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  • Following the declines in the previous two trading sessions, the MSE Share Index today advanced by a minimal 0.02% to 4,745.942 points, reflecting the recovery in the share prices of GO (+3.3%) and MPC (+1.3%) which slightly outweighed the declines in RS2 (-1.1%) and BOV (-0.9%). Trading activity in equities improved considerably as €0.42 million worth of shares changed hands – the highest level in the last seven trading sessions. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index moved lower for the seventh consecutive day today as it fell by a further 0.57% to fresh twenty-month low of 1,114.053 points. Ahead of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) decision on monetary policy, euro zone sovereign yields crept higher (bond prices fell) with the 10-year and 20-year benchmark German Bund yields advancing to 0.384% and 0.916% respectively from 0.349% and 0.899% yesterday. This afternoon, as the ECB announced no changes to its monetary policy but sounded more upbeat on GDP growth and inflation forecasts, euro zone yields climbed even higher with the 10-year and 20-year German yields hitting an intra-day high of 0.421% and 0.960% respectively. The indicative opening bid price of the Central Bank of Malta for the longest-dated stock in issue – i.e. the 2.40% MGS 2041 I – fell to a new all-time low of 97.00% today. Similarly, the most recently issued longer-dated MGS – the 2.20% 2035 I R – fell below par to 99.20% from the issue price of 100.25%.
  • GO plc recovered by 3.3% and closed at the €3.53 level on high activity of 53,168 shares. Shareholders as at 29 March 2017 will be eligible to receive a net dividend of €0.11 per share subject to shareholders’ approval during an Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on 3 May 2017.
  • The other positive performing equity today was Malta Properties Company plc which advanced by 1.3% to the €0.547 level on a single deal of 10,000 shares. The Company is due to reveal its 2016 financial results on 21 March 2017.
  • Within the same segment, Malita Investments plc maintained its two-year low of €0.77 across 31,740 shares. Shareholders as close of trading on Friday 24 March 2017 will be eligible to a final net dividend of €0.01482 per share subject to shareholders’ approval during an Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on Thursday 27 April 2017.
  • HSBC Bank Malta plc also closed flat at the €2.08 level on volumes totalling 42,624 shares. Tomorrow is the last trading day before the equity starts to trade without the entitlement to a final net dividend of €0.027 per share.
  • Meanwhile, Bank of Valletta plc eased by 0.9% from its nine-year high of €2.21 to the €2.19 level across 42,245 shares.
  • RS2 Software plc slipped back to the €1.65 level (-1.1%) across 13,814 shares.
  • Yesterday, Mapfre Middlesea plc published its 2016 financial results showing a 32.1% drop in post-tax profits attributable to shareholders to €4.63 million when compared to the previous corresponding period. Despite the reduced profitability, the Directors of the Company recommended an unchanged net dividend of €0.03826 per share. Shareholders as at the close of trading on Wednesday 26 April will be eligible to receive the dividend which is payable on Friday 19 May subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on Friday 21 April. The equity remained inactive today.
  • Following the closure of today’s trading session, Plaza Centres plc and Lombard Bank Malta plc announced their 2016 financial results. Plaza reported a 3.5% jump in pre-tax profits to €1.65 million on the back of the contribution from the recently acquired Tigne’ Place as from September 2016 as well as growth registered from the Plaza Centre. The Directors recommended a net dividend of €0.0294 per share which is 2.8% higher than the dividend for FY2015. The dividend will be paid on Tuesday 6 June 2017 to shareholders as at close of trading on Wednesday 26 April 2017 subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on Wednesday 31 May 2017.
  • Meanwhile, excluding a one-time gain of €1.29 million related to the sale of shares previously held in VISA Europe, Lombard Bank Malta plc reported a drop of 11.4% in adjusted pre-tax profits to €6.95 million. The Directors recommended an unchanged net dividend of €0.026 per share to all shareholders as at close of trading on 24 March 2017. The dividend is payable on 5 May 2017 subject to shareholders’ approval during the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on 27 April 2017.

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