual General Meeting on 15 January whereby the Board of Directors will be recommending the payment of final net dividend of €0.04 per share and the option to shareholders of receiving the dividend either in cash or by the issue of new shares at an Attribution Price of €1.80 per share.
  • Eight trades totalling 31,050 shares left the equity of Malta Properties Company plc unchanged at the €0.55 level.

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