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  • The MSE Share Index moved higher for the fourth consecutive day today as it advanced by a further 0.07% to a five-week high of 4,549.072 points. Trading was spread across eleven equities: three registered gains, six closed lower whilst another two ended the day unchanged. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index moved minimally higher to 1,145.931 points today as the gains registered in the indicative bid prices of the Central Bank of Malta for fixed-coupon Malta Government Stocks with maturities between 2028 and 2034 were offset by the declines in the bid prices for all other maturities. The most important economic data in the euro zone today came from Germany as a survey showed that confidence amongst German businesses improved to the highest level since February 2014. Furthermore, Germany’s Central Bank – the Bundesbank – indicated that growth in the single currency’s largest economy is expected to have accelerated significantly in Q4 2016 whilst inflation may even exceed 1% in December on the back of higher oil prices.
  • The most actively traded equity was Bank of Valletta plc which recaptured the €2.25 level (+0.4%) across 71,509 shares – representing 60% of the total value of equities traded today. Last Friday, the Bank held its Annual General Meeting during which the Chairman and the CEO emphasised the need for the bank to revise its business model and raise fresh capital in line with the more stringent regulations being imposed on European banks. Shareholders approved a number of resolutions including the recommendation of a final gross dividend of €0.085 per share as well as a 1 for 13 bonus share issue. The cut-off date for the bonus issue is 12 January 2017.
  • Also in the retail banking sector, a single deal of just 710 shares lifted the equity of HSBC Bank Malta plc 0.1% higher to the €1.862 level.
  • RS2 Software plc climbed 3.6% to an over three-month high of €1.678 on light volumes totalling 7,315 shares.
  • Low volumes were also traded in the equities of Plaza Centres plc and Simonds Farsons Cisk plc which closed flat at €1.10 and €6.90 respectively. Last Friday, Plaza published an Interim Directors’ Statement saying that during the five-month period from 1 July to 30 November 2016 the occupancy level remained high at 99%. As a result, revenue and profit before tax increased when compared to the corresponding period in 2015 whilst costs also increased due to the acquisition of Tigne’ Place.
  • In contrast, Malta Properties Company plc retreated by 3.3% to the €0.58 level across 8,200 shares.
  • Within the same segment, MIDI plc slipped by 1.5% to €0.33 on volumes of 30,000 shares whilst Malita Investments plc closed 0.9% lower at €0.851 across 23,000 shares.
  • Despite having its credit rating upgraded recently, FIMBank plc eased to the USD0.85 level (-2.9%) across 14,227 shares. Fitch explained that the upgrade was based on the capital and funding support provided to FIMBank by its major shareholders, namely Burgan Bank and United Gulf Bank, as well as the increased management and operational integration of FIMBank with Burgan Bank. Fitch also noted the dynamic process of transformation being undertaken at FIMBank and its anticipated positive effect on the Bank’s profitability.
  • Lombard Bank Malta plc dropped by 0.4% from its 10-month high of €2.30 to the €2.29 level on shallow volumes totalling 3,200 shares.
  • A single deal of 20,800 shares was transacted in Medserv plc, pulling the equity 0.1% lower to the €1.649 level.

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