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  • The MSE Equity Price Index dropped to 4,302.984 points today, as several equities closed in negative territory whilst only Malita and RS2 performed positively. Trading activity on the equity market climbed to over €1 million, driven by heightened activity in Simonds Farsons Cisk. Over the past five days, the local equity index shed 0.79% (the sharpest drop in four weeks), mostly due to the declines in the share prices of FIMBank (-5.5%), RS2 (-3.3%) and HSBC (-1.7%). Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • The RF MGS Index posted its sharpest uplift in almost three weeks as it advanced by 0.13% to 1,109.718 points, reflecting drops in euro sovereign bond yields as the publication of fresh economic data in Germany disappointed. Subsequently, volatility in euro zone bond yields surged as the 10-year German Bund yield fell to its lowest level this year whilst yields on Italian and Spanish government bonds rose significantly due to heightened political uncertainties.
  • Simonds Farsons Cisk plc lost 2.2% to a fresh 2018 low of €6.55 on robust volumes totalling 79,512 shares (for a market value of €0.52 million). The company is scheduled to hold its AGM on 21 June.
  • Malta International Airport plc eased by 0.8% to the €4.96 level after briefly recording a new all-time high of €5.10 (+2%). A total of 16,519 shares changed hands. Yesterday, MIA announced that it finalised a new collective agreement for all employee grades within the company. The collective agreement provides for year-on-year increases in salaries as well as increased flexibilities for more efficient operations and attainment of the company’s strategic goals.
  • Also among the large caps, HSBC Bank Malta plc (8,677 shares) and GO plc (22,500 shares) retreated by 1.2% and 0.6% to €1.71 and €3.42 levels respectively. Today, HSBC published an Interim Directors’ Statement stating that during the first three months of 2018, it saw its pre-tax profits decline when compared to the corresponding period last year, largely reflecting lower volumes of corporate loans, the continuing adverse impact of low interest rates as well as the prioritisation of risk management actions during 2017. On the other hand, volumes of customer loans improved slightly when compared to 31 December 2017, largely underpinned by stronger mortgage business. Commenting on the Q1 2018 financial performance of the bank, HSBC Malta’s CEO Mr Andrew Beane explained that profitability was higher than previously forecasted and the bank is now focused on prudently growing its business in line with its high level of compliance and risk management standards.
  • A single deal of just 2,875 shares forced the equity of MaltaPost plc 2.8% lower to a fresh 2018 low of €1.75.
  • PG plc retracted to its 2018 low of €1.28 (-1.5%) on 71,500 shares.
  • In the property segment, three equites moved lower today. Trident Estates plc slumped 5.4% to the €1.40 level albeit on only 2,000 shares. On Wednesday, Trident published its preliminary statement of annual results whereby it reported a net profit of €0.51 million. The company also made reference to a rights issue of €15 million planned for 2019/2020. This is earmarked to part-finance the Trident Park development along with bank financing that has already been secured.
  • MIDI plc eased by 0.5% back to the €0.44 level across 44,575 shares. Today, the equity started trading without the entitlement to the recently declared final net dividend of €0.007 per share.
  • Tigne’ Mall plc shed 2% to the €0.96 level on two deals totalling 100,000 shares. The equity is still trading with the entitlement to a final net dividend of €0.012875 per share.
  • On the other hand, Malita Investments plc regained the €0.84 level (+1.2%) across 73,009 shares.
  • RS2 Software plc added to yesterday’s gains as it gained a further 1.7% to the €1.17 level on 17,730 shares. The company is scheduled to hold its AGM on 19 June.
  • Meanwhile, FIMBank plc traded unchanged at the €0.52 level across 20,000 shares.
  • Bank of Valletta plc (13,821 shares) and Plaza Centres plc (60,000 shares) also closed flat at €1.745 and €1.04 respectively. Plaza will hold its AGM on 30 May.

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