Daily Market Highlights (16.03.2017)

  • The MSE Share Index erased yesterday’s marginal rebound as it eased by 0.08% to a five-week low of 4,717.714 points. Trading activity was spread across only five equities – two moved lower, another two shares closed unchanged whilst HSBC Bank Malta plc gained 0.2% to the €2.05 level across 22,430 shares. Trading volumes across the equity market declined to €0.16 million – the lowest in the last six trading sessions. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index rose for the second consecutive day as it gained a further 0.28% to a one-week high of 1,114.870 points. Yesterday, the US Federal Reserve increased its key interest rate by 0.25% to a range of between 0.75% and 1.0%, explaining, once again, that further interest rate hikes “will be gradual”. The Fed also maintained its view of a total of three rate hikes this year and left its GDP growth forecasts for 2017 and 2019 unchanged at 2.1% and 1.9% respectively but revised higher its 2018 GDP forecast to 2.1%. Euro zone sovereign yields initially declined this morning with the benchmark 10-year German Bund yield falling to a near one-week low of 0.384% from 0.436% yesterday. However, yields recovered later in the day as the inflation rate in the euro zone area was confirmed at +2.0% year-on-year whilst month-on-month it improved to +0.4% in February from -0.8% in January. The 10-year Bund yield touched an intra-day high of 0.469%.
  • Two deals totalling 6,550 shares pulled the equity of RS2 Software plc 0.5% lower to the €1.64 level.
  • The other negative performing equity was Mapfre Middlesea plc which dropped by 1.8% to a near three-month low of €2.15 albeit on trivial volumes. Shareholders as at 26 April 2017 will be eligible for a net dividend of €0.03826 per share subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on Friday 21 April.
  • Meanwhile, Bank of Valletta plc maintained the €2.20 level across 42,837 shares.
  • Similarly, GO plc held on to the €3.52 level after recovering from an intra-day low of €3.50. A total of 3,500 shares changed hands.
  • Yesterday, Lombard Bank Malta plc announced that, following a request made by the Special Administrator of Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co. Ltd which is a major shareholder in Lombard, during the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on 27 April 2017 shareholders will also be asked to authorise the Board of Directors to disclose information, including price sensitive information, to a prospective bona fide offeror/s and the corresponding bona fide transferor in the disposal of a substantial shareholding in Lombard. The equity remained inactive today.