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  • The MSE Share Index registered its tenth consecutive increase with a further 1.2% rise to 3,614.365 points to a new 1-year high as various equities performed positively. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • The Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index advanced by a further 0.3% to yet another new record of 1,142.423 points as eurozone benchmark yields dropped to a new low of 0.203% following the start of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) Public Sector Purchase Programme (PSPP).
  • The share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc trended higher for the ninth consecutive session with a further 1% increase to regain the €1.98 level on strong volumes of 217,099 shares. The equity continues to trade with the entitlement to the final gross dividend of €0.026 per share until Wednesday 18 March.
  • Similarly, Bank of Valletta plc edged 0.2% higher to €2.22 (its highest level since late February 2014) but activity was weak at just over 12,000 shares.
  • Amongst the large cap equities, GO plc also edged 0.4% higher to reach the €2.88 level albeit on shallow volumes of 5,390 shares. Yesterday, the telecoms operator published its preliminary results for 2014 showing a 30% increase in pre-tax profits to €20.3 million as a result of a decline in operating costs and finance expenses. The Directors recommended the payment of an unchanged final net dividend of €0.07 per share to all shareholders at the close of trading on 30 March.
  • International Hotel Investments plc shares jumped 8.5% to recapture the €0.70 level although on low volumes of 2,339 shares.
  • The second best performer of the day was Medserv plc with a 5.3% gain to a new multi-year high of €1.60 on activity of 17,000 shares following yesterday’s announcement revealing a new €4 million maintenance contract on a platform offshore Libya.
  • Malita Investments plc rallied by a further 4.4% to a new record level of €0.95 but activity was minimal with only 125 shares changing hands. The equity will trade with the entitlement to the final gross dividend of €0.021 per share (net: €0.01365) until close of trading on Wednesday 18 March.
  • The share price of Plaza Centres plc advanced by 2.4% also to a new multi-year high of €0.87 on increased volumes totalling 44,967 shares. Plaza will be publishing its 2014 financial statements on 18 March.
  • The only other positive performer was Grand Harbour Marina plc with a 1.1% gain to €1.78 on a single trade of 1,000 shares.
  • Two equities closed unchanged with Malta International Airport plc holding onto its record level of €3.15 as a further 32,529 shares were exchanged at this level and MIDI plc trading again at €0.23 (5,800 shares).
  • Meanwhile, four equities closed unchanged. Lombard Bank Malta plc dropped 2.6% to €1.88 on volumes of 14,000 shares after the publication of the financial statements earlier this week showing an 11.3% decline in pre-tax profits to €6.24 million. The Directors recommended the payment of a final gross dividend of €0.04 per share (net: €0.026) representing a 5% increase from last year’s dividend. Shareholders as at the close of trading on 18 March will be eligible to receive the dividend. Moreover, the Directors also recommended a 1 for 20 bonus issue to those shareholders as at close of trading on 25 May 2014.
  • The share price of Middlesea Insurance plc shed 2.8% to €1.05 on very minimal activity of 103 shares. Earlier on this afternoon, Middlesea issued its 2014 financial statements showing unchanged pre-tax profits of €17.3 million. The Directors recommended the payment of an unchanged net dividend of €0.03826 per share to all shareholders as at close of trading on 28 April.
  • Simonds Farsons Cisk plc failed to hold on to its record level of €3.25 as a single trade of a mere 45 shares was executed at €3.201 representing a 1.5% decline from yesterday’s close.
  • The Sterling denominated equity of 6pm Holdings plc dropped 4.3% to GBP0.651 on a single trade of 3,286 shares. 6pm have not yet disclosed the date of their board meeting to approve the publication of the 2014 financial statements.

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