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  • The MSE Share Index moved higher for the fourth consecutive trading session as it rose by a further 0.09% to an over two-week high of 4,703.912 points. Today’s gains reflect the increases in the share prices of BOV (+1.3%) and three other equities which in aggregate outweighed the drops in RS2 (-2.5%) and IHI (-1.6%). Meanwhile, GO and MIA closed the day unchanged. Trading activity in PG and BOV represented the bulk of today’s volumes. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index retreated by a marginal 0.01% to 1,123.868 points as the drops in the opening indicate bid prices quoted by the Central Bank of Malta for Malta Government Stocks (MGS’s) with maturities up to fourteen years slightly outweighed the gains registered in the longer-dated MGS’s. On the economic front, fresh data showed that German factory orders increased by 1% month-on-month in March – in line with expectations but significantly below the upwardly revised 3.5% growth registered in the previous month. On the other hand, the result of a survey gauging the level of investor confidence within the single currency area amply exceeded forecasts as the index rose to its highest level since August 2007.
  • Twenty deals totalling 50,171 shares lifted the equity of Bank of Valletta plc 1.3% higher to €2.27 – its highest level in over nine years. Shareholders as at close of trading tomorrow will be eligible to receive a net interim dividend of €0.0293 per share.
  • Simonds Farsons Cisk plc rose 0.8% to a record high of €7.50 across 8,386 shares. Last Thursday, Farsons published its preliminary results for the financial year ended 31 January 2017 showing a marked improvement in net profits to a record of €12.1 million (up 8.1% over the previous financial year’s corresponding figure) on the back of the continued positive performance of the local economy, record tourist arrivals as well as gains in operational efficiencies especially following the inauguration of a new beer packaging facility in early September 2016. The Directors recommended a final net dividend (out of tax exempt profits) of €0.08 per share, representing a 9.1% increase over the final net dividend paid out in respect of the previous financial year. The dividend will be paid on 28 June 2017 to all shareholders as at close of trading on 24 May 2017 subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming AGM scheduled to be held on 28 June 2017. The Group also explained the way forward for the spin-off of its property management division later on this year.
  • PG plc edged 0.3% higher to €1.249 on activity of 108,558 shares.
  • MIDI plc gained 2% to the €0.31 level albeit on trivial volumes. Shareholders as at close of business on 17 May are eligible to receive a net dividend of €0.007 per share.
  • Low trading activity also took place in the equity of International Hotel Investments plc which moved back to the €0.63 level, representing a decline of 1.6% over the last traded price of €0.64. This morning, IHI issued an Interim Directors’ Statement in which it explained that all of its owned and managed hotels registered an increase in revenue and gross operating profit in the first quarter of 2017 when compared to both budgeted figures as well as the corresponding period last year. IHI also referred to its growing business in the management of third party hotels as well as to progress made on its 50%-owned Corinthia Grand Hotel Astoria located in Brussels. Looking ahead, IHI is expecting that its full-year performance in 2017 will be better than that of 2016 and also ahead of budgets.
  • RS2 Software plc lost 2.5% to the €1.53 level across three deals totalling 7,600 shares. Shareholders as at close of trading on 17 May are eligible to a final net dividend of €0.01 per share as well as bonus share issue of one share for every twelve shares held.
  • Meanwhile, GO plc and Malta International Airport plc maintained the €3.498 and €4.14 levels on light volumes. The airport operator is soon expected to reveal the traffic statistics for the month of April. MIA is due to hold its AGM on Wednesday 10 May 2017.
  • The MSE today announced the listing of the €40 million 4% Eden Finance plc unsecured bonds maturing in 2027. Trading is expected to commence as from tomorrow.

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