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  • The MSE Share Index erased the declines of the last two sessions as it rebounded by 1.0% to 4,479.083 points following the continued rise in the equities of RS2 and MIA. Trading volumes advanced to almost €300,000 today. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • RS2 Software plc and Malta International Airport plc continued to advance into record territory. RS2 climbed 1.6% to the €3.25 level on high volumes totalling 27,600 shares.
  • On the other hand, the equity of Malta International Airport plc advanced by another 4.9% to the €4.30 level albeit on low volumes totalling 2,060 shares.
  • Among the other large caps, the equities of HSBC Bank Malta plc (26,715 shares) and International Hotel Investments plc (7,950 shares) each advanced by 2.6% to €1.795 and €0.75 respectively. Yesterday, HSBC 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. This will enable the Bank to reduce annual operating costs by approximately €4.4 million as from 2016.
  • Also in the banking sector, the equity of Bank of Valletta plc declined by 0.4% to the €2.35 level across 33,330 shares. Shareholders have until next Wednesday 13 January to gain entitlement to the 1 for 12 bonus share issue.
  • The worst performer of the day was MIDI plc. The equity of the property company shed 4.1% and closed at the €0.35 level across 13,900 shares.
  • Medserv plc also finished lower with a decline of 0.6% to the €1.68 level across 15,450 shares. The Company is currently offering a €30 million Bond Issue (in USD and/or EUR) and a 2 for 9 Rights Issue at €1.50 per share. In addition, the rights not being taken up by the Executive Directors are available for subscription through an Intermediaries Offer at €1.50 per share until 15 January. 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, three equities closed the day unchanged. Malta Properties Company plc maintained the €0.55 level across 58,050 shares.
  • Malita Investments plc and Simonds Farsons Cisk plc closed at the €0.95 and €6.00 level on insignificant volumes.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index retreated to 1,137.070 points (-0.38%) as the yield of the benchmark 10-year German Bund advanced from 0.48% yesterday to 0.54% today. The sharp drop in the prices of euro zone sovereign bonds followed encouraging unemployment data. In fact, unemployment in the euro area fell to 10.5% in November (the lowest since October 2011). Moreover, across the whole European Union, the jobless rate fell to 9.1% – the lowest rate since July 2009. Despite a gloomy world economic outlook, it seems that the European Central Bank’s efforts to kick-start the single currency’s economy (through its ultra-loose monetary policy) is, in effect, starting to leave the first positive signs.

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