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  • The MSE Share Index extended yesterday’s gains as it advanced by a further 0.30% to 4,725.847 points. The increases in the share prices of the three largest companies by market capitalisation – HSBC (+1.9%), IHI (+1.6%) and BOV (+0.1%) – outweighed the declines in five other equities. Meanwhile, MIA and Farsons closed the day flat. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index moved lower for the third consecutive day as it fell by a further 0.13% to a fresh nineteen-month low of 1,115.703 points. The opening indicative bid prices of the Central Bank of Malta for all Malta Government Stocks (MGS) dropped again today. In particular, the bids for the longer-dated MGS issued in August and October last year – i.e. the 2.40% 2041 I issued at 101.75% and the 2.10% 2039 I R issued at 102.50% – fell to fresh all-time lows of 98.44% and 94.82% respectively. In contrast, euro zone sovereign yields generally declined today (bond prices went up). In fact, the 10-year benchmark German Bund yield eased from 0.358% yesterday to 0.336% this morning before dropping even further to reach a three-week low of 0.304% possibly as a result of some renewed downward pressure on the price of oil, an unexpected drop in the number of job openings in the US and a much lower-than-expected increase in Spanish industrial production in December 2016 which, year-on-year, grew by 1.9% from +2.8% the previous month.
  • HSBC Bank Malta plc advanced by a further 1.9% to a fresh three-year high of €2.059 on high volumes totalling 84,802 shares. The Bank is scheduled to publish its 2016 full-year financial results on 21 February.
  • Within the same sector, Bank of Valletta plc gained 0.1% to the €2.172 level after hitting an intra-day high of €2.189 (+0.9%). A total of 23,100 shares changed hands.
  • International Hotel Investments plc recaptured the €0.65 level (+1.6%) on trivial volumes.
  • Also among the larger companies, Malta International Airport plc maintained the €4.05 level across 7,000 shares. Yesterday, MIA published its January traffic results showing an increase of 27.3% year-on-year to a record of 301,289 passengers – the first time that the airport operator exceeded the 300,000-passenger mark in January. The increased passenger traffic was due to the strong increase in both aircraft movements (+22.1%) and seat capacity (+27.7%). Moreover, the seat load factor increased by 1 percentage point to 72.7%. Early in January 2017, MIA had estimated a growth of between 2% to 3% in total passenger numbers this year. The Company is due to reveal its 2016 full-year financial results on 22 February.
  • A single deal of just 590 shares left the equity of Simonds Farsons Cisk plc at the €7.20 level.
  • Low trading activity also took place in the equities of GO plc and Plaza Centres plc which dropped by 1.2% and 4.3% to €3.41 and €1.10 respectively.
  • Malita Investments plc fell 3.9% to a fresh near two-year low of €0.81 on volumes totalling 68,500 shares.
  • Lombard Bank Malta plc declined by 1.8% to the €2.24 level across 14,550 shares whilst two deals totalling 15,000 shares pulled the equity of Medserv plc minimally lower to the €1.599 level.

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