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  • The MSE Share Index extended yesterday’s decline by a further 0.54% to 4,470.477 points – the lowest since mid-October 2016. The decline in the Index was largely due to the 4.5% decline in International Hotel Investments plc to the €0.62 level on trivial volumes. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index retreated by 0.16% to a three-day low of 1,145.078 points. The benchmark 10-year German Bund advanced to 0.241% from 0.217% yesterday amid continued volatility in euro zone bond markets. In fact, the 10-year Bund touched an intra-day high of 0.311% yesterday afternoon. Meanwhile, international financial media reports quoted European Central Bank (ECB) policymaker Mr Francois Villeroy de Galhau as saying that decisions about the future of the ECB’s asset purchase programme are not only restricted to the next monetary policy meeting to be held in two weeks’ time. Many financial analysts are expecting the ECB to announce an extension to the QE programme until September 2017. Moreover, a leading investment bank in the US was quoted last week as indicating that the ECB will be forced to carry on with its bond-buying programme until 2018, while interest rate hikes in the euro zone are not expected until 2019.
  • Low volumes were also traded in the equities of MaltaPost plc and Simonds Farsons Cisk plc. The postal operator declined by 3.7% to the €1.811 level ahead of the publication of the September 2016 full-year financials on 6 December. Meanwhile, Farsons shed 0.8% to a three-month low of €6.45.
  • The other negative performing equity today was FIMBank plc which eased 1.8% to an over five-month low of USD0.835. The trade finance specialist yesterday revealed that it acquired the entire shareholding of Egypt Factors – a company which specialises in the provision of factoring and forfaiting services to Egyptian companies. The acquisition forms part of the investment strategy adopted by FIMBank Group.
  • Also in the banking sector, Bank of Valletta plc (11,951 shares) and HSBC Bank Malta plc (4,830 shares) closed flat at €2.25 and €1.80 respectively. BOV is due to hold its Annual General Meeting on 16 December 2016.
  • Likewise, Malta International Airport plc maintained the €4.08 level on volumes totalling 9,715 shares. Recently, MIA issued an Interim Directors’ Statement in which it revealed that its net profit for the first nine months of the year edged 10% higher to €17.07 million when compared to the same period last year.
  • The equity of Tigne’ Mall plc opened down 1.9% at €1.06 but managed to finish the day unchanged at €1.08. A total of 67,900 shares changed hands today.
  • RS2 Software plc recaptured the €1.60 level (+0.3%) across 29,870 shares. Last Friday, RS2 issued an Interim Directors’ Statement reiterating that it has a strong business pipeline both in its licencing and processing lines of business. RS2 also indicated that during 2016 the Group’s revenue remained stable and comparable to 2015. However, the adverse impact of foreign currency fluctuations and the expense incurred in relation to the Group’s international expansion have affected the Group’s profitability.
  • A single deal of just 6,300 shares lifted the share price of Malta Properties Company plc 5.3% higher to the €0.60 level.

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