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  • The MSE Share Index registered another negative performance (the sixth in succession) with a minimal decline of 0.04% to a fresh 2-week low of 4,417.276 points. The three retail banking equities (BOV, HSBC and Lombard) finished today’s session lower extended yesterday’s losses whilst MIA and RS2 closed at new all-time highs. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index advanced to a three-week high of 1,144.673 points (+0.31%) as the 10-year German bund yield continued to edge lower from yesterday’s 0.51% level to 0.49% today. The prospect of an imminent U.S. rate hike failed to stir investor confidence that the European Central Bank (ECB) is just weeks away from announcing further stimulus to its quantitative easing programme in order to fend off threats to Europe’s slagging growth and inflation outlook.
  • Last week, Bank of Valletta plc published a Prospectus dated 16 October and a Supplement dated 9 November 2015 in connection with the recently announced €150 million Subordinated Debt Issuance Programme. BOV also published the Final Terms confirming the issuance of the first tranche of €75 million 3.50% Subordinated Notes maturing in 2030. Tranche 1 is split into Series 1 (minimum €25,000 per application) and Series 2 (minimum €5,000 per application). €40 million has been reserved for preferred applicants (shareholders, directors and employees) who must submit all information by 30 November. Other investors must apply by 2 December.
  • The share price of Bank of Valletta plc dropped for the seventh successive session (including the adjustment after the equity turned ex-dividend on Monday 16 November) as the Bank’s equity eased by a further 0.7% during today’s trading session to close at the €2.299 level across 51,054 shares. BOV’s share price hit an intra-day low of €2.26.
  • The equity of HSBC Bank Malta plc also featured amongst today’s negative performers with another 1.1% drop to the €1.81 level albeit on a single deal of just 4,500 shares. Shortly after close of trading, HSBC issued its Interim Directors’ Statement covering the period since 30 June 2015. The Directors reported that during the period under review, despite generating higher revenues on the back of higher net interest and fee income, HSBC registered a modest decline in profit before tax compared to the same period in 2014. This decline was primarily attributable to higher costs (namely increases in compliance and regulatory costs and the impact of currency changes on the cost of HSBC Group services) and a lower contribution from the life insurance business. Overall, HSBC confirmed that the Group liquidity and capital positions remain strong.
  • Yet, the worst performer of the day was Lombard Bank Malta plc as the equity retreated by 1.8% to the €2.21 level across 10,861 shares. This afternoon, the Bank issued its Interim Directors’ Statement covering the period since 30 June 2015. The Directors explained that the Bank continued to experience pressure on its after-tax profits during the first three quarters of 2015 as, despite maintaining a healthy core business, impairment allowances and costs increased. Lombard remains on track to meet its full year performance objectives, supported by a prudent risk profile and a solid financial position. Meanwhile, the Bank’s subsidiary, MaltaPost plc, reported an improved performance in line with expectations. The equity of the postal operator today traded unchanged at its all-time high of €1.99 across shallow volumes.
  • Medserv plc edged marginally lower (0.4%) to the €2.14 level across 19,030 shares. Yesterday, the Company revised upwards the earlier projections for the second-half of the year made in its Interim Report dated 27 August 2015 as the results for the third quarter of this year exceeded budgets on the back of the high levels of activity at the Malta base. Moreover, Medserv’s Libyan branch continued to provide essential administration and support services to the offshore Libyan activities whilst the Cypriot’s base outlook has improved following the recent discovery of a mega gas field offshore Egypt by the Italian international oil and gas company ENI Spa. The Group is seeking to develop further its engineering services arm through the acquisition of the METS Group. In this respect, Medserv will be holding an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on 3 December in order to seek the required shareholders’ approval for the Company to pursue this acquisition. Besides this, Medserv is also pursuing other business opportunities, namely in Egypt and Trinidad.
  • On the other hand, the equity of FIMBank plc jumped 6.5% to the USD0.495 level across 49,382 shares.
  • Malta International Airport plc and RS2 Software plc closed at new all-time highs of €4.03 (up 0.8% on just 1,750 shares) and €2.94 (1.2% above yesterday’s closing price on 13,227 shares).
  • Meanwhile, five equities traded unchanged. In the property sector, MIDI plc and Malita Investments plc closed at the €0.32 (18,500 shares) and €0.93 (5,000 shares) levels respectively.
  • 6PM Holdings plc and International Hotel Investments plc also closed unchanged at the GBP0.65 and €0.849 levels respectively across insignificant volumes. Yesterday, 6PM issued its Interim Directors’ Statement in which it revealed that the Group continued to experience growth in revenues and profits, in line with expectations. This positive trend was also made possible through the recently acquired Blithe Computer Systems Limited.

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