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  • The MSE Share Index erased some of the recent declines as it bounced back by a minimal 0.13% today from its 2017 low of 4,601.110 points to 4,607.190 points. Trading activity was spread across nine equities, four of which posted gains, three trended lower whilst another two closed the day unchanged. Trading volumes were encouraging as €0.41 million worth of shares changed hands. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index registered strong gains for the second consecutive day as it advanced by a further 0.22% to a three-week high 1,124.505 points. Euro zone sovereign yields continued to move significantly lower today (bond prices went up) amid a global surge for “safe heaven” assets following the latest developments in the US involving the alleged undisclosed connections of President Trump and his closest aides with Russia prior and following the Republican Party’s electoral win last year. Indeed, the 10-year and 20-year benchmark German Bund yields touched a low of 0.313% and 0.848% respectively today from 0.418% and 0.944% yesterday. On the economic front, the unemployment rate in France dropped to a five-year low of 9.6% in the first three months of the year from 10% as at the end of 2016. Meanwhile, a member of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) Executive Board was reported as saying that the ECB should not wait too long before scaling back its stimulus measures once it is satisfied with the recovery in inflation. Contrary to the central bank’s stated policy path, the high-ranking ECB official also opened to the possibility of the ECB increasing its deposit facility rate (which currently stands at -0.4%) prior to the end of the existing quantitative easing programme which will currently run until the end of this year.
  • The most actively traded equity was Bank of Valletta plc which advanced by 0.5% to the €2.18 level after opening 0.5% lower at €2.16. A total of 76,338 shares traded.
  • Also among the large companies by market capitalisation, Malta International Airport plc regained the €4.12 level (+0.7%) across 18,150 shares. On Tuesday, MIA published an Interim Directors’ Statement revealing a 22.2% year-on-year growth in passenger numbers in the first three months of the year which resulted in a 15.8% increase in turnover to €13.4 million (Q1 2016: €11.6 million) and a 33.2% surge in EBITDA to €5.82 million (Q1 2016: €4.37 million). Similarly, profits after tax jumped by nearly 69% to €2.47 million when compared to €1.46 million generated in the first three months of 2016. The Directors stated that the promising start to the summer season provides an optimistic outlook for the rest of 2017 with expectations for an overall positive result for 2017.
  • International Hotel Investments plc gained 0.2% from its nine-month low of €0.605 to the €0.606 level after opening 2.5% higher at €0.62. A total of 22,892 shares changed hands. Recently, the hotel chain operator issued an upbeat Interim Directors’ Statement explaining that it expects its full-year performance in 2017 to be better than that of 2016 and also ahead of budgets. Shareholders as at the close of trading on Tuesday 27 June 2017 will be entitled to a 3 for 100 bonus share issue.
  • Five deals totalling 15,485 shares lifted the equity of Malta Properties Company plc 0.4% higher to the €0.512 level. The Company is due to hold its Annual General Meeting on 25 May.
  • Also in the property segment, Malita Investments plc and Plaza Centres plc maintained the €0.72 and €1.04 levels respectively on light volumes. Plaza’s AGM will be held on 31 May.
  • PG plc moved lower for the fourth consecutive day as it dropped by a further 0.4% to the €1.27 level across 101,750 shares.
  • A single deal of just 1,610 shares pulled the equity of HSBC Bank Malta plc 0.1% lower back to the €1.98 level.
  • FIMBank plc lost 0.4% to the USD0.775 level after partially recovering from its lowest level this year of USD0.74 on two deals totalling 10,000 shares.

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