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  • The MSE Share Index this morning shed a further 0.8% to 3,424.439 points largely due to the continued decline in the share price of HSBC following yesterday’s results publication which revealed a sharp drop in profitability and dividends. The shares of BOV, Lombard, Island Hotels Group and MIDI also trended in getive territory whilst GO and Farsons moved higher. Meanwhile no changes in the share price of Plaza Centres were recorded. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.1% higher to 1,129.106 points (just below the all-time high of 1,129.139 points) as the 10-year Eurozone benchmark yields opened lower at the 0.36% level. However, by this afternoon, yields rebounded to the 0.379% level as Greece is likely to achieve a 4-month extension to its bailout after an initial positive reaction to the reform proposal submitted by its recently elected government.
  • Yesterday evening, the Treasury announced that the Malta Government Stocks issue was oversubscribed and the offering closed early. The Treasury is now expected to publish the issue statistics and allocation policy in the coming days.
  • Yesterday, HSBC Malta revealed a 42% decline in pre-tax profits to €52 million on lower income, higher costs as well as a steep rise in impairment charges. The Directors recommended a final gross dividend of €0.026 per share representing a 44.4% decline from the previous years’ final dividend to all shareholders at the close of trading on 18 March. The total gross dividend in respect of the 2014 financial year amounts to €0.071 per share representing a 48.1% drop from the previous year’s total dividend. The Directors also recommended a 1 for 9 bonus issue to all shareholders as at the close of trading on 27 April 2015. The equity of HSBC touched a fresh 2-month low of €1.88 today before partially recovering to end the session at the €1.90 level which still represents a 3.6% decline from the previous closing price. Volumes were once again strong with 102,809 shares changing hands across 21 deals.
  • Bank of Valletta plc also closed the day lower with a slight decline of 0.3% back to the €2.12 level on substantial volumes of 210,178 shares valued at €445,284 – the highest daily volume traded in BOV since late May 2012.
  • Also in the banking sector, the share price of Lombard Bank Malta plc plunged 4% back to the €1.825 level albeit on a single trade of 2,772 shares. The Bank is scheduled to publish its 2014 full-year results on 9 March.
  • The equity of Island Hotels Group Holdings plc also trended in negative territory today with a 0.9% drop back to the €1.02 level on just 5,000 shares.
  • Similarly, the share price of MIDI plc eased 2.1% lower back to the €0.23 level on shallow volumes of 5,500 shares.
  • On the other hand, the share price of GO plc edged 0.8% higher to close at the €2.70 level for the first time since late October 2014. A total of 11,660 shares changed hands today.
  • Similarly, the share price of Simonds Farsons Cisk plc jumped 2.6% to reach a fresh all-time high of €3.20 albeit on an insignificant deal of 400 shares.
  • Meanwhile, Plaza Centres plc maintained its multi-year high of €0.85 as a further 83,740 shares changed hands.

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