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  • The MSE Share Index closed the day practically unchanged at nearly 4,748 points on volumes amounting to €0.43 million. Week-on-week, the local equity index moved to yet another fresh nine-year high on the back of the gains in GO (+1.5%) and MIA (+1.2%) which in aggregate outweighed the 2.9% drop in the share price of RS2. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index extended yesterday’s gains as it advanced by 0.25% – the best daily performance in over a week – to a four-week high of 1,124.377 points. The 10-year and 20-year benchmark German Bund yields slumped towards their lowest levels this year of 0.196% and 0.710% respectively possibly following fresh statistics showing that the German Government’s budget reached the highest surplus since reunification, underlining the difficulty for the European Central Bank (ECB) to achieve an inflation rate of close but below the 2.0% target. In sharp contrast, the 10-year Spanish yield touched a one-year high of 1.803% today despite reduced political risks in France as eurosceptic Ms Marine Le Pen is now facing a more united opposition in her bid to win the French Presidency.
  • Trading in the newly issued Malta Government Stocks was possible as from today, with the opening indicative bid price of the Central Bank of Malta for the longer-dated retail issue – i.e. the 2.2% MGS 2035 (I) – advancing by 90 basis points to 101.15% from the offer price of 100.25%. However, no trades took place on the secondary market.
  • Among the large companies by market capitalisation, BOV, GO and MIA all closed unchanged today. Bank of Valletta plc maintained the €2.19 level after briefly retouching its nine-year high of €2.20. A total of 57,085 shares changed hands.
  • Four deals totalling 10,000 shares left the equity of GO plc at the €3.55 level. On Tuesday, the telecoms Group revealed its 2016 financial results showing an improved EBITDA of €61.6 million (+19.4%) but profits after tax dropped by 23.2% to €20.3 million. Nonetheless, the Directors recommended a final net dividend of €0.11 per share which is 10% higher than the net dividend for FY2015. The dividend is payable on 5 May 2017 to all shareholders as at close of trading on Wednesday 29 March 2017.
  • Similarly, Malta International Airport plc held on to the €4.20 level across 6,712 shares. On Wednesday, MIA published its 2016 annual financial statements showing a record profit after tax of nearly €21.0 million – representing an 8.9% increase over the previous year’s figure. The Directors recommended an unchanged final net dividend of €0.07 per share, payable to all shareholders as at the close of trading on Thursday 6 April 2017 subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on 10 May 2017.
  • The equity of Malita Investments plc maintained the €0.81 level on a single deal of 20,000 shares. The Company is scheduled to reveal its 2016 financial results next Tuesday 28 February.
  • Within the same sector, Plaza Centres plc slipped by 0.9% to the €1.09 level across 10,000 shares. Plaza’s 2016 annual financial statements will be published on 9 March.
  • Malta Properties Company plc partly erased yesterday’s gains as it eased by 0.2% to the €0.52 level on heightened activity totalling 117,690 shares.
  • The worst performing equity today was RS2 Software plc as it fell by 2.9% to the €1.649 level across 21,479 shares.
  • Simonds Farsons Cisk plc retreated by 1.4% to the €7.20 level from its all-time high of €7.30 on three deals totalling 5,000 shares.
  • In contrast, Santumas Shareholdings plc surged 6.2% a new record high of €1.54 albeit on shallow volumes.
  • Low trading activity pushed the equity of International Hotel Investments plc back to the €0.65 level (+1.6%) whilst Medserv plc climbed 3.6% to a five-week high of €1.658 across 26,100 shares.
  • HSBC Bank Malta plc advanced by 0.2% to recapture the €2.05 level on volumes totalling 17,888 shares. On Tuesday, HSBC published its 2016 financial results which, on an adjusted basis, show that pre-tax profits fell by 3.3% to €59.4 million. The Board of Directors recommended a final net dividend of €0.027 per share which together with the net interim dividend of €0.0462 per share paid on 9 September 2016 brings the total net dividend for 2016 to €0.0728 per share, representing a 45.5% increase compared to the dividend declared with respect to 2015. Shareholders as at the close of trading on 10 March 2017 will be eligible to receive the final dividend of €0.027 per share on 20 April 2017 subject to shareholder approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on 13 April 2017.

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