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  • The MSE Share Index dropped below the 4,700 level for the first time in three months as it lost 0.14% to 4,696.55 points. Trading volumes remained weak as only €0.17 million worth of shares changed hands. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index eased by a minimal 0.02% to 1,126 points. Euro zone sovereign yields gained (bond prices fell) as concerns about the possible repercussions of a win by the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the upcoming second round of the Presidential election dropped noticeably. Meanwhile, the outgoing French President François Hollande urged voters to back the centrist Emmanuel Macron in his final tie with Le Pen in less than two weeks’ time. On the economic front, a survey gauging the level of industrial activity in France during the month of April surged more than expected to the highest level since July 2011. On the other hand, prices of goods sold by Spanish manufacturers rose by 6% year-on-year in April (less than the revised +7.3% growth in the previous month) but still reflecting significant upward pressure on consumer price inflation in the fourth largest economy within the single currency area.
  • The most actively traded equity was Bank of Valletta plc which eased 0.4% from its near 10-year high of €2.25 to the €2.24 level across 40,891 shares. BOV’s Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on Thursday 27 April to consider and approve the Group’s financial statements for the interim period ended 31 March 2017.
  • Also in the retail banking sector, HSBC Bank Malta plc slipped by a minimal 0.1% to the €2.061 level. A total of 11,509 shares traded.
  • Two deals totalling 4,949 shares pulled the equity of Medserv plc 4.3% lower to a fresh 2017 low of €1.45. The oil and gas logistics specialist is due to hold its Annual General Meeting on 31 May 2017.
  • Simonds Farsons Cisk plc failed to maintain its all-time high of €7.45 reached yesterday as it retreated by 0.1% to the €7.44 albeit on a single deal of 1,800 shares. The Board of Directors of Farsons is due to meet on 4 May 2017 to consider and approve the Group’s results for the financial year ended 31 January 2017. The Directors will also consider recommending the payment of a final dividend.
  • GO plc advanced 0.7% to the €3.475 level on two deals totalling 3,000 shares. GO is due to hold its AGM on 3 May 2017.
  • Also among the large companies by market capitalisation, Malta International Airport plc finished the day slightly higher at €4.151 across 5,087 shares. MIA’s AGM will be held on 10 May 2017.
  • Meanwhile, RS2 Software plc held on to the €1.60 level on trivial volumes. Last week, RS2 revealed its financial performance for 2016 showing a marked decline in profitability reflecting the Company’s strategy at focusing more on the managed services side of business whilst being very selective on licence sales. RS2 explained that it continues with its plans at expanding internationally and its business pipeline remains healthy. The Directors recommended a final net dividend of €0.01 per share (FY2015: €0.0158) payable to shareholders as at the close of trading on Wednesday 17 May.
  • Ahead of the AGM to be held next Thursday, Malita Investments plc announced this afternoon that it has reached an agreement with the Government of Malta in relation to a number of improvements that have been made, as well as others in progress which are being undertaken, to the Parliament Building. The lease agreement that Malita has with the Government has been amended accordingly. The equity remained inactive today.

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