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  • The MSE Share Index closed virtually unchanged at 4,528.666 points as the gains registered across four equities offset the declines in two other shares. Week-on-week, the Index advanced by 0.91% on robust trading volumes totalling €2.44 million. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index advanced to a three-week high of 1,141.344 points (+0.10%) as eurozone yields remained under pressure. The latest data concerning German inflation showed that consumer prices fell 0.2% year-on-year in February – a steep drop from the 0.4% rise in January and well below economists’ forecasts. This drop is only the third month of deflation Germany has ever experienced in the last six years and the seventh in the last two decades.
  • Yesterday, the Treasury announced that subscriptions from the General Public for the two new Malta Government Stocks – i.e. the 1.50% MGS 2022 (IV) and the 2.50% MGS 2036 – was in the region of €200 million. As a result, the auction for institutional investors has been cancelled. The Treasury announced that in order to meet the investment needs of institutional investors, it will be launching an MGS issue by auction only in the coming weeks.
  • Positive sentiment towards RS2 Software plc continued as the equity touched a new record high of €3.65 before closing at the €3.645 level, representing a gain of 0.3% over yesterday’s closing price. A total of 30,100 shares changed hands today. RS2 was the best performer this week with a rally of 7.2%.
  • Bank of Valletta plc advanced 0.8% to nearly a three week high of €2.229 on volumes of 43,526 shares. Last Friday, the Bank announced the issuance of €50 million 3.5% Tranche 2 subordinated bonds 2030 at par (100%) forming part of its Debt Issuance Programme launched in October 2015.
  • MIDI plc was the best performing equity of today’s trading session as it regained the €0.36 level (+2.9%) across 188,750 shares. The Company will publish its 2015 results on 28 March. The Board of Directors will also be considering the recommendation of a final dividend.
  • Also in the property segment, Malta Properties Company plc closed 1.8% higher at the €0.57 level across 30,000 shares.
  • On the other hand, Mapfre Middlesea plc and Simonds Farsons Cisk plc shed 0.8% and 4.8% to €2.57 and €6.00 respectively on insignificant volumes. The insurance specialist will reveal its 2015 full-year results next Wednesday.
  • Meanwhile, four equities closed unchanged. HSBC Bank Malta plc recovered from an intra-day low of €1.60 to close at the €1.639 level across 33,259 shares. Last Monday, HSBC announced their 2015 financial results, which showed an improved adjusted profit before tax of €61.5 million. The Board of Directors is recommending a final gross dividend of €0.026 per share (€0.017 net), which together with the €0.051 gross interim dividend, results in a total gross dividend for the year of €0.077 per share (€0.05 net) – representing a 20% increase compared to the 2014 adjusted dividend. Shareholders as at close of trading on 14 March will be eligible to receive the final dividend on 19 April subject to shareholder approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting to be held on 15 April.
  • In contrast, Malta International Airport plc failed to hold on to an intra-day high of €4.60 as it slipped back to the €4.50 level. A total of 13,140 shares changed hands today. On Wednesday, MIA reported a 14.3% growth in pre-tax profits to a new record of €29.8 million (2014: €26.1 million). The Directors recommended a final gross dividend of €0.107692 per share (2014: €0.1231), representing a 12.5% decrease over last year’s final dividend. The total gross dividend in respect of the 2015 financial year amounts to €0.153846 per share (2014: €0.1693). Shareholders as at the close of trading on 30 March will be eligible to receive the final dividend. This will be payable by 19 May following shareholders’ approval at the Annual General Meeting to be held on 4 May.
  • Also among the large companies, GO plc maintained the €3.30 level across 29,627 shares. The equity trades with the entitlement to a final net dividend of €0.10 per share until 7 April 2016. In the meantime, the Company is evaluating a number of non-binding bids from parties interested in acquiring its entire issued share capital.
  • Medserv plc also closed unchanged at the €1.65 level after recovering from a low of €1.62 across 34,000 shares. On Tuesday, the oil and gas logistics services company announced that it has now concluded the purchase of the entire issued share capital of METS UAE and METS Oman as well as the 90% shareholding of METS Iraq (collectively known as the “METS Group”). As opposed to what was stated in the previous communications to the market, the consideration price for the above transactions has been reduced to USD45 million, reflecting the 10% shareholding of METS Iraq that was retained by Jarrett Asset Holdings Corporation.

 

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