• Following last week’s 1.9% rise, the MSE Share Index advanced by a further 0.3% to 3,426.717 points as seven of the eleven active equities closed in positive territory. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index continued to rally with an increase of a further 0.3% to a fresh all-time high of 1,122.550 points as benchmark 10-year Eurozone yields slumped to fresh lows of 0.342% following last Thursday’s announcement by the European Central Bank of a €60 billion-a-month quantitative easing programme until September 2016.
  • MIDI plc led the pack of gainers, climbing by 9.5% to reclaim its €0.23 level but volumes were thin as a mere 5,000 shares traded. Middlesea Insurance plc followed with a gain of 4.2% also on shallow volumes for a total of 1,500 shares. Middlesea announced this afternoon that its 2014 financial statements will be published on 11 March.
  • Within the financial sector, Bank of Valletta plc closed 0.5% higher at the €2.06 level on total volumes of 32,911 shares across 27 trades. Similarly, Lombard Bank Malta plc ended the session 1.1% higher at €1.83 albeit on shallow volumes of 2,000 shares. Lombard’s subsidiary MaltaPost plc also had a positive session this morning, advancing 2.3% to close at a fresh all-time high of €1.26.
  • International Hotel Investments plc closed marginally higher at €0.65 representing a 0.2% gain from last week’s closing price. IHI was among the best performers last week as the equity rallied by 13.9% following the news of the agreement to purchase Island Hotels Group Holdings plc.  Simonds Farsons Cisk plc also featured among the list of gainers today with a 0.7% gain to a new all-time high of €3.09.
  • Meanwhile, the only equity that closed in negative territory today was FIMBank plc with a 5% decline to the US$0.57 level on activity of just under 10,000 shares. Last Friday, the international credit rating agency Fitch Ratings downgraded FIMBank’s long-term issuer default rating to ‘BB-‘ from ‘BB’. The agency stated that the downgrade reflected the Bank’s high risk appetite, which resulted in a significant deterioration in asset quality as well as unstable and weak earnings.
  • A further three equities closed the day unchanged. GO plc dropped to an intra-day low of €2.55 but recovered to close at the €2.595 level across high trading volumes of 30,236 shares. HSBC Bank Malta plc maintained the €2.03 level also after recovering from an intra-day low of €2.00. A total of 12,791 HSBC shares changed hands today.
  • Meanwhile, a single trade in Malta International Airport plc of 2,000 shares was transacted at the €2.45 level. On Friday, the airport operator published its December 2014 traffic statistics and its outlook for 2015. The airport operator registered a 6.4% increase in passenger movements during 2014 to a record of 4.3 million on increased aircraft movements and seat capacity. Meanwhile, the company is forecasting a 2% growth in 2015.



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