• The MSE Share Index today edged 0.3% higher to 3,431.495 points as the increases in the share prices of MIA, IHI and MIDI offset the further declines in the equity of HSBC. Meanwhile, the shares of BOV and GO ended the session unchanged. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged a further 0.2% higher to yet another all-time high of 1,131.902 points as 10-year Eurozone benchmark yields slipped to a new all-time low of 0.284% in anticipation of the start of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme next month and in view of recent comments by the Chairperson of the US Federal Reserve in which she indicated that the first interest rate hike in the US will probably be shifted towards the latter part of the year.
  • This morning, the Treasury announced that it received a total of 11,701 applications with a total value of €443.2 million compared to the €180 million on offer. The Treasury is now expected to publish the issue statistics and allocation policy for the Malta Government Stocks issue in the coming days.
  • Malta International Airport plc jumped by 6.3% to a fresh all-time high of €2.85 on high activity of over 113,000 shares following yesterday’s publication of another record financial performance during 2014. The airport operator generated a 15% increase in pre-tax profits to €26.1 million and the Directors recommended a final gross dividend of €0.1231 per share representing a 77.8% increase over last year’s final dividend. The total dividend declared in respect of the 2014 financial year amounts to a record €0.1693 per share (net: €0.11), an increase of 46.6% compared to the dividend distribution in respect of 2013. Shareholders as at the close of trading on 16 April will be eligible to receive the final dividend.
  • On the other hand, HSBC Bank Malta plc equity slumped to a fresh multi-year low of €1.80 before partially recovering to end the session at the €1.82 level which still represents a 2.7% drop from the previous closing price across a total of 27,258 shares. The Bank’s share price has slumped by an aggregate 9.9% since the publication of the 2014 full-year results last Monday. The announcement revealed a 42% decline in pre-tax profits to €52 million due to lower income, higher expenses as well as a steep rise in impairment charges. As a result, the total gross dividend in respect of the 2014 financial year also dropped by 48.1% to €0.071 per share. The Directors also recommended a 1 for 9 bonus issue to all shareholders as at the close of trading on 27 April 2015.
  • Elsewhere on the secondary market, the share price of International Hotel Investments plc closed in positive territory today with a 3% increase to regain the €0.65 level on a single trade of 3,175 shares.
  • The only other positive performing equity was MIDI plc with a 2.2% uplift to €0.235 across four deals totalling 106,000 shares.
  • Meanwhile, Bank of Valletta plc held on to the €2.12 level across fourteen trades totalling 24,391 shares.
  • Similarly, GO plc maintained the €2.70 level across two deals totalling 4,350 shares.

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