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  • The MSE Share Index erased yesterday’s gains as it lost 0.40% to 4,736.800 points today, reflecting the drops in the share prices of IHI (-3.1%) and RS2 (-2.8%) which outweighed the gains registered in GO (+0.6%), MPC (+0.6%) and Medserv (+0.1%). Trading volumes improved to a three-day high of €0.44 million. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index moved higher for the fourth consecutive days as it advanced by a further 0.17% to a near five-week high of 1,132.346 points. The spreads between the 10-year yields of Italy and Spain and German bonds narrowed today. In fact, whilst the 10-year benchmark German Bund yield advanced to 0.213% from 0.205% yesterday, the corresponding yields on Italian and Spanish government bonds retracted to 2.099% and 1.623% respectively from 2.151% and 1.664%. Meanwhile, in the US, a member of the Federal Open Market Committee reiterated his views that the Fed may need to hike rates “sooner rather than later”.
  • Three deals totalling 8,030 shares dragged the equity of RS2 Software plc 2.8% lower to the €1.65 level.
  • The other negative performing equity today was International Hotel Investments plc which dropped by 3.1% to the €0.63 level albeit on trivial volumes.
  • In contrast, GO plc climbed 0.6% to the €3.57 level on volumes totalling 22,950 shares. Last week, the telecoms Group revealed its 2016 financial results showing an improved EBITDA of €61.6 million (+19.4%) but profits after tax dropped by 23.2% to €20.3 million. Nonetheless, the Directors recommended a final net dividend of €0.11 per share which is 10% higher than the net dividend for FY2015. The dividend is payable on 5 May 2017 to all shareholders as at close of trading on Wednesday 29 March 2017.
  • Medserv plc advanced by a marginal 0.1% to the €1.66 level after recovering from an intra-day low of €1.602 (-3.4%). A total of 58,580 shares traded. Yesterday, the oil and gas logistics specialist announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Middle East Tubular Services LLC has been awarded a new long term contract with Sumitomo Corporation Tubular Supply Oman for the supply chain management of Oil Country Tubular Goods to Petroleum Development Oman – a joint-venture between the Government of Oman and Shell. The contract, which is the largest ever won by the Medserv Group, is for an initial period of five years with a five-year extension option. Meanwhile, Medserv also revealed that it was not successful in its first tender to offer its services in Trinidad. The Company is however awaiting adjudication on a second tender and is actively pursuing other work in Trinidad as well as the surrounding region.
  • In the property segment, Malta Properties Company plc recaptured the €0.52 level (+0.6%) across 21,100 shares.
  • On the other hand, Malita, Plaza and Tigne’ Mall all closed unchanged today. Malita Investments plc maintained the €0.81 level across 15,800. The Company is expected to reveal its 2016 financial results today.
  • Plaza Centres plc (10,000 shares) and Tigne’ Mall plc (5,500 shares) held on to the €1.09 and €1.13 levels respectively. Plaza’s 2016 annual financial statements will be published on 9 March whilst Tigne’ Mall has not yet disclosed the date when its Board of Directors will meet to consider and approve its 2016 financial statements.
  • In the retail banking sector, HSBC Bank Malta plc retained its three-year high of €2.06 on heightened activity totalling 81,840 shares. Last week, HSBC published its 2016 financial results showing slightly reduced profits on an adjusted basis. The Board of Directors recommended a final net dividend of €0.027 per share to shareholders as at the close of trading on 10 March 2017.
  • Bank of Valletta plc also closed flat at the €2.19 level across 18,777 shares.
  • A single deal of just 832 shares left the equity of Santumas Shareholdings plc at its all-time high of €1.55.

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