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  • The MSE Equity Price Index trended lower for the third consecutive trading session as it dropped by a further 0.46% to a fresh eleven-month low of 4,519.410 points. Trading activity was spread across ten equities – four posted declines, three moved higher and a further three shares closed the day unchanged. Week-on-week, the local equity index lost 1.36%. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • The RF MGS Index extended yesterday’s significant decline of 0.24% by a further 0.48% to a near two-week low of 1,123.657 points. Euro zone sovereign yields continued to rise following yesterday’s comments by the European Commission of an optimistic assessment of the dynamics currently underpinning economic recovery within the single currency area. Furthermore, the head of the Austrian National Bank, who is also a member of the ECB Governing Council, was reported as saying that he shares the same views as those of ECB Executive Board Member Ms Sabine Lautenschlaeger and of Deutsche Bundesbank President Mr Jens Weidmann who, very recently, opined that the central bank should have set a clear end date for its current asset purchase programme during the last monetary policy meeting held on 26 October 2017. Week-on-week, the RF MGS Index suffered its sharpest drop in four months as it tumbled by 0.47%.
  • Three deals totalling 79,900 shares pulled the equity of FIMBank plc 11.4% lower to a fresh 2017 low of USD0.62.
  • Within the same sector, Bank of Valletta plc eased by a minimal 0.2% back to the €1.80 level on continued healthy volumes totalling 82,473 shares. The rights issue offer period commenced last Wednesday and closes on 6 December 2017.
  • Simonds Farsons Cisk plc lost 2% from its all-time high of €9.69 to the €9.50 level after partially recovering from an intra-day low of €9.19 (-5.2%). A total of 9,026 shares changed hands. Yesterday, Farsons announced that the Board of the Planning Authority voted against the recommendation of the Planning Directorate for the approval of a permit related with the creation of a business park along Mdina Road, Mriehel. As a result, the Board of Directors of the Company today decided to put into abeyance the plan to spin-off the Company’s shareholding in Trident Estates plc and the subsequent listing of Trident on the Malta Stock Exchange.
  • GO plc finished the day slightly lower at the €3.53 level on three deals totalling 12,668 shares.
  • Also among the large companies by market capitalisation, Malta International Airport plc gained 1.5% to the €4.69 level after opening 0.2% lower at the €4.61 level. A total of 5,300 shares changed hands. Today, MIA published an Interim Directors’ Statement updating the market on its financial performance since the start of the year. The Directors noted that during the nine-month period under review, revenues grew by 13.7% year-on-year to €63.1 million, EBITDA surged by 21.9% to €39.1 million and post-tax profits rose by 25.2% to €21.4 million. Looking ahead, MIA stated that the traffic projections for the current winter schedule are already exceeding expectations. Moreover, the Company remains optimistic that Q4 2017 will follow the positive trend registered so far and that the full-year financial results are expected to exceed the revised projections dated 27 July 2017. In July, MIA had adjusted higher its forecasted revenue figure for the current financial year ending 31 December 2017 to over €79 million (+8.1% over FY2016) from the earlier projection of over €73 million. Likewise, on 27 July 2017 MIA had upgraded its FY2017 forecasted EBITDA and net profit figures to over €45 million (+12.5% over FY2016) and €23 million (+9.6% over FY2016) respectively from the January projections of over €40 million and €20 million.
  • PG plc regained the €1.48 level (+0.1%) across 20,000 shares whilst Mapfre Middlesea plc jumped 2.1% to recapture the €1.90 level albeit on trivial volumes.
  • Low trading activity also took place in the equity of Malta Properties Company plc which maintained the €0.51 level.
  • RS2 Software plc (22,867 shares) and HSBC Bank Malta plc (21,840 shares) also finished the day unchanged at €1.57 and €1.86 respectively. Yesterday, HSBC announced that its wholly-owned life assurance subsidiary – HSBC Life Assurance (Malta) Limited (“HLA”) – entered into a Portfolio Transfer Agreement with Lombard International Assurance S.A. (“LIA”) for the sale of HLA’s policies of insurance governed by the Wealth Insurance Italy portfolio. The transaction is expected to be completed in the last quarter of 2018, subject to regulatory approvals. HSBC disclosed that the insurance portfolio that will be transferred to LIA produced gross annual management charges of approximately €780,000 in 2016.

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