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  • The MSE Share Index closed in negative territory for the fifth time in succession as it edged 0.80% lower to a five-week low of 4,476.329 points on strong volumes. Trading activity surged to €1.17 million – the highest level since mid-February 2016. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index gained 0.30% to 1,151.038 points – the highest level since late November 2015 – as eurozone yields fell considerably after the U.S. Federal Reserve held interest rates steady yesterday in the evening and indicated that moderate U.S. economic growth and “strong job gains” would allow it to tighten policy later this year. Following such developments, markets are now projecting two quarter-point hikes to U.S. interest rates by the end of the year compared to an initial forecast in December 2015 of four hikes. On the euro area’s economic front, latest data showed that annual inflation rate came in at -0.2% for February, down from 0.3% the previous month.
  • RS2 Software plc extended yesterday’s decline by a further 7.9% to the €3.50 level amid another relatively volatile session. Similar to the equity movements of yesterday, RS2 opened at a high of €3.65 and touched an intra-day low of €3.455 before closing at the €3.50 level. A total of 199,417 shares changed hands today for a value of nearly €0.7 million – representing 60% of today’s total volumes.
  • Negative sentiment towards HSBC Bank Malta plc persisted as the equity retreated by a further 0.5% to the €1.572 level across 46,422 shares.
  • Also in the banking sector, Bank of Valletta plc retreated to the €2.25 level (-0.4%) across strong volumes totalling 119,364 shares. Submission of applications in respect of the recently announced BOV €50 million 3.5% Tranche 2 subordinated bonds 2030 issued at par (100%) close tomorrow.
  • Malta International Airport plc closed minimally lower at the €4.499 level across light volumes totalling 1,766 shares. The shares trade cum-dividend until 30 March.
  • In the property segment, Malta Properties Company plc and Tigne’ Mall plc both registered declines. The equity of MPC shed 3.3% to the €0.56 level across 26,415 shares. The Company will be revealing its 2015 financial results on Monday 21 March.
  • A single deal of 7,100 shares pulled the equity of Tigne’ Mall plc down 0.1% to €1.049.
  • The other listed shopping complex operator, Plaza Centres plc, maintained the €1.03 level across 20,000 shares. Yesterday, Plaza announced its full-year results for 2015 in which it showed a record post-tax profit figure of €1.01 million (2014: €0.95 million). The Directors recommended a final net dividend of €0.0286 per share, representing a 6.7% increase over the previous year’s net dividend of €0.0268 per share. Shareholders as at the close of trading on Wednesday 27 April will be eligible to receive this dividend on Friday 3 June subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled to be held on 30 May 2016.
  • Medserv plc climbed to an eight-week high of €1.70 (+0.6%) across 38,950 shares. The Board of Directors of Medserv is scheduled to meet on Tuesday 22 March 2015 to consider and approve the financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2015.
  • FIMBank plc gained another 1.5% to the USD0.68 level – the highest since mid-December 2015 – across 27,028 shares. On Tuesday, the trade finance specialist revealed its 2015 results whereby it reported a pre-tax loss of USD12.0 million compared to the pre-tax loss of USD53.4 million in 2014. The Directors are not recommending the payment of a dividend but will be recommending a 1 for 25 bonus issue to all shareholders as at the close of trading on 8 April. The Annual General Meeting is scheduled to be held on 10 May. 

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